Legislator calls for trade in areas bordering India

By Cao Siqi Source:Global Times Published: 2019/3/13 22:58:40

Legislator calls for border trade in disputed area


 

An Ran, a professor at South China University of Technology in Guangzhou, South China's Guangdong Province, and a deputy to the National People's Congress Photo: Courtesy of An Ran



Guo Jianbin and the Medog Highway Monument Photo: Courtesy of Guo Jianbin



A Chinese legislator has proposed that the country allow residents in the border area with India to trade to improve China-India relations, reduce military confrontations and benefit the local inhabitants. 

An Ran, a professor at South China University of Technology in Guangzhou, South China's Guangdong Province, who is also a deputy to the National People's Congress, told the Global Times in an exclusive interview that this proposal could also showcase the achievements of China's Tibet Autonomous Region to India and other countries. 

An said that the proposal was based on field work conducted by a group of researchers from Yunnan University in Southwest China. Yunnan Province borders the Tibet region, Vietnam, Laos and Myanmar.

Professor Guo Jianbin, the group's team leader, told the Global Times on Wednesday that his team went to some counties, including Lhozhag, Lhunze in Shannan Prefecture and Medog and Zayu in the city of Nyingchi, South Tibet in July and August 2018, and found that because the militaries of China and India in the illegal "McMahon Line" are tight, residents in the border areas are not allowed to cross the line freely. However, in some areas, some residents, mainly those from the Lhoba ethnic minority group, have crossed the "line" to trade. 

Guo Jianbin and his team talk with women from Lhoba ethnic minority group in Lhunze, Tibet. Photo: Courtesy of Guo Jianbin

In 1914, British colonialists secretly instigated the illegal "McMahon Line" in an attempt to incorporate some areas in South Tibet into India. None of the successive Chinese governments have ever recognized the demarcation.

Meanwhile, "we found that the villages in the border areas have wide roads and a clean environment. If China allows residents living on the other side to trade, all these achievements and developments will help better unite the residents in border areas," Guo said.

Hu Zhiyong, a research fellow at the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences' Institute of International Relations, told the Global Times on Wednesday that the move could help deepen understanding between China and India. 

"Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi may welcome it to gain support in the elections," Hu said.

However, Hu warned that China should watch India's moves as India has been suspicious and hostile toward China.

Newspaper headline: Legislator calls for border trade in disputed area


Posted in: SOCIETY,HIGHLIGHT REPORTS

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