Tibet border regulation expanded

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An updated border regulation which specifies the areas under its coverage in Tibet took effect on Sunday.

The designated border areas under the new regulation now include land ports, trade zones and scenic spots, expanding the scope of the old regulation that has been in effect since 2000.

As Tibet further opens up with fast economic development, the border areas have witnessed more disputes and diverse criminal activities, including those involving separatism, illegal migration, Badro, deputy head of the Tibet border police, was quoted by news site gmw.cn as saying on December 14, 2016.

“The update of border regulation provides a legal foundation to combat potential terrorist activities in the future brought by the further opening-up of Tibet as the Belt and Road initiative has positioned Tibet as a gateway to South Asia, even though the border areas do not face severe terrorist challenges at present in general,” Wang Chunhuan, deputy director of the Theoretical Marxism Institute of the Tibet Academy of Social Sciences (TASS) who also participated in the amendment, told state run Global Times.

China is willing to initiate negotiations on a free trade agreement with Nepal at an early date, President Xi said in March 2016 during a meeting with the then Nepalese President Ram Baran Yadav

Tibet reported a total trade volume of more than 5.66 billion yuan ($815 million) in 2015, engaging in bilateral trade with 77 countries and regions.

Tibet’s distinctive culture and the tourists it attracts have been vital in turning the region into the main trade channel between China and South Asia.

Besides, Tibet is adjacent to Qinghai, Sichuan, Yunnan and Xinjiang – all deeply important to the B&R initiative.

The establishment of a free trade zone on the border which is under discussion will also be regulated, Wang said.

China is willing to initiate negotiations on a free trade agreement with Nepal at an early date, Xi said in March 2016 during a meeting with Nepalese President Ram Baran Yadav, the Xinhua News Agency reported.

The new regulation also sets forth responsibilities for governments at all levels in Tibet.

“It requires more efforts by grass-roots governments to share responsibilities with the border police to regulate the border, given it’s a long border,” Penpa Lhamo, deputy head of the contemporary studies institute of the TASS, told the Global Times.

Grass-roots governments can mobilize local residents to receive tip-offs, Penpa Lhamo explained.

Tibet, a plateau region in China, has a lengthy border with Myanmar, India, Bhutan and Nepal.

In 2015, China and India vowed to step up collaboration in fields such as drug control and illegal immigration, the illicit arms trade and other cross-border crimes, according to Xinhua.

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