Myanmar-China border trade halts amid Coronavirus outbreak

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Currently, over 1,300 trucks are stranded in Wamting checkpoint to load the cargos in China to come back to Myanmar.

Myanmar-China border trade has halted amid a recent surge in cases of COVID-19 infection, said U Min Thein, the vice-chairman of the Muse Rice Wholesale Centre.
Two remaining border checkpoints in Muse, Kyinsankyawt and Pangsai (Wamting), which is one of the main border trading gates for Myanmar –China border trade, were closed starting from 8 July at 1:30 pm. Consequently, the bilateral border trade between Myanmar and China has stopped completely.
“Kyinsankyawt checkpoint is a gateway from Myanmar to China. The Pangsai (Wamting) is the checkpoint to Myanmar after loading the cargo in China. It means the Kyinsankyawt checkpoint is the entrance crossing and Pangsai checkpoint is the exit crossing. The People’s Republic of China has halted both checkpoints starting from 8 July at 1:30 pm (3 pm in China). The reason why both checkpoints closed is the number of COVID-19 confirmed cases that have been raised in Myanmar. The COVID-19 cases were also found in China. Then, Chinese authorities locked down the city of Ruili, Kyalgaung, Wamting on 7 July at midnight. After lockdown in some cities of China, the remaining checkpoints were closed in and out of the checkpoint unlimitedly starting from 8 July. Due to the closure, both entry and exit have been completely stopped 100 per cent,” said U Min Thein.
Currently, over 1,300 trucks are stranded in Wamting checkpoint to load the cargos in China to come back to Myanmar, he added.
Besides, as a result of the complete closure of the Myanmar-China border, about 5,000 loaded and uploaded labourers from Myanmar are now unemployed. Now, about 50 or 60 buses operating between Muse and China are facing losses. Likewise, the merchants in Muse, who are trading with China are facing the loss as well.
The Muse border, which is the mainstay of Myanmar-China border trade, is connected with Nandaw, Hsinphyu, Man Wein, Kyinsankyawt-Wamting and Pangsai-Wamting checkpoints.
Out of those border checkpoints, Nandaw and Hsinphyu checkpoints are closed starting from 1 April while the Man Wein checkpoint was halted on 30 March due to the outbreak of COVID-19. — NN/GNLM

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