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9 Nov 2021

YAN NAING, The Irrawaddy

Myanmar: Kyaukphyu farmers fear forcible land acquisition to expedite Chinese infrastructure projects; incl. CITIC's response

"China-Backed Myanmar Infrastructure Project Leaves Farmers Landless", 9 November 2021

The KPSEZ includes plans to construct an industrial zone with facilities for textile and garment manufacturing, construction materials processing, food processing, pharmaceuticals, electronics, marine supplies and services, and research. The entire project is planned to cover 4,300 acres.

The China International Trust and Investment Corporation (CITIC) won contracts for the deep sea port and KPSEZ projects in 2015. CITIC took an 85 per cent stake in the project, according to the initial agreement signed with the former U Thein Sein administration. [...]

With the military regime’s illegitimate State Administrative Council now in power, China’s projects in Myanmar are a high risk as they face protests from the local population. There is also a strong fear that there will be no transparency and accountability in implementing these projects.

Farmers in Kyaukphyu Township fear that the junta will confiscate their land in the China-backed KPSEZ without offering them any compensation.

Local farmers say that they are still working their land in the project area and have not sold or transferred it to anyone. Yet, the names of the three unknown men registered as the owners of the 60 acres of land can be seen on the confiscation statement. This illegal acquisition of land has turned the original land owners/farmers into squatters. [...]