Seven times since last March, Ruili—on China’s Myanmar border—has felt the full force of Xi Jinping’s Covid Zero policy.  China’s 1,300-mile border with Myanmar traverses some of the most rugged landscapes in Asia. Mountains rise as high as 19,000 feet above sea level, fast-running rivers flow between steep cliffs, and dense forests shelter giant hornbills, snub-nosed monkeys, and elephants. The region has never been an economic development priority for either country, and it has few roads and even fewer large settlements. Ruili, a Chinese city of a little more than a quarter-million people located on one of the only areas of flat land, is the exception. The city hugs the border, which divides it from Muse, a smaller city on the Myanmar side. Together they constitute a binational urban […]