It is the first time for China to hold such a workshop. Sponsored by the Department of Boundary and Ocean Affairs of the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Beijing Normal University, the workshop aims at strengthening the sharing of boundary policies, philosophies and practices of various countries.

Officials, representatives, ambassadors and experts from China and 14 neighbouring countries will have a full discussion on such topics as land boundary policies & demarcation experience, boundary management and cooperation and the building of Belt & Road.

Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Luo Zhaohui said at the opening ceremony that neighbourhood is the priority of China’s diplomacy.

Upholding the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence, China and its neighbouring countries have settled their differences and disputes by persisting in the principle of seeking common ground while reserving differences and through consultation and dialogue. At the same time, China is working flat out to settle the boundary issues with countries that are still having the boundary issues open with China.

“We have 14 land neighbours and demarcated boundary lines with 12 of them, with the rest two being India and Bhutan. We have agreed with both Bhutan and India to maintain peace and tranquillity on the borders,” said Luo.

According to Luo, China is one of the countries with the world’s longest borders and most neighbours. The demarcation of boundary lines has helped lay a solid foundation for developing relations with them. After the demarcation of boundaries, management, cooperation and development have become a major task for China in its boundary work.

“China has signed agreements on the boundary management system with 10 neighbours that have clear demarcation lines, thus building up a boundary cooperation legal system and institutional framework, realising the regularity in boundary management and cooperation and joint patrols, safeguarding the clear and stable boundary lines.

China has signed boundary defence cooperation agreements with neighbours and established a mechanism for the cooperation in law enforcement, security and cooperation, carrying out joint patrol in the border areas and jointly fight terrorism and trans-boundary crimes,” said Luo.

Luo said that China is committed to building and developing borders by cooperation. The boundaries today is no longer a synonym of remoteness and backwardness, but has become the front-lines for opening up and portals for connecting up development strategies.

Luo said: “Up to the present, China has signed agreements with neighbouring countries to open 106 pairs of ports, and plans to build 17 state-class border economic cooperation zones.

China is willing to work together with all parties concerned to explore into further opening up and inclusive management models and seamlessly connect development strategies and share the fruits of prosperity and progress and build a community with a shared future for mankind with concrete actions.