It didn’t take much to
have the grapevine buzzing with concern. A rumor, said to originate in Myanmar,
quickly spread to China. The gist of it was that there was an official message
from the Nayptitaw government about plans to ban the export of raw jade stone starting
sometime this year. It was part of an alleged scheme to have the country’s new
capital become the go-to place for stone-cutting and polishing, giving a
desired value-added element to a very important export commodity.