China’s plans to build a giant industrial zone at the terminal of its Shwe gas and oil pipelines on the Arakan coast will damage the livelihoods of tens of
thousands of islanders and spell doom for Burma’s second largest mangrove forest. The 120 sq km “Kyauk Phyu Special Economic Zone” (SEZ) will be managed by Chinese state-owned CITIC group on Ramree island, where China is constructing a deep sea port for ships bringing oil from the Middle East and Africa. An 800-km railway is also being built from Kyauk Phyu
to Yunnan, under a 50 year BOT (Build-Operate-Transfer) agreement, forging a Chinese-managed trade corridor from the Indian Ocean across Burma. Investment in the railway
and SEZ, China’s largest in Southeast Asia, is estimated at US $109 billion over 35 years.