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Slow Movement at China–Myanmar Border Crossings

January 13, 2022

According to local media, large quantities of watermelons bound for China have been abandoned on the roadside of highways in the northern part of Myanmar’s Shan State owing to the slow movement of goods at border crossings between the two countries.

The manager of a shipping company in Myanmar said that prior to the COVID-19 outbreak he had been sending approximately 500 trucks of watermelons, melons and mangos to China on a daily basis. Now, fewer than 10 trucks from his company are allowed to enter China each day. As a result, he has had to find ways to export these fruits to other countries or sell them locally at very low prices. The manager also noted that hundreds of trucks were still lining up in the northern part of Shan State waiting to pass through the Wanding–Pang Hseng border crossing.

On Nov. 26, 2021, this border crossing resumed its operations after a 136-day suspension. However, owing to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and armed conflicts in Myanmar, the crossing is only able to deal with 40 trucks per day. In December 2021, China’s Wanding Port handled 200 million Chinese yuan ($31.4 million) worth of goods, representing a year-on-year decrease of over 40%.

According to a fruit industry insider in the city of Ruili in China’s Yunnan province, the reopening of the crossing will help very little in facilitating Myanmar’s fruit exports to China — the land port of Wanding only accepts fruits carried on container trucks, whereas most fruits from Myanmar are still transported by regular trucks.

It is reported that all fruits from Myanmar destined for China should be packed in cardboard boxes and transported by container trucks based on the latest requirements. Before crossing the border, the fruits will be disinfected and then remain in Myanmar for at least 48 hours. Once reaching China, they will be subject to an additional quarantine period lasting at least 24 hours. Finally, Chinese customs officials will conduct nucleic acid testing on the goods and, if the testing results are negative, release the shipment.

Image: Pixabay

This article was translated from Chinese. Read the original article.

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