China's Standing Committee of the NPC passed National Security Law

Jul 1, 2015 17:14 IST

China's Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC) on 1 July 2015 passed the new National Security Law highlighting cyber security and demanding the establishment of a coordinated, efficient crisis management system.

Out of the 155 lawmakers present at a bimonthly session of the Standing Committee, 154 voted for the legislation. This new law vows to protect people's fundamental interests.

Provisions of the National Security Law

  • The new law defined national security as the country's state power, sovereignty, unity, and territorial integrity; its people's wellbeing; its sustainable economic and social development; and other major interests are comparatively in a state of being in no danger and free of any threat from both within and without, and that the aforementioned state can be constantly guaranteed.
  • The law covers a wide spectrum of areas including defense, finance, science and technology, culture and religion.
  • Outer space activities and assets, as well as those at ocean depths and in polar regions, were also brought under the national security umbrella.
  • A national security review and regulatory system and relevant mechanisms would be set up to censor items that may have an impact on national security including foreign investment, projects involving national security.
  • There is a clause on cyberspace sovereignty added in the law. China will make Internet and information technology, infrastructure, information systems and data in key sectors secure and controllable.
  • The Internet and information security system would be established to ensure cyberspace security, enhance innovation, speed up development of strategic technology and beef up intellectual property protection and application.
  • A coordinated, efficient crisis management system under a centralized leadership will also be set up.

Security is a crucial issue in China. In 2013, a National Security Commission headed by Xi Jinping was established. An overall national security outlook put forward by Xi was also incorporated in this new law.

Background

The first National Security Law was adopted in the year 1993. It regulated the work of the country's national security agencies, whose major duty is counterespionage.

However, in November 2014, China's legislature adopted Counterespionage Law, a new security law that replaced the above 1993 legislation.

This new law granted national security agencies authority to seize property related to espionage activities. Security agencies were entitled to seal and seize any device, money, venue, supplies and other properties that are related to espionage activities.

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