Zhou Yongkang urges frontier security in Yunnan

A senior Chinese official has called for improvements to people’s livelihoods, ethnic unity and frontier security in southwest China’s Yunnan Province, a region bordering Myanmar.

Zhou Yongkang, a Standing Committee member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, said during an inspection tour of Yunnan between Oct. 27 and 29 that public security bureaus should strengthen border inspection and crack down hard on drug smuggling and terrorism.

Zhou’s visit came just over a month after a Myanmar drug runner and five of his gang members stood trial for the murder of 13 sailors on the Mekong River in the Golden Triangle Region on Oct. 5, 2011. Naw Kham, the principal suspect, pleaded guilty to murder in a local court in Yunnan. The verdict has yet to be announced.

Visiting the public security bureau in Yunnan’s Xishuangbanna Dai Autonomous Prefecture, which investigated the murdering case, Zhou extended his gratitude to its contribution to seizing the suspects.

Zhou, also secretary of the CPC Central Commission for Political and Legal Affairs, praised the Kunming City Intermediate People’s Court in the provincial capital for its innovation in hearing the murder case.

“It is a severe transnational criminal case, which attracted great attention from the Party, government and people,” Zhou said, adding the case was busted with the assistance of relevant nations and China’s law enforcement authorities at all levels.

Some law enforcement staff even gave their lives investigating the case, said Zhou, who extended his condolence to the judicial staff.

The senior official expressed hope that judicial authorities can do solid work in sentencing Naw Kham and his associates, using facts as a basis and the law as criterion, so that “the case will stand the test of law, history and people.”

With a length of almost 5,000 km, the Mekong is one of the most important waterways in Southeast Asia, linking China, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam. It plays a crucial economic role among the Greater Mekong Sub-region countries.

Cargo ferries, though briefly suspended following the murders, resumed services on the river in December.

Xinhua