New China border law approves PLA’s LAC actions

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China’s legislature has adopted a new border law, to take effect on January 1, that calls on the state and military to safeguard the territory and “combat any acts” that undermine China’s territorial claims.

The law was first proposed in March this year, a year into tensions that erupted along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) with India after the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) mobilized two divisions in forwarding areas and carried out multiple transgressions.

China has unresolved border disputes with India and Bhutan. The new law, observers said, would formalize some of China’s recent actions in disputed territories with both India and Bhutan, including the PLA’s massing of troops in forwarding areas along the India border, multiple transgressions across the LAC, and the construction of new “frontier villages” along the border with Bhutan.

The legislature, which is largely ceremonial in China and controlled by the ruling Communist Party, on Saturday “voted to adopt a new law on the protection and exploitation of the country’s land border areas,” official agencies said.

The law “stipulates that the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the People’s Republic of China are sacred and inviolable”, the text said, adding that “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”.

It also calls on the state to “take measures to strengthen border defense, 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 defense and social, economic development in border areas”.



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