Chinese foreign ministry said on Thursday , China’s new land border law will not impact existing boundary treaties or change the country’s position on border-related questions.A ministry spokesperson added, without naming India, that countries should avoid speculating about a Chinese domestic law.

Beijing’s response comes a day after New Delhi expressed concerns about the legislation.The new law, which will be implemented from January 1, has been promulgated amid a protracted military standoff between India and China along the Line of Actual Control , the de facto border, in eastern Ladakh.

China’s parliament, the National People’s Congress , passed the law last Saturday specifying how the military and local authorities will govern and guard the country’s 22,000km of land border shared with 14 countries including India.

 This law has clear stipulations on China’s cooperation with its neighbouring countries and the handling of the land border issues. It will not affect China’s implementation of existing border treaties nor will it change existing practice in our cooperation with neighbouring countries.

The  ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi had said, “China’s unilateral decision to bring about a legislation which can have implications on our existing bilateral arrangements on border management as well as on the boundary question is of concern to us,”.

Explaining the law, Wang said the law identifies the leading mechanism and duties of the departments of military and localities in implementing the law. He  said, “It sets the rules for the demarcation procedures and also covers the areas of defence and management of borders as far as international cooperation ”.

“China has 22,000km of land borders. It has 14 land neighbours. The promulgation of the law is to coordinate and have unified standards for strengthening border management and advance relevant cooperation,” Wang said.

India and China have been locked in a border row for 17 months, a standoff which has seen a deadly skirmish in the Galwan Valley in eastern Ladakh on June 15, 2020, when troops from both sides fought each other hand-to-hand and with rods and stones for hours.

Wang only made a passing reference to the Chinese military’s role in border management but the new law strengthens a People’s Liberation Army  policy to work closely with civilians staying in border areas.

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