China appears to be supplying QBZ-03 / Type 03 rifles to the United Wa State Army. These rifles along were among the weapons on display at a celebration of the 23rd anniversary of the Wa mutiny against the Communist Party of Burma. China, it seems, does not play favorites and is quite willing to supply both the Burmese (Myanmar) government as well as the minority armies, also called the “cease fire groups”, inside the country.
The 5.8×42 mm Type 03 is the convectional layout version of the Type 95 / QBZ-95 bullpup rifle. Externally it resembles the AK, but internally it is quite different.
The last time I wrote about the United Wa State Army was in 2008 when it was reported that they were supplementing their alleged opium, heroine and methamfetamine income with arms manufacturing. Some more recent reports seem to indicate that in exchange for aid they begun to exit the drug trade. These rifles may have been part of a deal with China to exit the arms blackmarket. I would not be surprised if the arms manufacturing story had been fabricated by the UWSA in order to bring another bargaining chip to the table when negotiating with the Chinese government arms dealers.
[ Many thanks to Albi for emailing us the link. ]