The the drug trade along the Thai/Burmese border show signs of being the beginning of a cold war between the United States of America and The Peoples Republic of China.
The Burmese millitary administration is accused of direct involvement in the drug trade, in particular manufacturing and supplying strong methamphetamine called 'ya ma', by Thailand

Des Ball, a strategic analyst forom the Australian Nation University says, "In the case of the methamphetamine production labs you've got Burmese troops actually guarding the plants, you've got military intelligence guys providing the escorts of the trafficking caravans and military people who allow it to actually cross the border into Thailand."

The fear is that tension between Thailand and Burma could escalate into a full-blown border war, with reports from Burma that anti-Thai propaganda is being whipped up. The Burma military government is publicly accusing Thailand of assisting the Shan … for it's part, Thailand is threatening to retaliate if the Burmese carry out their threats to attack Thailand.

The Burmese government has the support of China, as well as the Wah army, a millitia that used to be engaged in a war against the Burmese government but, since being granted amnesty and the right to produce and trade in heroin and mathamphetamine, has become an ally.

The people of the Shan state are still involved in an independance struggle and have been conducting raids on millitary posts. On many of these raids they have found drugs being stored in the bases and have taken footage of the raids as proofand to earn the trust of Thailand. Thailand is allied the United States, who as well as engaging in regular joint exercises, is providing training into preventing drug trafficking across its borders. Thailand also has a relationship with the Shah army.

If a war breaks out, it is a case of two smaller parties involved in a conflict where each is supported by a super power as happened numerous times in the second half of the twentieth century.


in response to TheCustodian:  I sort of understood the cold war being about indirect conflict between the super powers. That is where they don't actually engage directly, but support any smaller states that want to fight. At most one army of a super power gets their hands dirty (i.e USSR in Afganistan, USA in Vietnam). The drug trade and the way it is conducted in S.E. Asia at the moment is arguably a symptom of the cold war, with U.S. prohibition and China's historical interest in destroying Western powers with opiates increasing tensions.(This does not refer to all chinese people, but I do know that some with extreme nationalistic sentiments support this end)
It's also interesting to note that while Taiwan is historically important to the Chinese, Burma is far more strategically important, as it provides China with access to the Indian Ocean.

A quick riposte: the Cold War was not caused by superpowers becoming intensely interested in small state confrontations. Rather, their interest and the dangers that arose from such local conflicts were a symptom of the Cold War. In addition, the U.S. and the PRC seem to be quite able to find more substantive and immediate reasons to get into spats.

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