A ring of steel has fallen around Beijing as the authorities pledge to take no chances with Olympic security, whatever the cost to business, workers and day-to-day lives.
Armed police have now been added to the three concentric rings of checkpoints set up on every access road into the city this week to screen vehicles for "suspicious" and dangerous items – and people.
On some of the busiest roads, tailbacks more than a mile long have formed, prompting even government figures to beg officers to be "civilised and convenient" in their approach.
Lorries with non-Beijing licence plates have been banned from the city, stopping vital supplies at the municipal borders near the sixth ring road.
"My business will be paralysed completely," said Cong Peichao, sales manager for a firm delivering basic factory supplies around the city from manufacturers to the south-east. "But I have to put up with it – after all, the Olympics is a once-in-a-hundred-years occasion."
Mr Cong was on a side-road near a checkpoint overseeing the transfer of a large load of plastic pallets from an out-of-town lorry to a convoy of smaller trucks hired from Beijing.
But the trucks were charging double their usual rate for the shuttle into town, and even this will stop at the end of the week. On Sunday yet more measures, this time aimed at cutting air pollution, will ban "yellow plates", which indicate higher exhaust emissions and include most goods vehicles.
At the checkpoint itself, police stopped all vehicles asking as a minimum to see car and drivers' licences, and foreigners' passports. A SWAT-style squad of armed officers hovered in a lay-by.
While the Athens Olympics also featured heavy security, analysts and diplomats point out that these took place in a city with a record of terror attacks and in the wake of the Madrid train bombings earlier in the year.
Beijing has warned of the danger of attacks by militants from the restive and mainly Muslim western region of Xinjiang, but has little or no record of terrorism. On the other hand, it is fanatical in its determination to keep out potential trouble-makers and protesters, both domestic and foreign.
China is also focusing more on ground-level approaches than the deployment of massive force, along the lines of Nato's use of AWACS advance warning planes and Patriot anti-missile batteries in Greece.
It has, however, put four regional commands of the People's Liberation Army on alert.
It has linked up Beijing's closed circuit television cameras, including those in private apartment blocks, to a central system, while Games tickets are fitted with a chip meaning owners can be tracked electronically.
The most noticeable effect to ordinary citizens has been the closing of shops and businesses for reasons ranging from a crackdown on pirate goods to a lack of supplies as lorries fail to make it into town.
"My furniture factory has been forced to close," said Wu Fang, who was waiting for a train back south at Beijing's West Station this week. She had only come to find work earlier this year, and with no job, she was being forced to leave along with millions of other migrant workers without residence permits.
"Our boss never expected this, otherwise I would never have come in the first place."
Most economists predict that although business will suffer from the Olympics in Beijing they will have little effect on the long-term strength of the Chinese economy. Factories which are being forced to close for two months said they had already made up some losses by boosting production in advance.
But some consequences are less predictable. Paul French, a marketing consultant based in Shanghai, said western businesses were finding it hard to get visas for the inspectors they send to Chinese factories to check standards and conditions before placing orders, and were in danger of missing the Christmas rush.
He said buyers were turning to Bangladesh and Vietnam instead for items like cheap clothes. "Two thirds of Chinese textile factories operate on margins of one and a half per cent - how much more pressure can they take?" he said.