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Wanding–Pang Hseng


N 24° 05′ 16′′, E 98° 04′ 36′′
905 MASL
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Chinese and American officers with a Ledo Road–Burma Road junction sign in January 1945. The 1,154-kilometer Burma Road and 1,726-kilometer Ledo Road became China’s lifelines for international supplies during WWII, when the Japanese conquered Eastern China and Indochina in 1941, thereby cutting China off from supply routes in coastal regions.

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A flare ignited at the Namkham Metering Station on the opening day of the Myanmar–China Gas Pipeline on July 28, 2013. Over the past decade, the historic trade route between China and Myanmar (Burma) transformed gradually into an energy corridor, notably the China–Myanmar oil and gas pipeline project, which will be able to access the offshore gas reserves in Myanmar and crude oil from the Middle East.

1769: Owing to growing interest in jade from Burma during the reign of the Qianlong Emperor (1735–96), the ancient trade route along the Ruili/Shweli River experienced a boom in jade trade in the late 18th century. Considered as one of his Ten Great Campaigns, the Qianlong Emperor waged war against Burma when the Burmese king refused to pay him tribute. The Sino–Burmese War (1765–1769) was ended by a treaty signed in 1770, and the Burmese king allowed the export of jade to China.


1885: Increasing British influence reached the mountainous frontier regions in the early 19th century. The Anglo–Burmese Wars (1824–1885) continued until Britain proclaimed control over most of Burma. Upper Burma was annexed after the Third Anglo–Burmese War in 1885. The province of Burma in British India was created the following year.


1894: To delimitate the border between British Burma and Qing China, a boundary convention was signed in 1894, and a supplementary agreement was made in 1897. The northeastern border of Burma’s Shan State is separated from Yunnan by the Ruili River and its tributary the Wanding River.


1932: Wanding was a small but long-established caravan stop along the trade route between Yunnan and Burma. A wooden bridge connected Wanding and Pang Hseng in Burma’s Shan State when Wanding was established as a town in 1932 by the nationalist government.


1938: During World War II (WWII), the old trade route between Yunnan and Burma played a new and decisive role. The 1,154-km Burma Road linking Kunming in Yunnan and Lashio in Burma through Wanding was constructed and completed to enable Western allies to send supplies to China and aid in the war efforts against Japan. A stone bridge replaced the Wanding wooden bridge as part of Burma Road.


1942: The occupation of Burma by Japan was partially driven by a motive to prevent the flow of supplies to China on Burma Road.


1945: The 1,726-km Ledo Road linking Ledo in India and Kunming in Yunnan through the Kachin State of Burma was constructed as an alternative supply road after the Japanese cut off Burma Road in 1942. The Wanding stone bridge destroyed in 1944 was rebuilt by American allies in 1945 as a Bailey bridge through which Ledo Road entered Yunnan.


1952: Wanding Port was established. Wanding Town became part of Dehong Dai and Jingpo Autonomous Prefecture designated in 1953.


1960: The China–Burma Joint Demarcation Meeting was held in Wanding, and the China–Burma Boundary Treaty was signed in Peking on October 1.


1971: China–Burma trade slowed after the 1967 Anti-Chinese riots and expulsion of Chinese communities from Burma. Relations improved significantly in the 1970s, and a bilateral preferential trade agreement was signed in 1971.


1992: The Wanding Border Economic Cooperation Zone was established.


1993: A reinforced concrete bridge was built next to the old Bailey bridge, which is no longer in use and was designated as a historical monument under national-level protection in China.


2000: While jade, rubber, and wood accounted for the majority of Chinese imports from Myanmar, oil and gas gradually became strategic import resources in the early 2000s to accelerate urbanization and development in Southwestern China.


2013: With the completion of the Mangman–Myanmar secondary highway, the Mangman Passage of Wanding Port, which is located 10 km downstream from the Wanding town center, was officially opened.


2017: Talks regarding the feasibility of the China–Myanmar oil and gas pipeline project from Kyaukpyu to Kunming through Ruili and Wanding began in 2004. The gas and oil pipelines became operational in 2013 and 2017, respectively.

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