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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Border Crime Vexes China

BEIJING -- Chinese border guards, struggling to control smuggling across the country's vast border with Russia, have made 1,414 arrests and seized almost 500 guns in the past five years, Xinhua news agency said Tuesday.

Concern on both sides about the increased incidence of cross-border crime since 1987 led to a crackdown that in Heilongjiang province alone saw 473 pistols and 11 cars confiscated in 288 cases, it quoted an official as saying.

Public order on the border was maintained, and trade and tourism were growing, Xinhua quoted Heilongjiang's vice governor, Wang Zongzhang, as saying.

Wang's remarks came as President Boris Yeltsin was due to arrive in Beijing on Wednesday for a three-day visit, the first by a Russian head of state since 1989.

A number of bilateral agreements were signed and frontier guards on both sides exchanged information on illegal activities, it said.

Between 1988 and 1995, almost 500,000 people from Russia and other Commonwealth of Independent States nations visited Heilongjiang, Xinhua said.