China has been able to beat back successive waves of COVID-19 thanks to the widespread deployment of snap lockdowns, strict quarantines and some of the world’s tightest border controls. Yet, the strain is showing at its borders.

Case in point is Ruili, a city in remote southwestern China that is hemmed in by a 169-kilometer (105-mile) border with Myanmar on three sides.

The city, which thrives on cross-border trade, has sent its 268,000 people into lockdown four times in the past seven months alone. Retailers and restaurants have gone out of business. Locals are largely barred from leaving, and the area is languishing amid restrictions designed to find and extinguish as they spill across the national border and spread.