From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Not much
Mains level : China's territorial expansionism
China has recently passed a new land law for the “protection and exploitation of the country’s land border areas”.
Land Border Law: Key Takeaways
- The law states that the sovereignty and territorial integrity of China are sacred and inviolable.
- It asks the state to take measures to safeguard territorial integrity and land boundaries and guard against and combat any act that undermines these.
- The state can take measures to strengthen border defence, support economic and social development as well as opening-up in border areas.
- It seeks to improve public services and infrastructure in such areas, encourage and support people’s life and work there.
- In effect, this suggests a push to settle civilians in the border areas.
- The law also asks the state to follow the principles of equality, mutual trust, and friendly consultation, handle land border related-affairs with neighbouring countries.
China’s land borders
- China shares its 22,457-km land boundary with 14 countries including India, the third-longest after the borders with Mongolia and Russia.
- Unlike the Indian border, however, China’s borders with these two countries are not disputed.
- The only other country with which China has disputed land borders is Bhutan (477 km).
Why is it significant for India?
- China claims up to 90,000 square kilometres in Arunachal Pradesh in the eastern sector.
- It has illegally occupied 38,000 square kilometres of Aksai Chin in the western sector of Jammu and Kashmir.
- While recent tensions in the western sector have been centred on Ladakh, both sides have lately clashed in Uttarakhand as well.
A signal to India
- The law is not meant specifically for the border with India.
- However, this could create hurdles in the resolution of the 17-month-long military standoff at LAC.
- There is also a clear distinction that PLA will do border management but it will make negotiations a little more difficult.