Trade between the once-thriving border towns of Muse and Ruili is restarting after nearly three years, but remains restricted to a trickle of trucks, with Myanmar wary of the COVID-19 surge in China.
The regime's sudden decision has hobbled Myanmar citizens seeking better lives overseas and risks depriving migrant workers of legal protections, with rights groups suspecting a ploy to target dissidents.
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Waterways transport is an important part of life for many residents of Rakhine State, where seagoing vessels are replacing ferries designed to operate on rivers, including one ill-fated boat that sank with the loss of scores of lives.