RUSI NewsbriefVOLUME 33ISSUE 4members only

Beijing’s ‘Backyard’? China’s Police Spreads its Wings in the Mekong Region

An operation conducted by Chinese police in the lawless backwaters of the Mekong River points to a new attempt by Beijing to deploy internal security forces in the protection of its interests abroad.

The televised execution in China in March of the notorious Burmese drug lord, Naw Kham, marked the culmination of a year-long international manhunt by Chinese police. His crime – the brutal murder of twelve Chinese merchant sailors on a Thai stretch of the Mekong River – sparked outrage among China’s public as well as consternation in Beijing, a reflection of the growing commercial importance of the Mekong, which runs from China’s southwestern Yunnan province through Burma,

lockmembers only content

Continue reading by joining RUSI

View membership options

Join the World’s Leading Defence and Security Community

  • A busy programme of members' only events
  • Access to a suite of RUSI publications
  • Access to experts, networks and research teams

Already have an account?


Edward Schwarck

Research Fellow, Asia Studies

View profile

Explore our related content