Key Facts about Shan State

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Myanmar is concerned about the conflict in northern Shan State, which has affected Mandalay-based traders.

About Shan State

  • It is a state in Myanmar.
  • It borders China to the north, Laos to the east, Thailand to the south, and five administrative divisions of Myanmar in the west. 
  • The largest of the 14 administrative divisions by land area, Shan State covers 155,800 km2, almost a quarter of the total area of Myanmar.
  • The state gets its name from the Burmese name for the Tai people: “Shan people”. 
  • The Shan constitute the majority among several ethnic groups that inhabit the area. The Shan are Theravada Buddhists and have their own written language and literature.
  • The Thanlwin River (also known as the Salween/Namkhong) cuts across the state, which is also home to Inle Lake, the second-largest natural expanse of water in Myanmar.
  • Shan is largely rural, with only three cities of significant size: Lashio, Kengtung, and the capital, Taunggyi. 
  • Shan State, with its many ethnic groups, is home to several armed ethnic armies. 
  • While the military government has signed ceasefire agreements with most groups, vast areas of the state, especially those east of the Thanlwin River, remain outside the central government’s control and in recent years have come under heavy ethnic-Han-Chinese economic and political influence. Other areas are under the control of military groups, such as the Shan State Army.

Q1) What is Theravada Buddhism?

Theravada Buddhism is one of the oldest forms of Buddhism that traces its roots back to the earliest teachings of Siddhartha Gautama, who later became known as the Buddha. "Theravada" translates to "Teaching of the Elders" or "Ancient Teaching," reflecting its commitment to preserving the original teachings of the Buddha.

Source: Myanmar exports to China increasingly difficult due to conflict