National security authorities refute speculation that China's Counter-Espionage Law harms foreigners' safety

(Global Times) 09:19, October 26, 2023

Chinese Ministry of State Security

Chinese Ministry of State Security

China's Ministry of State Security issued a statement on Wednesday refuting claims that China's Counter-Espionage Law will harm the safety of foreigners in China.

The ministry, for the third day in a row, has refuted speculation concerning the revised Counter-Espionage Law. This speculation includes the "generalization of national security," "impacting overseas companies," and "leading to rising risks for foreigners in China."

Both domestic and international communities have paid close attention to the revisions of the country's Counter-Espionage Law, with the majority of voices respecting and supporting China's legitimate legislative activities. However, there have also been some instances of misunderstanding and even malicious smears, according to the ministry.

The revised Counter-Espionage Law ascribes powers in a scientific and reasonable way, ensuring that the relevant authorities for counter-espionage can effectively discover and handle illegal activities. It also strictly regulates and limits these authorities to make sure that the enforcement measures are always practiced in accordance with legal procedures, said the ministry on Wednesday.  

For instance, different levels of national security organs have been designated to conduct law enforcement powers based on the nature and type of the enforcement authority, with strict approval and pre-supervision systems established.

Enforcement activities, including summons, inspections and inquires, clearly should be carried out by more than two people, and they should present relevant working certificates and legal documents.

The revised law clearly stipulates that "counter-espionage work shall be conducted in accordance with the law, respecting and protecting human rights, and protecting the legitimate rights and interests of individuals and organizations."

It also stipulates that before the law enforcement organ makes a decision on administrative punishment, it shall inform the party involved with the facts, reasons, and basis of the proposed administrative punishment, as well as the party's rights to make a statement, defense, and request a hearing according to the law.

Since the implementation of the newly revised law more than three months ago, there has not been a single case of "arbitrary detention of foreigners," nor has there been a single case of administrative reconsideration or administrative litigation against the law enforcement actions of national security organs, the ministry said.

Meanwhile, the law provides for a system of internal and external oversight. In April, the ministry opened channels such as a hotline for supervision and reporting for the first time to the public, to ensure public supervision, according to the ministry.

The ministry on Monday refuted the false remarks that China's revised Counter-Espionage Law is a "generalization of national security," calling it a despicable trick of measuring others by their own yardsticks and an act of "a real thief yelling 'stop thief.'"

China's foreign investment environment has not been affected by the revisions, the ministry stressed on Tuesday. China unswervingly promotes high-level opening-up, and continuously improves the market-oriented, law-based, and international business environment.

(Web editor: Zhong Wenxing, Liang Jun)


Related Stories