October 28, 2021 - 5:03 am

China's new border law puts other countries at unease

China has recently enacted 'Land Border Law', which comes into effect from January 1st, next year. The new law empowers its army - the People's Liberation Army (PLA) to 'resolutely counter' any 'invasion, encroachment, infiltration, ‘along the country's land borders it shares with as many as 14 countries. The law also empowers the Chinese state to develop both civil and military infrastructure it claims its own - whether or not the claim is a dispute with other nations.

                                     China has passed a law to strengthen border security that permits the use of blockades and "police apparatus and weapons" against those who cross its border illegally implications of the new law is that there will be far better coordination among different agencies, which will lead to a far greater efficiency. Experts view that China passed the law to strengthen border security amid ongoing tensions with India and terrorism fears and the possible terror threat from Afghanistan.

                                      The announcement of a law that makes China's border ''sacred and inviolable" at the time of prolonged ongoing discussions to resolve the standoff in eastern Ladakh signals, that the law is directly targeted at countries that share a border with China, that China is likely to take in its heels at the current positions. Bhutan has already realised this, with its recent border agreement with China given the tiny Himalayan kingdom's inability to military counter China's might.

                                      The new law has to be seen in the context of the recent change of guard in the PLA and India should get ready for more intense China activities and keep an eye on new defence units. China's resurgent bellicosity calls for a radical rethink of India's approach to its dealing with its predatory neighbour. While India has always preferred the path of negotiated settlement of border disputes with its neighbours China's single that it will militarily back its territorial claims means that India will have to factor in the possibility of major armed conflict with China in the future. The moves are a grave threat to peace and stability in the region and calls for a coordinated response, not only from the affected nations, but the democratic world at large.