India has expressed concern over a new Chinese law on protection and exploitation of land border areas which was passed recently amid a military stand-off between the two nations. Calling it a “unilateral move”, the government said, “We also expect that China will avoid undertaking action under the pretext of this law which could unilaterally alter the situation in the India-China border areas”.
According to the Chinese state media, under the new law passed on Saturday, China will take measures to “safeguard territorial integrity and land boundaries and guard against and combat any act that undermines territorial sovereignty and land boundaries”.
“The law also stipulates that the state shall 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,” Chinese news agency Xinhua reported.
Pointing out that India and China are yet to resolve the boundary question, a foreign ministry spokesperson said today: “China’s unilateral decision to bring about a legislation which can have implication on existing bilateral arrangements on border management as well as on the boundary question is of concern to us”.
Both sides have agreed to seek a “fair, reasonable and mutually acceptable resolution to the Boundary Question through consultations on an equal footing,” the spokesperson pointed out. Several bilateral agreements, protocols and arrangements have also been put in place meanwhile to maintain peace and tranquility along the Line of Actual Control.
In view of it, such “unilateral move will have no bearing on the arrangements that both sides have already reached earlier, whether it is on the Boundary Question or for maintaining peace and tranquility along the LAC in India-China Border areas,” the ministry said.
India and China have been locked in a stand-off since the face-off by the troops of the two nations in Ladakh last year.
India had accused China of “untenable unilateral interpretation of the LAC” and “attempts to transgress the LAC (to) unilaterally alter the status quo”.