Shan State (Burmese: ရှမ်းပြည်နယ်, pronounced: [ʃáɴ pjìnɛ̀]; Shan: မိူင်းတႆး[mə́ŋ.táj]) is a state of Burma (Myanmar). Shan State borders China to the north, Laos to the east, and Thailand to the south, and five administrative divisions of Burma in the west. Largest of the 14 administrative divisions by land area, Shan State covers 155,800 km², almost a quarter of the total area of Burma. The state gets its name from the Shan people, one of several ethnic groups that inhabit the area. Shan State is largely rural, with only three cities of significant size: Lashio, Kengtung, and the capital, Taunggyi.
Shan State, with many ethnic groups, is home to several armed ethnic armies. While the military government has signed ceasefire agreements with most groups, vast areas of the state, especially those east of Thanlwin river, remain outside the central government's control, and in recent years have come under heavy ethnic-Chinese economic and political influence. Other areas are under the control of military groups such as the Shan State Army.
Burma (i/ˈbɜrmə/BUR-mə), also known as Myanmar (i/ˈmjɑːnˌmɑr/MYAHN-mar, /ˈmaɪænmɑr/ or /ˈmjænmɑr/), is a sovereign state in Southeast Asia bordered by China, Thailand, India, Laos and Bangladesh. One-third of Burma's total perimeter of 1,930 kilometres (1,200 mi) forms an uninterrupted coastline along the Bay of Bengal and the Andaman Sea. Its population of over 60 million makes it the world's 24th most populous country and, at 676,578 km2 (261,227 sq mi), it is the world's 40th largest country and the second largest in Southeast Asia.