China said on Thursday that its newly adopted national land border law will not affect the country’s implementation of border-related treaties it has signed, nor will the legislation change China’s position on border-related issues.
The adoption of the law is a normal legislative activity that meets the demands of China’s work on its national border and conforms to international law and international practices, Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said at a daily news briefing.
China will not change the way it conducts border management and cooperation on border issues with its land neighbors, Wang said.
The law stipulates explicitly that China should abide by treaties on land border affairs it has signed and handle those affairs according to the principle of equality and mutual benefit, Wang pointed out.
The law also says that China will handle land border affairs with neighboring countries through negotiations to properly resolve disputes and long-standing border issues.
The legislation aims to further standardize and strengthen the management of China’s national border and promote international cooperation, Wang added.
The law, consisting of seven chapters and 62 articles, covers issues including the delimitation, defense and management of land borders and international cooperation on land border affairs. It also supports economic and social development and opening-up in border areas.
The law stipulates that the State will take measures to safeguard territorial integrity and land boundaries and guard against and combat any act undermining territorial sovereignty and land boundaries.
It was approved by the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress on Saturday and will take effect on Jan 1.
Chen Guogang, an official of the Legislative Affairs Commission of the NPC Standing Committee, said international cooperation on national land border affairs, as stipulated in the law, includes economic cooperation, people-to-people exchanges and security cooperation to fight cross-border crimes and the “three evil forces” of terrorism, extremism and separatism.
Gao Jinlu, an official of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the NPC, said the law is important in terms of China safeguarding its territorial security. It’s also an important part of China’s legal system concerning its national security and foreign affairs, Gao said.
China has a land border of about 22,000 kilometers with 14 countries, and it has signed treaties on national border management with 10 of them, but it’s necessary for China to adopt a comprehensive and fundamental law at the State level to guide its work in this field, she said.
It’s a common practice for countries to manage their national borders according to law, Gao said, adding that five of the 14 bordering countries have adopted special laws on this issue.