China Issues - 2023


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Disputes - international

China and India continue their security and foreign policy dialogue started in 2005 related to a number of boundary disputes across the 2,000 mile shared border; India does not recognize Pakistan's 1964 ceding to China of the Aksai Chin, a territory designated as part of the princely state of Kashmir by the British Survey of India in 1865; China claims most of the Indian state Arunachal Pradesh to the base of the Himalayas, but the US recognizes the state of Arunachal Pradesh as Indian territory; Bhutan and China continue negotiations to establish a common boundary alignment to resolve territorial disputes arising from substantial cartographic discrepancies, the most contentious of which lie in Bhutan's west along China's Chumbi salient; Chinese maps show an international boundary symbol (the so-called “nine-dash line”) off the coasts of the littoral states of the South China Sea, 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 Spratlys, and in 2017 China and ASEAN began confidential negotiations for an updated Code of Conduct for the South China Sea designed not to settle territorial disputes but establish rules and norms in the region; this still is not the legally binding code of conduct sought by some parties; Vietnam and China continue to expand construction of facilities in the Spratlys and in early 2018 China began deploying advanced military systems to disputed Spratly outposts; China occupies some of the Paracel Islands also claimed by Vietnam and Taiwan; the Japanese-administered Senkaku Islands are also claimed by China and Taiwan; 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 privation and oppression; 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, continues to consider building five hydro-electric dams downstream despite regional and international protests

Refugees and internally displaced persons

refugees (country of origin): 303,107 (Vietnam), undetermined (North Korea) (mid-year 2021)

IDPs: undetermined (2021)

Trafficking in persons

tier rating: Tier 3 — China does not fully meet the minimum standards for elimination of trafficking and is not making significant efforts to do so, therefore China remained on Tier 3; the government initiated its first prosecution of a domestic trafficking case, approved a new national action plan for 2021-2030, and conducted some anti-trafficking training; however, there was a government policy or pattern of widespread forced labor, including continued mass arbitrary detention of Uyghurs, ethnic Kazakhs, ethnic Kyrgyz, and members of other Turkic and Muslim minorities in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region; the government also implemented similar policies against other religious minorities and Tibetans in other provinces; Chinese nationals reportedly suffered forced labor in several countries in Asia, the Middle East, Africa, and Europe hosting Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) projects; for the fifth consecutive year, the government did not report complete law enforcement data, nor did it identify any trafficking victims or refer them to protection services  (2022)

trafficking profile: human traffickers exploit domestic and foreign victims in China, as well as Chinese people abroad; Chinese men, women, and children are victims of forced labor and sex trafficking in more than 80 countries; traffickers also use China as a transit point to subject foreign individuals to trafficking in other countries throughout Asia and in international maritime industries; state-sponsored forced labor persists under the government’s mass detention and political indoctrination campaign against Muslim and Turkic minorities in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region; authorities in some localities subject families of men arbitrarily detained in Xinjiang to forced labor; highly organized criminal syndicates and local gangs subject Chinese women and girls to sex trafficking within China; women and girls from South Asia, Southeast Asia, and several countries in Africa experience forced labor in domestic service, forced concubinism leading to forced childbearing, and sex trafficking via forced and fraudulent marriage to Chinese men; African and Asian men reportedly experience conditions indicative of forced labor aboard Chinese-flagged fishing vessels; many North Korean refugees and asylum-seekers living in China illegally are particularly vulnerable to trafficking, while some of the women are forced into commercial sex, forced marriage, or forced labor; North Korea exploits some of its citizens in forced labor in China as part of its proliferation finance system (2022)

Illicit drugs

a major source of precursor chemicals for narcotics such as fentanyl and methamphetamine, new psychoactive substances (NPS), and synthetic drugs; is a destination and transit country for methamphetamine and heroin produced in South east and Southwest Asia;  China remains a major source of precursor chemicals sold in North America via the internet and shipped to overseas customers; domestic use of synthetic drugs is prevalent; chemical alterations of drugs circumvent laws and hamper efforts to stem the flow of these


NOTE: The information regarding China on this page is re-published from the 2023 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency and other sources. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of China 2023 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about China 2023 should be addressed to the CIA or the source cited on each page.

This page was last modified 06 Dec 23, Copyright © 2023 ITA all rights reserved.