Namwan Assigned Tract

Namwan Assigned Tract, also known as Meng-Mao Triangular Area, is a 220 km2 (85 sq mi) area situated at the junction of the Shweli River and Namwan River in the southern Kachin State of Myanmar. It was the territory of China but "perpetual lease" to British Burma in 1897, and legally became the territory of Burma in 1961.

Namwan Assigned Tract located in the modern map of Yunnan
Detailed map of Namwan Assigned Tract
Landscape of Namwan Assigned Tract, took at Namwan River in China


The British built a road through Namwan Assigned Tract to connect Bhamo and Namhkam before communicating with China, this road became the major road connecting the Kachin State with the Shan State.[1]: 72  And Xue Fucheng, the Chinese Ambassador to the UK, request the British to return the road and the area in the meetings during 1892 and 1893.[2] The British refused to return the road, but had to admit the area is part of China.[3] Then UK signed a convention with Qing dynasty in 1894, claimed the area is part of China, but the road was to remain open for British "travellers, commerce and administrative purpose", and Britain had the right to improve the road, as well as, within certain restrictions, to move troops along it.[4]: 192 

In 1897, UK signed another convention with Qing dynasty, the Namwan Assigned Tract was recognized "as belonging to China" but "the whole of this area China shall not exercise any jurisdiction or authority whatsoever. The administration and control will be entirely conducted by the British Government, who will hold it on a perpetual lease from China, paying a rent for it, the amount of which shall be fixed hereafter."[4]: 193–194  Britain and China settled the rent at 1,000 Rupee a year in 1901, as compensation for the loss territory of Mengmao Chiefdom.[5]

In 1945, after the Japanese troops retreated to Burma, Ruili Administrative Bureau, the direct control local government of Republic of China, founded "Guangfu (recovery) Township" in Namwan Assigned Tract. Britain protested soon after, and then China's central government command the Ruili bureau to retreat.[6]: 28  In 1948, the Republic of China's government refused to accept the annual rent from the new sovereign state, Union of Burma, and later, the People's Republic of China also refused this rent.[7]: 58 

Because the existence of a "perpetual lease" is contrary to the dignity of a sovereign state,[8]: 131  China and Burma strove to abrogate the "perpetual lease".[9]: 33  After series of negotiations, China and Burma signed Sino - Burmese Boundary Agreement on 28 January 1960, two sides agreed the Namwan Assigned Tract was to became part of Burma, in exchange for the transfer of Panghung and Panglao which located at west of "1941 line" to China.[9]: 43  China and Burma appointed joint commission to demarcate the boundary on the transferred area, and the actual size of transferred area was also decided by the joint commission.[9]: 43  Finally, Sino-Burmese Boundary Treaty was signed on 1 October 1960, it confirmed that China giving up all claims to the 220 km2 (85 sq mi) area of the Namwan Assigned Tract, in exchange for received 189 km2 (73 sq mi) of Panghung and Panglao.[4]: 197 

Sino-Burmese Boundary Treaty entry into force on 4 January 1961, Namwan Assigned Tract became the territory of Burma legally.[10]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Hyer, Eric (2015). The Pragmatic Dragon: China's Grand Strategy and Boundary Settlements. Vancouver: UBC Press. ISBN 978-0-7748-2638-9.
  2. ^ 余绳武 (Yu Shengwu) (1998). "有关猛卯三角地的一些历史情况" [Some Historical Information of Meng-Mao Triangular Area]. 中国边疆研究通报 二集·云南专号 [China Borderland Research Journal, Volume 2, Yunnan special issue] (in Chinese). Ürümqi: Xinjiang People's Publishing House: 78-80. ISBN 7-228-03234-9.
  3. ^ 吕一燃 (Lü Yiran) (1995). "薛福成与中英滇缅界务交涉" [Xue Fucheng with the Sino-British Negotiations on Burma Border Affairs]. 中国边疆史地研究 [China's Borderland History and Geography Studies] (in Chinese) (2): 57-72.
  4. ^ a b c Elleman, Bruce; Kotkin, Stephen; Schofiled, Clive (2013). Beijing's Power and China's Borders Twenty Neighbors in Asia. Armonk, New York: M. E. Sharpe. ISBN 978-0-7656-2763-6.
  5. ^ 姚勇 (Yao Yong) (2014). "近代中英猛卯三角永租地争端" [Sino - Anglo conflict over Namwan Triangle in early modern times]. 云南民族大学学报(哲学社会科学版) [Journal of Yunnan Minzu University(Social Sciences)] (in Chinese). 31 (6): 93-98. doi:10.13727/j.cnki.53-1191/c.2014.06.014.
  6. ^ Codification Committee of Annals of Ruili (1996). 瑞丽市志 [Annals of Ruili] (in Chinese). Chengdu: Sichuan Lexicographical Press. ISBN 7-80543-518-9.
  7. ^ Tzou, Byron (1990). China and International Law: The Boundary Disputes. New York: Praeger Publishing. ISBN 978-0-275934620.
  8. ^ J. J. G. Syatauw (1961). Some Newly Established Asian States and the Development of International Law. New York: William S. Hein & Co., Inc. ISBN 978-90-247-0519-1.
  9. ^ a b c GHATATE, N.M. (1968). "THE SINO-BURMESE BORDER SETTLEMENT". India Quarterly. 24 (1): 17-49. JSTOR 45069250.
  10. ^ State Council of the People's Republic of China (1961). "中华人民共和国政府和緬甸联邦政府关于交接片馬、古浪、崗房地区,班洪、班老部落轄区,猛卯三角地和騎綫村寨調整地区的联合新聞公报". 中华人民共和国国务院公报 [Gazette of the State Council of the People's Republic of China] (in Chinese) (8): 170-171.