Kokang Chinese

The Kokang Chinese (Chinese: 果敢華人; pinyin: Guǒgǎn Huárén or 果敢族 (Guǒgǎn zú); Burmese: ကိုးကန့်လူမျိုး) are Mandarin-speaking Han Chinese[1] living in Kokang, Myanmar, administered as the Kokang Self-Administered Zone.[2]

Kokang Chinese
Regions with significant populations
Shan State, Myanmar
Languages
Southwestern Mandarin, Burmese, Putonghua
Related ethnic groups
Burmese Chinese, Han Chinese, Chin Haw, Other Sino-Tibetan peoples
Map of the Kokang region (in green) in Shan State (in yellow).

Etymology

The name Kokang derives from the Burmese ကိုးကန့်, which itself derives from the Shan ၵဝ်ႈ (kāo, "nine") + ၵူၼ်း (kúun, "family") or ၵၢင် (kǎang, "guard").

Distribution

In 1997, it was estimated that the Kokang Chinese, together with more recently immigrated Han Chinese from Yunnan, China, constituted 30 to 40 percent of Myanmar's ethnic Chinese population. They constitute around 0.1% of Myanmar's population.[3]

History

Most Kokang are descendants of Chinese speakers who migrated to what is now Shan State, Myanmar in the 18th century. In the mid-17th century, the Yang clan, a Chinese military house that fled alongside Ming loyalists from Nanjing to Yunnan, and later migrated to the Shan States in eastern Myanmar, formed a feudal state called Kokang. From the 1960s to 1989, the area was ruled by the Communist Party of Burma, and after the dissolution of that party in 1989 it became a special region of Myanmar.

The Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army (MNDAA) is a Kokang insurgent group. In August 2009 they clashed with Tatmadaw soldiers in a conflict fanned by controversial interests known as the 2009 Kokang incident,[4] followed by further skirmishes during the 2015 Kokang offensive.

Notable Kokang

  • Lo Hsing Han
  • Olive Yang
  • Sao Edward Yang Kyein Tsai

See also

References

  1. Burma has other, non-Kokang populations of Han Chinese; depending on what area of China they originally immigrated from, these populations speak Yunnanese, Hokkien, Cantonese, Hakka, and Hainanese. See Mya Than (1997). "The Ethnic Chinese in Myanmar and their Identity". In Leo Suryadinata (ed.). Ethnic Chinese as Southeast Asians. Singapore: Institute of Southeast Asian Studies. pp. 117–8. ISBN 981-3055-58-8.
  2. Ng Han Guan. "Ethnic rebels flee Myanmar, abandoning weapons and uniforms for safe haven in south China". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 30 August 2009.
  3. Mya Than (1997). "The Ethnic Chinese in Myanmar and their Identity". In Leo Suryadinata (ed.). Ethnic Chinese as Southeast Asians. Singapore: Institute of Southeast Asian Studies. pp. 119–20. ISBN 981-3055-58-8.
  4. Chinese Dam Builders Fan Conflict in Burma


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