India China Standoff: China’s new land border law also calls for the development of infrastructure such as road, rail and air connectivity and an increase of economic activities along the border areas.
Amid an ongoing India China Standoff along the Line of Actual Control (LAC), China has passed a new land law that could have an effect on the border dispute with India. The new land border law will be effective from January 1 and says that the ‘sovereignty and territorial integrity of the People’s Republic of China is sacred and inviolable’
According to agency reports, the law was passed by the National People’s Congress (NPC) at the closing meeting of a legislative session – China’s state-run Xinhua news agency reported.
While the law does not include a direct mention of any aggressive manoeuvres, the new land border law of China stipulates that the state will take measures to strengthen border defence and ‘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, and promote coordination between border defence and social, economic development in border areas’.
PLA to carry out drills and prevent encroachment: New land border law
The law also mandates that the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) will carry out drills along the border areas and ‘resolutely prevent, stop and combat invasion, encroachment, provocation and other acts’. In what may have a direct impact on India and the posture of the Indian armed forces along the borders, the law also supports strengthening of infrastructure along the border areas, including the establishment of road, rail and air connectivity.
The law also calls for the promotion of economic activities along the border areas. It may be noted that while Beijing has settled land disputes with 12 of its neighbours, India and Bhutan are two countries with which the land disputes are yet unsettled. In fact, India and China have been locked in a bitter standoff along the LAC in eastern Ladakh. Despite several rounds of military-to-military meetings and diplomatic engagements, the impasse remains unresolved.
Last week, India’s Foreign secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla had said that the Chinese activities along the LAC in eastern Ladakh have “seriously disturbed” peace in the region.
“We hope that the Chinese side will work with us to bring a satisfactory resolution to the current issues so as to make progress on our bilateral relations keeping in view each other’s sensitivities, aspirations and interests,” he had said, PTI quoted.