In the early days of the unrest in Myanmar, Chinese factories and nationals were reportedly targeted by protesters. Relations between China and Myanmar, formerly known as Burma, have long had their ups and downs, with China and its southern neighbour having fought several wars, mostly over the control of territories in the borderlands between the two countries. In 1271, when the Mongols formally founded the Yuan dynasty in China, the jewel in the crown of the colossal Mongol empire, Emperor Shizu, better known as Kublai Khan, sent emissaries down south to the Pagan empire, which controlled much of present-day Myanmar. The Yuan dynasty demanded tribute and submission from Pagan, which the Pagan king refused. Yuan China sent another mission in 1273 and again it was rebuffed. To punish Pagan for its refusal to recognise the Yuan emperor as overlord, the Mongols launched a series of invasions beginning in 1277 that lasted almost a decade. The Yuan army seized and occupied large swathes of Pagan territories in present-day Yunnan and northern Myanmar. By the late 1280s, the Pagan empire had disintegrated, with its king murdered and former vassal states declaring independence. The anarchy and political fragmentation that followed would last 250 years. In the mid-16th century, the Mongols were long gone and the Han Chinese had ruled for almost two centuries under the Ming dynasty. Ming China indirectly ruled the Shan, Dai and other peoples along its southwest frontiers through “pacification offices” headed by local chieftains, and the Chinese government left them alone for the most part. This peaceful arrangement was not to last. In 1550, the ambitious Bayinnaung ascended the throne in Toungoo and went on to unify Myanmar and build the largest empire in mainland Southeast Asia. To this end, Bayinnaung and his successors constantly made incursions into the Chinese frontier, and the local chieftains vacillated between the two powers to ensure their own survival. Toungoo and Ming China went to war a few times in the latter half of the 16th century. Toungoo seized several parcels of land that were formerly under nominal Ming administration. The Ming dynasty, by then weakened by incompetent governance and an external threat in the form of the Manchus in the northeast, was unwilling and unable to do anything about it. More than 160 years later in 1765, when Manchu-ruled China was at the height of its military power and economic prosperity, the Qianlong Emperor of the Qing dynasty launched the first of four invasions of the Konbaung dynasty in Myanmar, which had challenged the Qing’s grip on the borderlands by invading them and toppling the local chiefs. The Konbaung’s fierce and effective defence, and the unfamiliarity of the Chinese invaders with the local climate and terrain resulted in a stalemate when the fighting ended in 1769. The four-year war was disastrous for the Qing dynasty, claiming the lives of over 70,000 Chinese soldiers and four generals. Still, when the Qing and Konbaung dynasties resumed diplomatic relationships, in 1790, China saw it as Myanmar’s submission and the Qianlong Emperor shamelessly claimed victory over a war that he had not won. One important outcome of the Qing-Konbaung war was that it put an end to centuries of vaguely defined frontiers, and laid the foundation for the present-day border between China and Myanmar. Following World War II and its independence from British rule, in 1948, resource-rich Myanmar was one of the rising stars in postcolonial Asia destined for great things, but subsequent decades of misrule and isolation relegated the former breadbasket of Asia to a basket case. More than 70 years later, the country is still trying to find its footing.