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China's new intel law gives authorities power to monitor security threats

(Global Times)    11:11, May 18, 2017

Would give authorities power to monitor security threats

China's top lawmakers recently released the draft of the first intelligence law, which Chinese experts believe would gain wide public support to protect national security.

The standing committee of the National People's Congress (NPC) on Tuesday released a draft of the National Intelligence Law on its website for public feedback until June 14.

The draft on the website said that state intelligence work should provide support to guard against security threats and protect major national interests.

It also said that the law will give authorities the right to monitor and investigate domestic and foreign individuals and organizations to protect national security if passed.

"The intelligence law is part of the overall plan to legalize national security measures in China," Yang Jianying, a professor at the School of Public Administration of the University of International Relations, told the Global Times on Wednesday.

Yang said the National Security Law will serve as the main law, while specialized laws, including laws on counter-espionage, terrorism and cyber security, as well as intelligence, will be applied to different areas.

"It will not only improve law enforcement but also make citizens comprehend and support national security work," Yang said.

"While China is more open to the world, Chinese citizens should always keep national security in mind when communicating with overseas sources," Su Wei, a professor at the Party School of the Chongqing Municipal Communist Party of China Committee, told the Global Times on Wednesday.

"Under the backdrop of globalization, the covert struggles between different countries and regions have become more complex, so Chinese citizens need to be educated to build and enhance their sense of intelligence," Yang noted.

"However, the 'intelligence' in the intelligence law only covers national security and military intelligence. We should also be concerned with intelligence in technology, economy, business and society to better enhance national security," Yang said.

"Personal information leaks are severe. So leaks in the country's intelligence will bring even greater damage," Su noted.

Under the National Security Law passed in July 2015 by the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, China's top legislative body, April 15 was made the day for national security education to enhance people's national security awareness, the Xinhua News Agency reported.

The Beijing Municipality's National Security Bureau published a new reward scheme, which took effect in April, to encourage the public to report any suspicious activities, with successful tipsters receiving between 10,000 ($1,452) and 500,000 yuan.

In December 2016, China's top legislature passed the country's first counter-terrorism law in the latest attempt to address terrorism at home and help maintain world security, according to Xinhua. 

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Shi Jing, Bianji)

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