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Shan State (Burmese: ????????????, pronounced [?a? pjin??]; Shan: ????????? [m??? t???]) is a state of Burma (Myanmar).

Shan State borders China to the north, Laos to the east, and Thailand to the south, and five administrative divisions of Burma in the west. Largest of the 14 administrative divisions b y land area, Shan State covers 155,800 km2, almost a quarter of the total ar ea of Burma. The state gets its name from the Shan people, one of several et hnic groups that inhabit the area. Shan State is largely rural, with only th ree cities of significant size: Lashio, Kengtung, and the capital, Taunggyi. [2] Shan State, with many ethnic groups, is home to several armed ethnic armies . While the military government has signed ceasefire agreements with most g roups, vast areas of the state, especially those east of Thanlwin river, re main outside the central government's control, and in recent years have com e under heavy ethnic-Chinese economic and political influence, whereas othe r areas are under the control of military groups such as the Shan State Arm y. Shan State is the unitary successor state to the Burmese Shan States, the princely states that were under some degree of control of Irrawaddy vall ey-based Burmese kingdoms. (Historical Tai-Shan states extended well beyo nd the Burmese Shan States, ranging from full fledged kingdoms of Assam i n the northwest to Lan Xang in the east to Lanna and Ayutthaya in the sou theast, as well as several petty princely states in between, covering pre sent day northern Chin State, northern Sagaing Division, Kachin State, Ka yah State in Myanmar as well as Laos, Thailand and southwestern part of Y unnan. The definition of Burmese Shan States does not include the Ava Kin gdom and the Hanthawaddy Kingdom of 13th to 16th centuries although the f ounders of these kingdoms were Burmanized Shans and Monized Shans, respec tively.) [edit] Early history The first founding of Shan states inside the present day boundaries of B urma began during period of Pagan Kingdom in the Shan Hills and accelera ted after the fall of Pagan Kingdom to the Mongols in 1287. The Shans, w ho came down with the Mongols, stayed and quickly came to dominate much of northern to eastern arc of Burma?from northwestern Sagaing Division t o Kachin Hills to the present day Shan Hills. The most powerful Shan sta tes were Mong Yang (Mohnyin) and Mong Kawng (Mogaung) in present-day Kac hin State, followed by Hsenwi (Theinni), Hsipaw (Thibaw) and Mong Mit (M omeik) in present-day northern Shan State.[3] Smaller Shan states like K ale in northwestern Sagaing Division, Bhamo in Kachin State, Yawnghwe (N

yaungshwe) and Kengtung (Kyaingtong) in Shan State, and Mong Pai (Mobye) in Kayah State played a precarious game of paying allegiance to more po werful states, sometimes simultaneously. To be sure, the newly founded S han States were multi-ethnic states. Although Burmanized Shans founded t he Ava Kingdom that ruled central Burma, other Shan states, Mohnyin in p articular, constantly raided Ava territories throughout the years. A Moh nyin-led confederation of Shan states finally conquered Ava itself in 1527.[4] [edit] Taungoo and Konbaung periods (1555?1885) Shan States after 1557, now inside Bayinnaung's Empire In 1555, King Bayinnaung dislodged the Shan king from Ava, and by 1557, we nt on to conquer all of what would become known as Burmese Shan States und er his rule, from Assamese border in the northwest to those in Kachin Hill s and Shan Hills, including the two most powerful Shan States, Mohnyin and Mogaung.[5] (Bayinnaung also conquered Lan Na in 1558 but allowed the mor e established kingdom to retain more autonomy.) The Shan states were reduc ed to the status of governorships but the Saophas were permitted to retain their royal regalia and their feudal rights over their own subjects. Bayi nnaung introduced Burmese customary law, and prohibited all human and anim al sacrifices. He also required the sons of Saophas to reside in the Burme se king's palace essentially as hostages for good conduct of their fathers and to receive valuable training in Burmese court life. This was a policy followed by Burmese kings right up to the final fall of the kingdom to th e British in 1885.[6] (Northernmost Shan states in Yunnan had already fall en to the Ming dynasty of China by the middle of 15th century.[7]) To be sure, the reach of Burmese sovereign waxed and waned along with th e ability of each Burmese monarch. Shan states became briefly independen t following the collapse of the first Taungoo dynasty, in 1599. Nonethel ess, the Restored Taungoo dynasty under King Nyaungyan and King Anaukpet lun had recovered the Shan states, including the two strongest?Monhyin a nd Mogaung by 1605 and Lan Na by 1615.[5] Starting in the late 17th cent ury with the reign of King Minyekyawdin, the rule of Burmese monarchs de clined gradually, and by the 1730s, Shan States like other areas in the kingdom were de facto independent. In the middle of the 18th century, the Burmese Konbaung dynasty's reasser tion of easternmost boundaries of Burmese Shan States led to a war with t he Qing dynasty of China, which launched four separate invasions of Burma in 1765, 1766, 1767?1768 and 1769. For a brief period, after the second

invasion, the Burmese occupied eight Chinese Shan states within Yunnan.[8 ] Although the Burmese would give up these Chinese Shan states soon after , but their success in repelling a numerically far superior Chinese force laid the foundation for the present day boundary between Burma and China . The present-day boundary of southern Shan State vis-a-vis Thailand was also formed shortly after. In 1776, Burma lost much of Lan Na kingdom to a resurgent Bangkok-based Siam,[9] ending a two century plus Burmese suze rainty over the region and retaining just Kengtung on the Burmese side. ( Siam would again invade Kengtung in 1804, 1852?1854 and 1942.) Throughout the Burmese feudal era, Shan states supplied much manpower in the service of Burmese kings. Without Shan manpower, it would have been difficult, if not impossible, for the Burmans alone to achieve their mu ch vaunted victories in Lower Burma, Siam, and elsewhere. Shans were a m ajor part of Burmese forces in the First Anglo-Burmese War of 1824?1826, and fought valiantly?a fact even the British commanders acknowledged.[10] After the Second Anglo-Burmese War of 1852, the Burmese kingdom was reduce d to Upper Burma alone. The Shan states?especially those east of the Salwe en, were essentially autonomous entities, just paying token tribute to the king. In 1875, King Mindon, in order to avoid certain defeat, ceded Karen ni states, long part of Shan states, to the British.[8] When the last king of Burma, King Thibaw--coincidentally a half Shan?ascended the throne in 1878, the rule of central government was so weak that Thibaw had to send t housands of troops to tame a rebellion in the Shan state of Mongnai and ot her eastern Shan states for the remainder of his 6 year reign.[11] [edit] Colonial period (1886?1948) On 28 November 1885, the British captured Mandalay, officially ending the Third Anglo-Burmese War in just 11 days. But it was only in 1890 that the British were able to subdue all of Shan states. Under the British colonial administration, established in 1887, the Shan states were ruled by their saophas as feudatories of the British Crown. The British however placed Ka chin Hills inside Mandalay Division and northwestern Shan areas under Saga ing Division. In October 1922, the Shan states, and Karenni states were me rged to create the Federated Shan States,[12] under a commissioner who als o administered the Wa State. This arrangement survived the constitutional changes of 1923 and 1937. During World War II, most of Shan States came under the Japanese occupat ion. Chinese Kuomingtang (KMT) forces came down to northeastern Shan sta tes to face the Japanese. Thai forces, allied with the Japanese, occupie

d Kengtung and surrounding areas in 1942.[13] After the war, the British returned and many Chinese KMT forces stayed ins ide Burmese Shan states. Negotiations leading to independence at the Pangl ong Conference in February 1947 secured a unitary Shan State including for mer Wa states, but without the Karenni states.[14] More importantly, Shan State also gained the right of secession in 10 years from independence. [edit] Independence (1948?present) Soon after gaining independence in January 1948, the central government l ed by U Nu faced several armed rebellions. The most serious was the Chine se Nationalist KMT invasion of Shan State in 1950. Driven out by the Chin ese Communist forces, Nationalist KMT armies planned to use the region ea st of the Salween river as a base from which to regain their homeland. In March 1953, the KMT forces with US assistance were on the verge of takin g the entire Shan State, and within a day's march of the state capital Ta unggyi.[15] The Burmese army drove back the invaders east across the Salw een but much of the KMT army and their progeny would remain in the easter n Shan State under various guises to the present day. The Burmese army's heavy handedness fueled resentment.[15] In 1961, Shan saophas led by the first president of Burma and saopha of Y awnghwe Sao Shwe Thaik proposed a new federal system of government for gr eater autonomy even though the Shans had the constitutional right to sece de. Though Shan leaders promised not to exercise the right, it was seen b y the Burmese army led by Gen. Ne Win as secessionist.[15] Gen. Ne Win's coup d'etat in 1962 brought an end to the Burmese experiment with democra cy and with it, the call for greater autonomy for ethnic minorities. The coup fueled the Shan rebellion, started in 1958 by a small group called N um Hsuk Han (Young Warriors), now joined by the Shan State Army (SSA). By the early 1960s, eastern Shan State, festered with several insurgencies and warlords, emerged as a major opium growing area, part of the so-calle d Golden Triangle. Narcotics trafficking became a vital source of revenue for all insurgencies. Major forces consisted of the SSA, Communist Party o f Burma (CPB) as well as those of drug lords Khun Sa, and Lo Hsing Han. By the mid-1960s, CPB had begun receiving open support from China. Thailand also began a decades-long policy of support for non-Communist Burmese rebe ls. Families of insurgent leaders were allowed to live in Thailand, and in surgent armies were free to buy arms, ammunition, and other supplies.[16] In the late 1980s and 1990s, the military government signed ceasefire agre

ements with 17 groups, including all major players in Shan State. An uneas y truce has ensued but all forces remain heavily armed. Today, the 20,000 strong United Wa State Army (UWSA) is the largest armed group, and heavily involved narcotics trade. In the 2008 Constitution, endorsed by the Burme se junta, certain UWSA controlled areas were given the status of an autono mous region.[17] In recent decades, Chinese state and ethnic Chinese involvement in Shan St ate has deepened. Hundreds of thousands of illegal Chinese immigrants have flooded Upper Burma since the 1990s.[18][19] Chinese investment in the st ate has funded everything from hydropower and mining projects to rubber pl antations, illegal logging, and illegal wildlife trafficking.[20] Wa and K okang regions, led by ethnic Chinese, openly use the yuan and operate on C hinese Standard Time. [edit] Geography