China announced a new anti-espionage regulation amid worsening ties with world’s major powers and a renewed focus on national security ahead of a key Communist Party anniversary later this year.
Chinese state news agency quoted a senior official at the Ministry of State Security as saying, “overseas espionage and intelligence agencies and hostile forces have intensified infiltration into China and broadened their tactics of stealing secrets in various ways and in more fields, which poses a serious threat to China’s national security and interests.” The new regulation allows the national security authority to draw up lists of companies and organizations that are susceptible to foreign infiltration and require listed institutes to adopt security measures to prevent foreign infiltration.
According to the regulation, companies, organizations or social groups on the list shoulder the responsibility to roll out detailed measures against foreign espionage, including arranging their working staff to sign letters of commitment before taking up posts, reporting their activities related to national security, giving education to personnel ahead of their departures abroad, and interviewing personnel after their return to China.
Experts opine that new rules may also be used to bring commercial companies, universities, media and think tanks even more under government control to monitor and report the activities of Western entities operating in China, so this makes it more challenging for Western companies to do business than it already is. The new regulations come as the Communist Party prepares to commemorate its 100th anniversary on July 1 and after China marked the sixth National Security Education Day earlier this month, during which Party and government bodies held workshops on how to guard against foreign spying.