China Issues Guidelines on Resolving Social Conflict

According to a May 4th news release published by Xinhua, a set of guidelines for resolving social conflicts in China was jointly issued by sixteen government agencies and released to the public this past Wednesday.  The guidelines encourage the use of mediation to resolve social conflict and define the role of various government agencies in handling specific case types.  For example, “the human resource and social security authorities are responsible for settling labor disputes, health authorities for medical disputes, land resource authorities for conflicts resulting from land appropriation and land ownership disputes.”

According to the report, “the public security authorities are asked to make offices available in their community branches for mediation work, and invite volunteers in” and “the Central Committee for Improvement of Public Order Through Comprehensive Measures will oversee the performance of all government agencies in carrying out their conflict-solving duties, according to the guidelines.”

Peaceful Resolution of China/Tajikistan Border Dispute

The Canadian Press recently reported that China and Tajikistan have resolved a border dispute in the Pamir Mountains region that dates back to the 19th Century.  Both sides arrived at the final resolution through diplomacy and direct consultations.

According to Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei, the border treaty “thoroughly resolv[es] the boundary issue left over from history.” 

This process of border resolution stands in stark contrast to patterns of state-based territorial domination that have resulted in on-going conflict.  According to Sukhrob Sharipov, head of Tajikistan’s government-affiliated Center for Strategic Studies, Tajikistan risked suffering much greater territorial losses in its recent past, he said. “After the collapse of Soviet Union, Tajikistan was on the verge of collapse — China could easily have snatched the whole of (the eastern Badakhshan province), and nobody would have even made a sound,” he said.  Reflecting a new stage of diplomatic resolution, Sharipov said Thursday that the deal would ensure the inviolability of the country’s borders for decades to come.