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Current Affairs

China’s new land border law

Date: 28 October 2021 Tags: Miscellaneous

Issue

A new land law for the “protection and exploitation of the country’s land border areas” has been passed by the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress in China.

 

Background

The National People’s Congress is China’s ceremonial but top legislative body. The new laws come into effect from January 1.

 

Details

  • The law does not directly mention China’s border with India but it has potential to create further hurdles in the resolution of the 17-month-long military standoff. 

  • Some experts feel that the law is just words and the real challenge lies in the way actions take place on ground.

 

The law

  • The state is given powers to strengthen border defence, improve public services and infrastructure in such areas, support economic and social development as well as opening-up border areas, encourage and support people’s life and work there, and promote coordination between border defence and social, economic development.

  • The law asks state to settle civilians in the border areas through the process of equality, mutual trust, and friendly consultation.

  • It asks the state to handle land border related-affairs with neighbouring countries through negotiations to properly resolve disputes and longstanding border issues.

 

Land borders

  • China shares 22,457-km land boundary with 14 countries. This includes India, which is China’s third longest after Russia and Mongolia.

  • China does not have a boundary dispute with any other country except India and Bhutan. PLA will be directly in-charge of handling boundary with India.

 

Implications

  • The existing stand-off between India and China will be more difficult to be resolved. China will insist on its law before making any move.

  • Some say that the law has no validity on resolving border dispute. The central government of China is responsible for it and it holds even without the law.

  • It may also signal that the Chinese are indicating that they are tired of trying to resolve the boundary or the LAC through negotiations and they now intend on using force.

 

Border villages

China is building model border villages in the entire sector along the LAC. India has expressed concern about dual civil and military use of these facilities and villages.