Naypyidaw: Myanmar's military government has lost control of Chinshwehaw, an important town on the border with China, following days of fighting with armed groups, Al Jazeera reported on Thursday.

In a significant setback for the military leaders who seized power from Myanmar's elected government in February 2021, they have struggled to quell opposition to their rule.

Zaw Min Tun, a government spokesman, said on Wednesday that "government, administrative organisations, and security organisations are no longer present" in Chinshwehaw.

Chinshwehaw, a town bordering China's Yunnan province, holds vital importance in facilitating trade between Myanmar and China. State media reported that more than 25 percent of Myanmar's USD 1.8 billion border trade with China passed through Chinshwehaw from April to September, citing the Ministry of Commerce.

This development follows days of conflict in Myanmar's northern Shan state, where the army has been engaged in battles with a coalition of three ethnic rebel groups known as the Brotherhood Alliance, Al Jazeera reported.

These groups, consisting of the Ta'ang National Liberation Army, the Arakan Army, and the Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army (MNDAA), with an estimated 15,000 fighters, have been consistently clashing with Myanmar's military over demands for autonomy and access to resources.

Recent reports indicate that the rebel groups have taken control of multiple military posts and key transportation routes connecting Myanmar to China. The MNDAA also released videos claiming to show their members in Chinshwehaw.

Zaw Min Tun confirmed that fighting erupted at ten locations across Shan State in the past week, and he accused the three armed groups of "blowing up power stations, blowing up bridges, and destroying transportation routes."

While the rebels stated they had inflicted casualties on the military, the military government has not provided specific casualty figures, Al Jazeera reported.

The United Nations has expressed deep concern over the displacement of thousands of individuals due to the ongoing conflict, with some seeking refuge across the border in China. In response, the UN has issued a call for an immediate ceasefire.

Meanwhile, China, a critical ally and significant arms provider to Myanmar's military government, which assumed power almost three years ago in an action not referred to as a coup, has urged all parties involved in the conflict to cease hostilities.

Wang Wenbin, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson, conveyed this message during a regular news briefing. He emphasised the importance of resolving their differences through peaceful dialogue and consultation.

Following the military's takeover, Myanmar descended into a state of crisis, as the generals responded to widespread protests against their power grab with severe measures. In response, opposition groups aligned themselves with fighters from well-established ethnic armed organizations in an effort to restore civilian rule, as reported by Al Jazeera.