India hit out at China for bringing out a new land border law and said it expects Beijing to avoid taking any action under the “pretext” of the legislation that could “unilaterally” alter the situation in the border areas.
External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi described China’s decision to bring out the law as a matter of “concern” as it can have implications on the existing bilateral pacts on the management of the border and the overall boundary question.
“China’s unilateral decision to bring about 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,” he said.
“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 tranquillity along the LAC in India-China border areas,” he 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,” he said.
“Furthermore, the passage of this new law does not in our view confer any legitimacy to the so-called China-Pakistan ‘boundary agreement’ of 1963 which the government of India has consistently maintained is an illegal and invalid agreement,” the spokesperson said.
China’s national legislature on 23 October adopted the new law on the protection and exploitation of the land border areas.
“We have noted that China has passed a new ‘land boundary law’ on 23 October. The law states among other things that China abides by treaties concluded with or jointly acceded to by foreign countries on land boundary affairs,” Bagchi said.
He said the legislation also has provisions to carry out reorganization of districts in the border areas, noting that India and China have still not resolved the boundary question.
“Both sides have agreed to seek a fair, reasonable and mutually acceptable resolution to the boundary question through consultations on an equal footing,” he said.
“We have also concluded several bilateral agreements, protocols and arrangements to maintain peace and tranquillity along the LAC in India-China border areas in the interim,” he said.
India and China have already held over 20 rounds of border talks under the framework of the special representatives’ dialogue which was set up to find an early solution to the border dispute.
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