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Disputes - international:
continuing talks and confidence-building measures work toward reducing tensions over Kashmir that nonetheless remains militarized with portions under the de facto administration of China (Aksai Chin), India (Jammu and Kashmir), and Pakistan (Azad Kashmir and Northern Areas); India does not recognize Pakistan's ceding historic Kashmir lands to China in 1964; China and India continue their security and foreign policy dialogue started in 2005 related to the dispute over most of their rugged, militarized boundary, regional nuclear proliferation, and other matters; China claims most of India's Arunachal Pradesh to the base of the Himalayas; lacking any treaty describing the boundary, Bhutan and China continue negotiations to establish a common boundary alignment to resolve territorial disputes due to cartographic discrepancies; Chinese maps show an international boundary symbol off the coasts of the littoral states of the South China Seas, where China has interrupted Vietnamese hydrocarbon exploration; China asserts sovereignty over Scarborough Reef along with the Philippines and Taiwan, and over the Spratly Islands together with Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan, Vietnam, and Brunei; the 2002 "Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea" eased tensions in the Spratly's but is not the legally binding "code of conduct" sought by some parties; Vietnam and China continue to expand construction of facilities in the Spratly's and in March 2005, the national oil companies of China, the Philippines, and Vietnam signed a joint accord on marine seismic activities in the Spratly Islands; China occupies some of the Paracel Islands also claimed by Vietnam and Taiwan; China and Taiwan continue to reject both Japan's claims to the uninhabited islands of Senkaku-shoto (Diaoyu Tai) and Japan's unilaterally declared equidistance line in the East China Sea, the site of intensive hydrocarbon exploration and exploitation; certain islands in the Yalu and Tumen rivers are in dispute with North Korea; North Korea and China seek to stem illegal migration to China by North Koreans, fleeing privations and oppression, by building a fence along portions of the border and imprisoning North Koreans deported by China; China and Russia have demarcated the once disputed islands at the Amur and Ussuri confluence and in the Argun River in accordance with their 2004 Agreement; China and Tajikistan have begun demarcating the revised boundary agreed to in the delimitation of 2002; the decade-long demarcation of the China-Vietnam land boundary was completed in 2009; citing environmental, cultural, and social concerns, China has reconsidered construction of 13 dams on the Salween River, but energy-starved Burma, with backing from Thailand, remains intent on building five hydro-electric dams downstream despite regional and international protests; Chinese and Hong Kong authorities met in March 2008 to resolve ownership and use of lands recovered in Shenzhen River channelization, including 96-hectare Lok Ma Chau Loop; Hong Kong developing plans to reduce 2,000 out of 2,800 hectares of its restricted Closed Area by 2010
Refugees and internally displaced persons:
refugees (country of origin): 300,897 (Vietnam); estimated 30,000-50,000 (North Korea)
IDPs: 90,000 (2007)
Trafficking in persons:
current situation: China is a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children trafficked for the purposes of sexual exploitation and forced labor; the majority of trafficking in China occurs within the country's borders, but there is also considerable international trafficking of Chinese citizens to Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, and North America; Chinese women are lured abroad through false promises of legitimate employment, only to be forced into commercial sexual exploitation, largely in Taiwan, Thailand, Malaysia, and Japan; women and children are trafficked to China from Mongolia, Burma, North Korea, Russia, and Vietnam for forced labor, marriage, and prostitution; some North Korean women and children seeking to leave their country voluntarily cross the border into China and are then sold into prostitution, marriage, or forced labor
tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List - China is on the Tier 2 Watch List for the fourth consecutive year for its failure to provide evidence of increasing efforts to combat human trafficking, particularly in terms of punishment of trafficking crimes and the protection of Chinese and foreign victims of trafficking; victims are sometimes punished for unlawful acts that were committed as a direct result of their being trafficked, such as violations of prostitution or immigration/emigration controls; the Chinese Government continued to treat North Korean victims of trafficking solely as economic migrants, routinely deporting them back to horrendous conditions in North Korea; additional challenges facing the Chinese Government include the enormous size of its trafficking problem and the significant level of corruption and complicity in trafficking by some local government officials (2008)
Illicit drugs:
major transshipment point for heroin produced in the Golden Triangle region of Southeast Asia; growing domestic consumption of synthetic drugs, and heroin from Southeast and Southwest Asia; source country for methamphetamine and heroin chemical precursors, despite new regulations on its large chemical industry (2008)

 

 
 
 
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