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Homechevron_rightIndiachevron_rightChina's unilateral...

China's unilateral move will have upshots on bilateral agreements: India

Chinas unilateral move will have upshots on bilateral agreements: India

New Delhi: India expressed its concern over China's new land boundary law and called it a "unilateral" move that has implications on bilateral border agreements, The India Express (TIE) reported.

On Wednesday, the Indian Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said China should avoid actions under this law that could unilaterally alter the situation in border areas. He said that this unilateral move by China would have no bearing on the arrangements both the nations have already reached earlier, whether it is on the boundary question or for maintaining peace along the LAC in the borders.

MEA said that both sides have agreed for a fair, reasonable and mutually acceptable resolution through consultations "on an equal footing". They have reached certain bilateral agreements, protocols and arrangements to maintain peace along the LAC in the interim, it reminded.

MEA asserted that the passage of this law does not make India confer any legitimacy to the "China Pakistan Boundary Agreement" of 1963, which the Indian government has consistently maintained as illegal and invalid. Under the agreement, Pakistan has illegally ceded 5,180km of Indian territory in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir to China.

India's "concern" is somewhat similar to China's reaction when India decided to abrogate Article 370, TIE says. In August 2019, when India withdrew the special status of Jammu and Kashmir, China expressed "serious concern" and said that concerned parties should exercise restraint and act with caution and avoid actions that unilaterally change the situation to spark tension. But in response, MEA had said that India does not comment on the internal affairs of other countries and expects the same from them.

China's Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, its top legislative body, had passed the new law for "protection and exploitation of the country's land border areas" on October 23 and would be effective from next January 1. The law directs China to follow the principles of equality, mutual trust, and friendly consultation and handle land border issues with neighbouring countries through proper negotiations. The law states that China abides by treaties concluded with or jointly acceded to by foreign governments on land affairs. It also has provisions to reorganise districts in the border areas.

The law comes after nearly one and half years into the unresolved border tensions between India and China. Both sides have disengaged troops on the north and south banks of Pangong Tso and Gogra Post in Ladakh, but at Hot Springs, they continue to face each other since the Chinese crossed the LAC in May 2020. China is barring the Indian army from accessing traditional petrol points on the Depsang Plains also.

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