Tibet issues border activity bans, strengthens control over illegal crossings
Published: Apr 06, 2021 08:05 PM
Potala Palace Photo: CFP

Potala Palace Photo: CFP

Southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region has announced bans on 15 border activities, further strengthening controls over illegal crossings as the region prepares to celebrate the 70th anniversary of its peaceful liberation in May. 

The Public Security Department and Foreign Affairs Office of Tibet Autonomous Region have jointly issued a circular with other government departments, highlighting 15 acts that are prohibited at the border, the Tibet Daily reported Tuesday. 

The strictly prohibited acts include entering the border management zone without valid documents, evading border inspection, organizing or helping others to be smuggled across the border, and hunting or collecting national protected rare animals and plants. 

The bans also prohibit private small aircraft flight activities, damaging or moving of communications and water facilities, moving of markers that mark the location of the border, and damaging of military facilities. According to the announcement, anyone who violates these prohibitions will be held accountable according to law, and will be transferred to the judicial authorities if the act constitutes a crime.

"The bans have always existed in local laws. It is a preventive as well as a regular measure to safeguard border security," Zhu Xiaoming, former Party chief of China Tibetology Research Center, told the Global Times on Tuesday.

In 2020, the central government called for efforts to ensure national security and enduring peace and stability, steadily improve people's lives, maintain a good environment, solidify border defense and ensure frontier security at the seventh Central Symposium on Tibet Work. Zhu pointed out that the emphasis on the 15 border prohibitions can further implement this approach.

Because of Tibet's long border and its harsh geographical and natural conditions, the border was not fully guarded before and criminal activities have always taken place along the border, Yang Minghong, a professor with the Faculty of Social Development and Western China Development Studies at Sichuan University told the Global Times.

The circular also stressed that carrying or disseminating newspapers, books or electronic products containing content that endangers national security and undermines ethnic unity is strictly prohibited.

"In recent years, the region has also been infiltrated by some foreign forces. As Tibet is about to celebrate the 70th anniversary of its liberation, it is necessary to take appropriate precautions," Yang said.

Tibet is preparing to celebrate its 70th anniversary of liberation on May 23rd. The year 2021 also marks the 100th anniversary of the Communist Party of China.

Observers also noted that Tibet's stricter border controls may help safeguard the region's COVID-19 prevention work as India on Monday recorded an all-time high of 103,558 single day new coronavirus infections.

Last week, the China-Myanmar border city of Ruili in Southwest China's Yunnan Province was hit by a COVID-19 flare-up, which was likely related to imported cases from neighboring Myanmar, local authorities said Saturday. 

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