Facebook Twitter 新浪微博 google plus Instagram YouTube Thursday 2 July 2015
English>>China Politics

New law on national security cements development

(Xinhua)    20:38, July 02, 2015

BEIJING, July 2 -- A new law expanding China's legal reach over the Internet and space will lay ground work for national security and development interests, experts said Thursday.

The National People's Congress (NPC) Standing Committee approved the wide-ranging National Security Law on Wednesday, which the government said is vital for countering emerging threats at home and abroad.

The new law covers almost every aspect of public life in China. Its mandate includes politics, defense, finance, environment, cyberspace and even culture and religion.

One clause says the Internet and information systems will be made "secure and controllable". Another says the country will clamp down on terrorist groups while punishing violence and terror activities heavily.

It emphasizes the leadership of the Communist Party of China (CPC) in national security, saying centralized, efficient and authoritative leadership for national security must be established.

It vows to "protect people's fundamental interests, safeguard reform and opening up and socialist modernization drive, and rejuvenate the Chinese nation."

The law comes as China's development begins to head for uncharted waters: the country's economy is shifting from an investment-driven model to one more responsive to demand, maritime security is increasingly challenged, cyber crimes are on the rise while headline-making terrorist attacks are spreading nationwide.

The document defines national security as a condition in which a country's state power, sovereignty, unity, territorial integrity, people's well-being and sustainable economic and social development are relatively safe and not subject to internal and external threats. It also includes the capacity to sustain such a secure condition.

An all-encompassing national security law thus can provide a broad toolkit for the country to ensure stability and henceforth development, said Xiao Fengcheng, a law professor with the China University of Political Science and Law.

"Security is the first and foremost prerequisite for any country's survival and development," Xiao said.

"Without security, development is nothing more than a castle in the air."

By outlining overarching legal framework on the protection of China's core interests, the new law will help cement China's future security and development, said Li Zhong, a researcher with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.


China's first national security law took effect in 1993 and primarily regulated the work of national security agencies, whose major duty is counterespionage. The original law was renamed the Counterespionage Law in November.

Drafts of the new national security legislation were first unveiled last year and covered a much broader spectrum than its predecessor.

The version adopted Wednesday has an even wider scope, involving activities and assets in space, the ocean deep and polar regions.

Li Zhong said the revision was justified given the country's increasing footprint in these "new frontiers".

China's multi-billion-dollar space program, which landed a rover on the moon, is a source of surging national pride in the country and aims to put a permanent manned space station into service around 2022.

Jiaolong, the country's most advanced manned submersible, achieved a record dive depth of more than 7,000 meters in 2012. China also has four polar stations in Antarctica with a fifth planned in the Victoria Land east of the continent.

"As China's reach expands, so does the scope of its definition of national security," Li said, pointing to similar legislation in the United States, Japan, Russiaand Europe since the 1980s.

Xiao also said China's exploration has helped the country better understand and utilize resources in new regions, and thus are "conducive to the common interests of mankind."

The country has the right to protect its activities, assets and personnel while operating on these new frontiers, Xiao said.


One key element of the new national security law is a clause on cyberspace sovereignty.

China will strengthen its ability to protect information, while furthering Internet and IT research, development and application, the law states.

An Internet and information security system will be established to ensure cyberspace security, increase innovation, speed up development of "strategic" technology and beef up intellectual property protection and application, it says.

Much of the new law's extensive text is couched in similarly general terms.

Li Zhong said this could leave ample room for more detailed regulations in respective fields in the future.

Already, Chinese lawmakers are reviewing a 68-article cyber security draft law with the goal of "safeguarding cyberspace sovereignty and national security".

Cyber security is closely linked to security in the financial and information sector. All countries have the obligation to obtain national security within their jurisdiction, Li said.

Xiao said the Internet is another important aspect of the nation's infrastructure.

"Although the Internet is in a sense without borders, it still depends on physical infrastructure. The Internet within the People's Republic of China is subject to the country's sovereignty," he said.

"China respects other countries' sovereignty in the domain of cyber security, and expects them to respect China as well in the same regard."

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Editor:Kong Defang,Bianji)

Add your comment

Related reading

We Recommend

Most Viewed


Key Words