Kokang Self-Administered Zone
ကိုးကန့်ကိုယ်ပိုင်အုပ်ချုပ်ခွင့်ရဒေသ (Burmese)
果敢自治区 (Chinese)
Flag of Kokang Self-Administered Zone
Location in Shan State
Location in Shan State
StateShan State
No. of townships2
Created20 August 2010
De facto ceased5 January 2024
 • ChairmanBrig. Gen. Tun Tun Myint (de jure, acting)
5,189 ft (1,582 m)
 • Total154,912
Time zoneUTC+6.30 (MMT)
Kokang Self-Administered Zone
Simplified Chinese果敢自治区
Traditional Chinese果敢自治區
Burmese name
Burmeseကိုးကန့် ကိုယ်ပိုင်အုပ်ချုပ်ခွင့်ရ ဒေသ
IPA[kóka̰ɰ̃ kòbàɪɰ̃ ʔoʊʔtɕʰoʊʔ kʰwɪ̰ɰ̃ja̰ dèθa̰]

The Kokang Self-Administered Zone (Burmese: ကိုးကန့် ကိုယ်ပိုင်အုပ်ချုပ်ခွင့်ရ ဒေသ, Chinese: 果敢自治区), as stipulated by the 2008 Constitution of Myanmar, is a self-administered zone in northern Shan State. The zone is intended to be self-administered by the Kokang people. Its official name was announced by decree on 20 August 2010.[2] It is recognized as illegal by the Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army (MNDAA).[3][4]


During the 1960s, the Burmese Communist Party controlled large areas of Kokang, but as it began to disintegrate in the 1980s, Pheung Kya-shin (Peng Jiasheng) established the Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army (MNDAA). In 1989, he negotiated a ceasefire with the military and was given some autonomy over the area.[5] After the ceasefire, the area controlled by MNDAA became Myanmar's "Shan State Special Region No. 1" (Chinese: 缅甸掸邦第一特区; Burmese: မြန်မာနိုင်ငံ ရှမ်းပြည်နယ်အထူးဒေသ (၁)).[6] Pheung was known unofficially as the 'King of Kokang' and he and the MNDAA had been involved in the drug industry since the 1970s in Kokang, where he trafficked heroin and later methamphetamine. However, Pheung later shifted the area's industry away from drugs and towards gambling. Peng lost control in 2009 in the Kokang incident.[5]

On 17 February 2015, Myanmar president Thein Sein declared a state of emergency three-month period of martial law in Kokang in response to fighting between government troops and the Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army, a rebel group.[7] The curfew was extended on 9 September 2019.[8]

A coup d'état took place on 1 February 2021, resulting in a military junta taking control of the country and triggering a civil war. In October 2023, anti-junta forces launched a military operation in northern Myanmar. On 28 December it was reported that "most" of the regional capital, Laukkai, was now under MNDAA control, with junta forces largely abandoning the city.[9] The MNDAA gained full control of Laukkai following a mass surrender of the last junta forces in the city on 5 January 2024.[10][11]

Government and politics

The Kokang Self-Administered Zone (Kokang SAZ) is administered by a Leading Body, which consists of at least ten members and includes Shan State Hluttaw (Assembly) members elected from the Zone and members nominated by the Burmese Armed Forces. The Leading Body performs both executive and legislative functions and is led by a Chairperson. The Leading Body has competence in ten areas of policy, including urban and rural development, road construction and maintenance, and public health. [12]

Bai Xuoqian was elected as an MP of the Amyotha Hluttaw representing Laukkai Constituency No. 2.[13] during the 2010 general election, and became the first head of the Kokang SAZ. Under his rule, the region became known for drugs and weapons trafficking.[14] Bai was not very popular and survived an assassination attempt in March 2012.[15]

On 3 February 2021, shortly after the 2021 Myanmar coup d'état, the State Administration Council (SAC) appointed Myint Swe, a former Union Solidarity and Development Party lawmaker as the chariman of the Kokang SAZ.[16]

In 2023, during Operation 1027, the SAC temporarily replaced Myint Swe by Brigadier General Tun Tun Myint and put out a warrant for former Kokang SAZ chairman, Bai Xuoqian. Tun Tun Myint was previously the commander in charge of northern Shan State operations. The move is understood to be in anticipation of Operation 1027 moving towards Laukkai.[17]

A few days earlier, China had issued arrest warrants for junta-aligned cybercrime ringleader Ming Xuechang and three other family members for their involvement in online scamming operations.[18] On 16 November 2023, three Ming family members were arrested and handed over to China. Ming Xuechang died while being arrested by the Myanmar police, and the Myanmar government claimed that he died by suicide.[19][20] According to The Diplomat, this move signals China's "tacit support for the removal of the Kokang SAZ's leadership".[21]

Administrative divisions

Townships of Kokang SAZ:

As stipulated by the 2008 constitution, Kokang Self-Administered Zone consists of two townships: Konkyan and Laukkaing,[22] both townships are administratively part of Laukkaing District.

However, the Self-Administered Zone is de facto divided into two townships, two subtownships and one area:

Chairmen of Kokang SAZ

No. Name Term of office Political party
Took office Left office Time in office
1 Bai Xuoqian
20 August 2010 30 March 2016 6 years, 219 days Union Solidarity and Development Party
2 Zhao Dechen
30 March 2016 19 February 2021 4 years, 326 days Union Solidarity and Development Party
3 Li Zhanfu (Myint Swe)
19 February 2021 9 November 2023 2 years, 263 days Union Solidarity and Development Party
- Brigadier General Tun Tun Myint
ဒုတိယဗိုလ်မှူးကြီး ထွန်းထွန်းမြင့်
9 November 2023 5 January 2024
(de facto)
57 days Military

See also

Further reading


  1. ^ Department of Population (2015). The Union Report (Volume-3M: Shan State Report (Report). UNFPA. p. 29. Retrieved 18 November 2023.
  2. ^ "တိုင်းခုနစ်တိုင်းကို တိုင်းဒေသကြီးများအဖြစ် လည်းကောင်း၊ ကိုယ်ပိုင်အုပ်ချုပ်ခွင့်ရ တိုင်းနှင့် ကိုယ်ပိုင်အုပ်ချုပ်ခွင့်ရ ဒေသများ ရုံးစိုက်ရာ မြို့များကို လည်းကောင်း ပြည်ထောင်စုနယ်မြေတွင် ခရိုင်နှင့်မြို့နယ်များကို လည်းကောင်း သတ်မှတ်ကြေညာ". Weekly Eleven News (in Burmese). 20 August 2010. Retrieved 23 August 2010.
  3. ^ 果敢资讯网 (31 October 2023). 缅甸掸邦第一特区军事管制委员会对敌伪人员的通令(汉/缅) (in Chinese). 网易新闻. Retrieved 14 January 2024.
  4. ^ 果敢资讯网 (7 November 2023). (评论)缅伪政权统治果敢的十宗罪. 网易新闻. Retrieved 14 January 2024.
  5. ^ a b "Laukkai is a notorious den of online scams — and the prize in one family's 14-year quest for revenge". ABC News. 8 December 2023. Retrieved 15 December 2023.
  6. ^ "Myanmar Regional Crime Webs Enjoy Post-Coup Resurgence: The Kokang Story". United States Institute of Peace. Retrieved 21 September 2023.
  7. ^ Soe Zeya Tun (17 February 2015). "Myanmar declares martial law in troubled Kokang region". Reuters. Retrieved 18 February 2015.
  8. ^ Mann, Zarni (10 September 2019). "Curfew Continues in Northern Myanmar's Kokang Over Concerns About Armed Conflict". The Irrawaddy. Retrieved 20 December 2023.
  9. ^ "Most of Laukkai now under MNDAA control". Myanmar Now. 28 December 2023.
  10. ^ "MNDAA captures military command centre outside Laukkai, taking full control of city". Myanmar Now. 5 January 2024.
  11. ^ "Myanmar Regime Raises the White Flag in Kokang Zone on China Border in Shan State". The Irrawaddy. 5 January 2024.
  12. ^ "Nagaland: A frontier, for now". 9 April 2019.
  13. ^ Zin Linn. "Does the junta use drugs as a weapon in Burma's politics?". asiancorrespondent.com/. Archived from the original on 23 July 2015. Retrieved 27 February 2015.
  14. ^ "Tens of thousands flee war, airstrikes in Kokang region". reliefweb.int/r. Democratic Voice of Burma. 12 February 2015. Retrieved 24 February 2015.
  15. ^ "Bai Xuoqian, head of the Kokang Self-Administered". www.shanland.org. Shan Herald. Archived from the original on 24 February 2015. Retrieved 24 February 2015.
  16. ^ "Self-administered Division & Zones: Chairman of Self-administered Division and Zones Appointed". Myanmar International TV. 3 February 2021. Retrieved 18 November 2023.
  17. ^ "Struggling to maintain order, junta replaces Kokang leader with brigadier general". Myanmar Now. 17 November 2023.
  18. ^ Zuo, Mandy (12 November 2023). "Chinese police order arrest of alleged Myanmar crime family over telecoms fraud". South China Morning Post. South China Morning Post. Archived from the original on 14 November 2023. Retrieved 14 November 2023.
  19. ^ "最新消息!缅北电诈头目明学昌,已自杀身亡". National Business Daily (in Chinese (China)). 17 November 2023.
  20. ^ "Former lawmaker dies in police custody after arrest for Myanmar scams". Radio Free Asia. Retrieved 17 November 2023.
  21. ^ "Chinese Authorities Issue Arrest Warrants for Criminal Kingpins in Myanmar's Kokang Region". The Diplomat. 13 November 2023. Archived from the original on 13 November 2023. Retrieved 13 November 2023.
  22. ^ ပြည်ထောင်စုသမ္မတမြန်မာနိုင်ငံတော် ဖွဲ့စည်းပုံအခြေခံဥပဒေ (၂၀၀၈ ခုနှစ်) (in Burmese). 2008. Archived from the original on 19 November 2015.

23°44′31″N 98°34′49″E / 23.74194°N 98.58028°E / 23.74194; 98.58028