China mulls national security law

Updated: 2014-12-22 16:29


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BEIJING -- China's top legislature started reading a draft national security law on Monday, which aims to be a "comprehensive, overall and fundamental piece of legislation" to safeguard state security.

The draft was tabled for a first reading during the bimonthly session of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC), which runs from Monday to Sunday.

Director of the Commission for Legislative Affairs of the NPC Standing Committee, Li Shishi, told lawmakers that "it was necessary to make a comprehensive, overall and fundamental law on national security in accordance with the new contemporary environment."

The draft defines "national security" as a condition in which a country's government, sovereignty, unification and territorial integrity; the well-being of its people; the sustainable and healthy development of its economy and society; and other major interests are relatively safe and not subject to internal and external threats, as well as the capacity to safeguard and ensure the sustainability of such a secure condition.

The draft, aiming to "protect people's fundamental interests", stipulates that in the management and handling of national security crises, "measures that best protect the rights and interests of citizens and organizations should be chosen."

It stipulates that a national security safeguarding system should be established and improved, so that it meets demand and is in accordance with economic and social development. In addition, the capacity of protecting national security should be continuously improved.

It also designs relevant systems related to laws and regulations, finance, materials, science and technology, talent, working measures, and publication and education in support of the establishment and improvement of national security.

The draft grants citizens and organizations the right to be protected by law when supporting national security work; prioritization of compensation and pension; the right to criticize, offer advice and appeal; as well as protection of freedom.

It also emphasizes that everyone shares in the duty to safeguard national security.