China passes tough new intelligence law

China’s legislature passed a new intelligence law on Tuesday after an unusually brief round of discussions, a draft of which gave new powers to monitor suspects, raid premises and seize vehicles and devices.

President Xi Jinping has overseen a raft of legislation to bolster national security against perceived threats from both within and outside China.

The government gained new powers with a national security law passed in 2014, followed by measures on counter-terrorism, the management of foreign non-government bodies and cyber security, among other subjects.

On Tuesday, the standing committee of the National People’s Congress (NPC) passed the law, the largely rubber stamp body said in a short statement on its website.

The law will go into effect on Wednesday, it added, without giving details of what was in the law or how its contents had changed since a draft was circulated in May.

A draft was only released for one round of public consultation that lasted three weeks. Laws are often subject to at least two rounds of consultation, or more if controversial.

The legislation was also passed after only two rounds of discussion by parliament’s standing committee. Laws often go through three or more rounds.

State news agency Xinhua said last week that the law was “needed to ensure the nation’s security interests are met”.

Intelligence work needs to be performed both within and outside China, and foreign groups and individuals who damage national security must be investigated, according to the draft.

The law will give authorities new legal grounds to monitor and investigate foreign and domestic individuals and bodies, in order to protect national security.

Chinese activists have said they fear intensified state surveillance.

The draft showed authorities will also be able to propose customs and border inspections or “quarantines”, as well as “administrative detention” of up to 15 days for those who obstruct their work, or leak related state secrets.

China already has broad laws on state secrets and security but the new law will allow intelligence officials to enter “restricted access areas” and use “technological reconnaissance measures” when required, according to the draft.

Vehicles, communication devices and even real estate, such as buildings, can be used or seized by authorities during intelligence gathering efforts, the draft says.

Western governments have spoken out against China’s security measures as defining its national interests too broadly and warning they could be used to target dissent.

China says the laws are appropriate for its national security concerns.

(Reporting by Ben Blanchard and Christian Shepherd; Editing by Nick Macfie)

Source: Reuters “China passes tough new intelligence law”

Note: This is Reuters’ report I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the report’ views.


6 Comments on “China passes tough new intelligence law”

  1. Anonymous says:

    dear mr xi jin ping your greatest weapon is not missiles or warship
    it is gold. buy all the gold and strategic metals with the dollar the time has come no war necessary


  2. Joseph says:

    I guess that ‘new’ F-135 engine proposed by Pratt n Whitney to ‘seriously reduce F-35′ fuel consumption and radar signature’ will have to wait indefinitely now.


  3. johnleecan says:

    Wow! This is great! Can’t wait for Reuters reporters, management and personnel to be arrested and thrown into jail for 15-25 years for endangering China’s national security by spreading false and fake news.

    One example is that Reuters reported “The law will go into effect on Wednesday without giving details of what was in the law or how its contents had changed since a draft was circulated in May”. Yet Reuters did not say if they asked for the details. This is basically spreading terror news on the the 1.3 billion Chinese citizens. When caught, these people should be killed by a bullet to the head – that will make those terrorists think calmly and will feel at rest.


  4. steve says:

    Such counter measures are relevant and important security measures. No point waiting for a 9/11 style terrorist attack or subversive elements intending to undermine the government and public order. Better safe now than never, prevention is better than an aftermath. China has 1.3 billion people and growing.