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Radio Free Asia reports China completed a 659-kilometre fence on its Myanmar border in December.

This introduced a new barrier between Yunnan province in China and Myanmar’s northern Shan State.

China built 12-kilometers of iron fencing, complete with barbed wire, along its border with Vietnam between 2012 and 2017, according to state media Xinhau.

New sections are currently being added to the fence, which has already cost £21 million.

Global Times, a Chinese communist party owned tabloid, claimed the move is necessary to guard against the spread of Covid-19.

In September, two coronavirus cases were brought into China by people crossing the border illegally from Myanmar, according to the paper.

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China's strengthened border wall with Myanmar (Image: Youtube/A'Mu)

China

"It looks like a national programme" (Image: YouTube/A'Mu)

Parts of Yunnan province, including the city of Ruili, entered a “wartime status” with lockdowns in response.

Additional Chinese patrols were also introduced along the border with Myanmar.

Whilst the coronavirus first emerged in China’s Hubei province at the end of 2019, authorities have been largely successful in suppressing the virus using a range of ruthless methods

A’Mu, a Chinese YouTuber, posted videos on the social media site showing China’s border wall with Myanmar being strengthened.

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China

China is attempting to prevent coronavirus re-entering the country (Image: YouTube/A'Mu)

Amongst new measures security cameras are being installed every few metres.

Speaking to ABC News about the new programme Professor Carl Thayer, a south-east Asia expert, commented: “It looks like a national programme.”

In total Myanmar has recorded over 130,000 coronavirus cases and nearly 3,000 deaths.

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This compares to 98,000 cases and 4,798 deaths in China whilst the corresponding figures for Vietnam are 1,500 and 35 respectively.

Professor Thayer claimed smuggling along the Vietnamese border has been a major problem for China since peace broke out between the two powers from 1979.

According to ABC News there is also an ongoing issue with Vietnamese women being smuggled across the border into China and then sold.

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Beijing has introduced tough policies to fight coronavirus (Image: GETTY)

In 2018 the publication claimed around 100 Vietnamese girls are being returned to Lao Cai province, Vietnam, on average each year.

Chinese and Vietnamese authorities have clashed repeatedly over the sovereignty of the South China Sea, where their territorial claims overlap.

Vietnamese fishing vessels have been aggressively chased out of the area by Chinese ships on a number of occasions.

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