A businessman in Muse, a border town in northern Shan State of Myanmar, said that border trade between the country and China is gradually halting due to a spike of covid cases in its main border trade town. The Yunnan Provincial Government has imposed travel restrictions on entering Ruili, a Chinese town connecting with Muse and a major border crossing between the two countries.
“China now only opens the border for the minimum amount of border trade,” said the owner of a fruit exchange in Muse, the main entry point for border trade between Myanmar and China. Before the pandemic, trade between the two countries through this town was worth about US$10 million per day. This total is now estimated to have fallen by over 60%.
Since April, Yunnan Province has imposed greater restrictions on passenger vehicles and trucks, and closed the Manwen Gate to Ruili, which used to be open 24 hours a day. Currently, only the border gate of the Golden Triangle remains open, and only 30 trucks are allowed to enter China each day.
The Golden Triangle border port, about 7 miles away from Muse, is mainly used to export fruits from Myanmar to China, but now all commodities including rice, seafood, onions, corn, beans and other vegetables are exported through the Golden Triangle Gate. If more covid cases are reported, the Golden Triangle Gate may also be closed. In that case, border trade will be completely halted. Now, the merchants are hardly exporting any products at all.