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N 24° 00′ 28′′, E 97° 51′ 58′′
767 MASL
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Chinese technicians and members of the American Volunteer Group (AVG) checking the armaments of a Curtiss P-40 aircraft at Nanshan Airport, 7-kilometer northeast of the Central Aircraft Manufacturing Company’s factory at Loiwing in Ruili. Nanshan Airport was an important base for the AVG which was set up by the US government to help China resist Japanese invasion.

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Dai girls in traditional costumes posing at the “One Village, Two Countries” scenic spot near the No. 71 border stele on the Sino–Burmese border. “One Village, Two Countries” refers to a Dai village split in two by the border, with the Chinese side called Yinjing, and the Myanmar side known as Manhero. Villagers can freely cross the border every day.

1596: The jade-rich Ruili/Shweli River basin had long been under the control of Mongmao (also known as Luchuan in Chinese literature), an ethnic Dai state with a capital near the modern-day Ruili. Mongmao was recognized as a vassal of the Ming Dynasty, and a fortress called Pinglucheng (literally means “Pacification of Luchuan”) was built in 1596.


1769: Pinglucheng became an important jade trading center in the 18th century, as the ancient horse caravan route along the Ruili/Shweli River experienced a boom in jade trade in the late 18th century. The Burmese king allowed the export of jade to China after the end of the Sino–Burmese War (1765–1769), which is considered one of the Qianlong Emperor’s Ten Great Campaigns.


1885: Increasing British influence reached the mountainous frontier regions in the early 19th century. Upper Burma was annexed after the Third Anglo–Burmese War in 1885, and the province of Burma in British India was created the following year.


1897: According to the Anglo-Chinese Agreement modifying the 1894 Convention signed in 1897, the British was allowed to “perpetually lease” the Chinese territory situated at the junction of the Ruili/Shweli and Namwan Rivers, which was named as the Namwan Assigned Tract, also known as the Mongmao Triangular Area.


1938: The Burma Road was constructed and completed to enable Western allies to send supplies to China and aid in the war efforts against Japan. The road linked Kunming in Yunnan and Lashio in Burma, passing through the China-Burma border at Wanding to the east of Ruili.


1939: After the outbreak of the Second Sino–Japanese War (1937–1945), the Central Aircraft Manufacturing Company (CAMCO) retreated from Hangzhou and established a new factory at Loiwing in Ruili on the China-Burma frontier in 1939. CAMCO also established Nanshan Airport near Loiwing, the second largest airport in Yunnan at the time.


1940: Nanshan Airport became an important base for the American Volunteer Group (AVG), which was organized by the US government to aid the Nationalist government of China against Japan. CAMCO also established a facility at Mingaladon Airport near Rangoon, which produced ground-attack aircraft to equip the AVG.


1942: After the Japanese occupation of Burma and further advancement toward Yunnan, CAMCO retreated from the frontier and burned the factory at Loiwing.


1953: Ruili became part of the Dehong Dai and Jingpo Autonomous Prefecture designated in 1953. Nanshan Airport was abandoned and later reclaimed as an agriculture field.


1960: The China–Burma Boundary Treaty was signed in Peking in October 1960, and the Namwan Assigned Tract became the territory of Burma the following year.


1989: The Ruili Jiegao Bridge was completed. The bridge connects road in Myanmar’s Shan State with China National Highway 320 (G320), a 3,695-km highway that connects Shanghai on the coast and Ruili at the Sino–Burmese border.


1990: Ruili became a Tourism Open County, and Ruili Port was established. Jiegao was founded as a provincial-level border trade zone in 1991.


1992: Ruili became a Border Open City, and Ruili Border Economics Cooperation Zone was established. The jade trading and processing industry had rapidly grown since 1992, and Ruili became one of the four major jade trading centers in China.


1999: The tourism industry had rapidly grown since 1999 when Ruili was designated as one of the first batch of China Excellent Tourist Cities by the National Tourism Administration.


2000: The Ruili Port was upgraded to a national-level port.


2012: Yunnan Ruili Key Development and Opening Up Experimental Zone was established.


2015: One-river-two-countries tourism zone was established in Ruili.


2017: The China–Myanmar oil and gas pipeline project from Kyaukpyu to Kunming through Ruili and Wanding became operational in 2013 and 2017, respectively.


2019: Ruili became part of the Dehong Area of China (Yunnan) Pilot Free Trade Zone established in 2019 and positioned as a portal hub for China–Myanmar Economic Corridor.

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