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National Security Law safeguards people's fundamental interests

(Xinhua)    17:00, July 03, 2015

BEIJING, July 3 -- China's new law on national security has been adopted to protect the public, not to undermine their freedom, as Western media claimed.

These journalists should take a closer look at the 84-article law, which makes clear that "protecting people's fundamental interests" was one of the main reasons for its drafting.

The first National Security Law took effect in 1993 and primarily regulated the work of national security agencies, whose major duty is counterespionage. It was renamed the Counterespionage Law in November.

Article two of the new law, which was ratified by the top legislature and signed into force by President Xi Jinping on Wednesday, stresses that a secure nation is one in which "people's welfare" is not in jeopardy. And according to article three, "people's security" is the first priority for national security.

While safeguarding national security, human rights should be respected and guaranteed, and citizens' rights and freedom according to law should be protected, stresses article seven. Another article underlines protection of freedom of religious belief.

The prominent inclusion of these provisions demonstrates the government's resolution to protect the public's freedom, because without national security, all rights and interests will be fragile.

A highlight of the wide-ranging new law, which covers areas including defense, finance, science and technology, culture and religion, is cyber security.

Provisions on the issue are a response to the rise of cyber crime. In recent years, the exposure of network security threats, including the U.S. National Security Agency's PRISM program, and the scandals surrounding disclosure of Internet users' personal information, have generated deep concerns over security in cyberspace.

For China, whose online population surpasses 600 million, management of cyberspace is a crucial task. The law mandates that the nation needs to strengthen management of the Internet, prevent and punish criminal acts and the spreading of illegal or harmful content.

Provisions like this will ensure an orderly and healthy environment where people can enjoy the best of the Internet.

The law also has an article stipulating that China will protect overseas Chinese nationals' and organizations' security and lawful interests.

The provision is timely and its impact will be far-reaching for both China and the world, considering the fact that more than 100 million Chinese made overseas trips in 2014, over 10 times the number in 1998. Around 200 million Chinese are expected to make overseas trips in 2030.

The law will reassure those planning to explore the world, as exchanges between China and other countries surge.

The law's many other articles, including those protecting the environment and tightening management of nuclear facilities and materials, also concern people's immediate rights and interests.

In a world where Chinese nationals work, study and travel almost everywhere, the National Security Law can be seen as a billboard proclaiming that the rights of every one of them should be respected.

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

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