Updated: Jun 8, 2020
The People's Republic of China has sealed its border with the Russian Federation, while simultaneously placing Suifenhe, a city with a population of 100,000, under lockdown on April 8, 2020. The government in Beijing took this action after health officials from Helionghiang, the province in which the city is located in, reported 25 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 on April 7. According to a report from China Daily, all of these cases are believed to have originated from a border crossing between Pogranichy, Russia and Suifenhe. The closure of all border points is a significant step, as the two nation-states share a nearly 2,600 mile-long border.
According to open source intelligence, each family in Helionghiang province can only send one member outside the home every three days for essential supplies. There will be routine checkpoints, at which permits will be inspected and tempter will be taken. Entrance into the region from outsiders, including foreigners and non-residents, is banned indefinitely.
On March 29, 2020, the Intelligence Ledger reported that health experts feared a, "boomerang effect," in which the Chinese people would emerge from lockdowns and the virus would spread once again. The lockdown imposed on Suifenhe is the Chinese governments attempt to stem such a trend, although it remains to be seen if the lockdown is too little too late.
The views expressed are those of the author and do not reflect the official policy or position of the United States Army, Department of Defense, or the United States Government.