Bertil Lintner is a longtime observer of Burmese and Asian affairs and is the author of many books, notably on Asia's illicit drug trade as well as on North Korea and other topics. His books include Land of Jade: A Journey through Insurgent Burma (1990), in which he describes the journey he and his wife undertook in 1985–87, on foot, to visit all the insurgent forces active in Northern Burma (Myanmar)—including what was then the Communist Party of Burma's base camps in today's Wa State.

The semiautonomous Wa State is located in the part of the Wa lands that ended up as part of Burma in the 1960s, when the newly independent Burma and Communist China cut the ancient Wa lands in two. In China, they came under direct Chinese rule and suffered Mao's Cultural Revolution; in Burma, the Chinese-supported and Chinese-supplied Communist Party of Burma moved in and were...

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