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The location of the Meso-Tethyan suture in SE Asia is ambiguous due to the strong overprint by the later India–Asia collisional tectonics. For the SE Asian extension of the Meso-Tethyan Bangong–Nujiang Suture (BNS) in Tibet, the two main candidates are the Longling–Ruili Suture (between the Tengchong and Baoshan blocks) and the Myitkyina ophiolite belt. Here, we present new detrital zircon U–Pb ages from high-grade metasedimentary rocks of the Gaoligong Group, which is considered to be the basement of the Tengchong Block located between the Longling–Ruili Suture and Myitkyina ophiolite belt. Our data suggest that the Gaoligong Group contains Cambrian, Triassic and Cretaceous zircons and is not a Precambrian basement, with a diagnostic age population peak at c. 1110 Ma. This peak is comparable to the c. 1170 Ma peak reported in the Australia-derived blocks (e.g. Lhasa and West Australia). Such similarities, as well as the similarities in the stratigraphy, palaeobiogeography and magmatic history of the Tengchong Block, suggest that the Tengchong Block was located adjacent to the northern Australia margin in Gondwana, and was most likely to have been linked with the Lhasa Block (southern Tibet) since the Early Paleozoic. Thus, the Longling–Ruili Suture is likely to represent a continuation of the Meso-Tethyan BNS in SE Asia.

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