China is endeavoring to make its border and coastal defense unified, effective, solid and informationized, says a white paper on China's National Defense in 2006 issued by the Information Office of the State Council, here Friday.
The White Paper introduces that the People's Liberation Army (PLA) is the main force for defending China's borders and coasts. In 2003, the PLA border defense force took over the defense of the China-DPRK border and the Yunnan section of the China-Myanmar border from the border public security force, thus enabling the state to integrate land border defense and administration.
Since China launched its reform and opening-up program, the White Paper says, the state has consolidated border and coastal law-enforcement functions in organizations responsible for public security, customs, inspection and quarantine, maritime surveillance, fisheries administration, marine affairs and environmental protection. The state has also established and reinforced the border public security force, as well as border and coastal law-enforcement contingents for marine affairs, anti-smuggling, fisheries administration and maritime surveillance.
The White Paper stresses that China has promulgated the Law on National Defense, the Law on the Territorial Sea and the Contiguous Zone, the Law on the Exclusive Economic Zone and the Continental Shelf and other relevant laws and regulations, and updated its border and coastal defense policies and regulations pursuant to international laws and practices, to manage its border and sea areas in conformity with the law. China endeavors to strengthen its border and coastal defense, administration and control, and build a modern border and coastal defense force featuring joint military-police-civilian efforts in defense and administration.
According to the White Paper, over the past decade and more, the state has invested more than two billion yuan (around 250 million U.S. dollars)in construction of border defense infrastructure, building over 20,000 kilometers of patrol roads, over 6,000 kilometers of barbed-wire fences and installing some 600 sets of monitoring equipment. Construction of coastal defense infrastructure, including duty piers, monitoring stations and centers and auxiliary facilities has been underway since 2004.
The White Paper says that China pursues a good-neighborliness policy, and works to enhance friendship and partnership with its neighbors. It calls for settling boundary and maritime demarcation issues with countries concerned in a fair and equitable manner, and through consultations on the basis of equality. China has signed land border treaties or agreements with Myanmar and 11 other neighboring countries, thus resolving boundary issues left from history with these countries; it is currently negotiating with India and Bhutan to settle boundary issues with those two countries respectively.
The PLA border defense force and the border public security force take measures to crack down hard on cross-border crimes, such as weapon smuggling, drug trafficking, illegal border crossing and human trafficking, and on separatist, violent and terrorist activities, thus contributing to maintaining political stability and promoting social development and progress in border areas.