by H. Haverstock, The Chicago Times
October 24, 2021
PEKING — On Saturday, China passed legislation to strengthen border security in the midst of a protracted standoff with India, concerns about spillover effects from Taliban-controlled Afghanistan, illegal migration, and the spread of COVID-19 from Southeast Asia.
The Land Borders Law, which goes into effect on January 1 reflects China’s growing confidence in its ability to manage its borders. There is an old adage that says a nation without a border ceases to be a nation.
China has been keeping a close eye on neighboring Afghanistan, where the Taliban reclaimed power in August, to prevent a possible influx of refugees or Islamic extremists crossing over to join the Muslim Uyghurs in China’s Xinjiang region. Sources in China also fear an influx of illegal migrants flooding other parts of the country that could cause a humanitarian crisis.
China has also worked hard to keep the COVID-19 virus out of its country, after illegal crossings from Myanmar and Vietnam contributed to an increase in cases in the southern provinces of Yunnan and Guangxi this year.
This is the first time the People’s Republic of China, founded 72 years ago, has a dedicated law specifying how it governs and protects its 14,000-mile land border with 14 countries, including Russia and North Korea.
According to the law, the country will “. . . take effective measures to resolutely protect territorial sovereignty and land border security”. Many countries in Europe have followed similar policies to protect national boarders.