By Sunil Garodia
First publised on 2021-10-26 06:17:34
With a new border law, China has opened a new front against its neighbours, especially India and has once again displayed its expansionist designs. Essentially, by enacting this new law, China is wanting to say that it alone will decide which areas come under it and there will be no further discussions or negotiations with any other country on this matter. This unilateral legislation, when there are major border disputes pending with its neighbours, including India, is an act of aggression on the part of China. It also effectively closes the door for resolution through dialogue as China will now claim all disputed territories as its own on the basis of this new law.
The law seeks to give the Chinese government the power to have absolute and 'legal' control over disputed regions in border areas. It also gives it the power to build infrastructure, including permanent structures, and settle Chinese nationals there. This development comes on the back of the dual-purpose towns China was reportedly building across the LAC with India. This is a disturbing development that will have immediate impact on the ongoing negotiations between the two countries over the border standoff as also on the dispute resolution mechanism between them. It means that India will have to strengthen its infrastructure at the border and deploy more troops. It also means that the chances of future skirmishes, or even pitched battles, will increase.
Sending troops, fighter jets or naval ships is not the only way to declare war. Passing a unilateral law when a mechanism is in place to settle border disputes as per international conventions should also be considered an act of war. For, in both cases, land that is disputed is being sought to be irrevocably claimed by the aggressor, by force in the former case and by design in the latter. China's new law is the declaration of war against all its neighbours with whom it has border disputes. India must now ask the question about the need for border dispute mechanism if China has decided to appropriate areas under dispute. It must also strongly protest any move by China to act as per its new law if it tries to take charge on disputed territory. Given China's inflexible and aggressive attitude, India needs to think of better ways to counter its devious designs.