The boundary stone at Lweje
|• Religions||Christianity, Buddhism|
|Time zone||MST (UTC+6.30)|
Lweje (Burmese: လွယ်ဂျယ်မြို့; also spelt Loije) is a town in Kachin State in north-eastern Burma near the border with Longchuan County, Yunnan Province, China. It is one of the 10 border trade points with 4 neighbouring countries opened in 2002 by the military regime.
Border trade in the region has tripled since the upgrading of the dirt road connecting Lweje with Momauk, a distance of 76 km (47 mi), to a gravel road with Chinese assistance, was completed in December 2006. It has cut the journey time from Bhamo on the Ayeyarwady River to the border from nearly 10 hours to about 3 hours.
Exports to China include fruit, beans, rice and onions, while electronics, textiles and foodstuffs are imported. The volume of trade however is much smaller compared with Muse in Shan State where up to 75% of exports to Yunnan passes through to Ruili across the Shweli River.
After the then ruling military regime negotiated ceasefire agreements with the United Wa State Army (UWSA) and the New Democratic Army - Kachin (NDA-K) in 1989, and with the Kachin Independence Organization (KIO) in 1994, a boom in the timber trade with China followed. Earlier logging concessions granted to Thai companies were cancelled in 1993 due to economic loss from violation of terms and over-logging with ecological devastation.
Northern Kachin State became the area for most of the logging activity mainly by Chinese companies employing Chinese labour, and Lweje, along with Laiza, one of the checkpoints on the border. KIO logging activities also increased dramatically when after the cease-fire deal it lost control of the Hpakant jade mines and the revenue they had generated. From 1997 to 2002, 88% of China's timber exports from Burma was shipped overland to Yunnan, 75% of this from Kachin State.
- "Myanmar opens 10 border trade points". Xinhua News Agency, 2002-07-21. Retrieved 2009-01-06.
- Aye Lei Tun. "Trade triples through Bhamo". Myanmar Times, August 20–26, 2007. Archived from the original on 2012-02-15. Retrieved 2009-01-05.
- Fredrich Kahrl; Horst Weyerhaeuser; Su Yufang. "Navigating the Border: An Analysis of the China-Myanmar Timber Trade" (PDF). Forest Trends. Retrieved 2009-01-07.
- "Location of Major Coal Deposits of Myanmar". Ministry of Energy. Retrieved 2009-01-05.
- "China and Burma jointly open anti-trafficking offices on border". KachinNews.com, 22 December 2008. Retrieved 2009-01-05.
- "Bullets in the Alms Bowl". NCGUB, March 2008. Retrieved 2009-01-07.
- "Kachins hold centenary celebrations on American Baptist mission". KachinNews.com, 30 December 2008. Retrieved 2009-01-05.