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China Passes New Border Law

  • 25 Oct 2021
  • 4 min read

Why in News

Recently, China’s legislature has adopted a new border law that calls on the state and military to safeguard territory and “combat any acts” that undermine China’s territorial claims.

Key Points

  • About the Law:
    • Sovereignty and Territorial Integrity: It stipulates that the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the People’s Republic of China are sacred and inviolable.
      • The state shall take measures to safeguard territorial integrity and land boundaries and guard against and combat any act that undermines territorial sovereignty and land boundaries.
    • Responsibilities: It designates the various responsibilities of the military, the State Council or Cabinet, and provincial governments in managing the security and economic issues in border areas.
      • The People's Liberation Army (PLA) “shall carry out border duties” including “organising drills” and “resolutely prevent, stop and combat invasion, encroachment, provocation and other acts”.
      • The state shall take measures to strengthen border defence, support economic and social development as well as opening-up in border areas, improve public services and infrastructure in such areas, encourage and support people's life and work there.
      • The state shall, following the principle of equality, mutual trust and friendly consultation, handle land border-related affairs with neighbouring countries through negotiations to properly resolve disputes and longstanding border issues.
  • Concerns:
    • It would formalise some of China’s recent actions in disputed territories with both India and Bhutan. The passing of the law coincides with stepped up Chinese activity along the land borders, which have mirrored actions in disputed waters in the East and South China Sea.
    • It includes the PLA’s massing of troops in forward areas along the India border and multiple transgressions across the Line of Actual Control (LAC).
    • China in recent years has been strengthening border infrastructure, including the establishment of air, rail and road networks. It also launched a bullet train in Tibet which extends up to Nyingchi, the border town close to Arunachal Pradesh.
    • The construction of new frontier villages along the border with Bhutan.
  • China's Border Disputes:
    • China has a 22,100-kilometer land border with 14 countries.
      • It has resolved the boundary disputes with 12 neighbours.
    • India and Bhutan are the two countries with which China is yet to finalise the border agreements.
      • China and Bhutan signed an MOU firming up a three-step roadmap for expediting the boundary negotiations.
      • India-China border disputes cover 3,488-km along the Line of Actual Control, China-Bhutan dispute covers about 400 km.

Source: IE

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