BEIJING, June 22 (Xinhua) -- China's top legislature
Monday reviewed for the first time a draft revision to the Law on Guarding State
Secrets, underlining the cutoff of Internet or other public network access to
the country's confidential information.
The draft revision was submitted to the ninth session of the Standing Committee of the 11th National People's Congress (NPC) for deliberation. It had been discussed and passed in April at an executive meeting of the State Council, the Cabinet.
Wu Bangguo (C), chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC), the country's top legislature, presides over the ninth session of the Standing Committee of the 11th NPC, in Beijing, China, June 22, 2009. (Xinhua/Huang Jingwen)
Xia Yong, head of the National Administration for the
Protection of State Secrets (NAPSS), said parts of the existing secrets law had
The current law took effect on May 1, 1989.
"New situations and problems have emerged in guarding
state secrets as the country's social and economic development advances rapidly,
especially with the introduction and development of information technology and
the application of e-government."
The materials to preserve and handle state secrets
have changed from paper to acoustic, optical, electronic and magnetic forms,
which created the need for corresponding policies, according to the official.
An investigation by the NPC found that the proportion
of secret-leaking cases through the Internet accounted for more than 70 percent
of the total.
The revision added issues including taking technical
measures to protect networks where secret information was stored and fire
walling computers or other storage devices containing secret information from
According to the draft revision, computers and
storage devices containing confidential information would not be allowed to be
connected to Internet and other public network services.
In cases where no protective measures were adopted,
confidential information would be banned from being transmitted through wired
and wireless communications, Internet and other public information network
Some economic and social organizations' involvement
with secrets and the mobility of personnel with access to classified information
had increased the difficulty of guarding state secrets and called for improved
management measures, said Xia.
The draft revision would minimize the number of
people having access to state secrets and set up more scientific secret
recognition, rating and termination procedures amid efforts to improve
Statistics show the United States generates about
100,000 classified documents annually, while the number in China amounted to
According to the existing law on guarding state
secrets, state secrets refer to classified information concerning major policies
and decisions of state affairs, national defense and activities of the armed
forces, diplomatic activities, national economic and social development, science
and technology, activities to safeguard state security and the investigation of
crimes, and other items that are classified as state secrets by the state secret
In 2004, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs declassified
diplomatic documents compiled after the founding of the People's Republic of
China in 1949, a pioneering move among government agencies.
In 2005, at a press conference jointly held by the
Ministry of Civil Affairs and NAPSS, it was announced that death tolls in
natural disasters and related information were no longer considered as state
Besides the draft revision to the Law on Guarding
State Secrets, lawmakers will finish the discussion of a draft revision to the
Law on Statistics, the amendments to the Law on State Compensation, and
legislation on diplomatic agents and island protection during the NPC meeting,
which runs from June 22 to 27.
China's draft law on rural land
disputes getting third review by lawmakers
BEIJING, June 22 (Xinhua) -- China's draft law on the
mediation and arbitration of rural land contract disputes was submitted Monday
for a third reading by lawmakers.
The proposed law has been revised since its second
draft. In the third version, the draft adds "mediation" to its title, with a
greater focus on reconciliation before conflicts go to arbitration.Full story
China considers legislation on
environmental protection of sea islands
BEIJING, June 22 (Xinhua) -- China's top legislature Monday began to
discuss a draft law that is aimed to step up ecological conservation and
environmental protection of the country's offshore islands.
The draft, submitted to the ninth session of the
Standing Committee of the 11th National People's Congress (NPC) for its first
reading, proposes that national and local governments should make plans to guide
the protection and the development of inhabited and uninhabited islands.Full story
China's top legislature to deliberate
law on farmers' land rights
BEIJING, June 22 (Xinhua) -- China's top legislature will discuss a draft law
that outlines the land rights of the nation's farmers at the ninth session of
the Standing Committee of the 11th National People's Congress (NPC), which
Besides the draft law on the arbitration of rural land
contract disputes, the session will also consider: Full story
Top legislature considers abolishing
outdated, redundant laws
BEIJING, June 22 (Xinhua) -- China's top legislature
is considering the nullification of eight laws, including one covering police
stations that dates back to 1954, as part of an effort to eliminate redundant,
contradictory and obsolete laws.
A draft abolishing these laws was submitted to the
ninth session of the Standing Committee of the 11th National People's Congress
(NPC), which opened Monday.Full story