BEIJING, Aug. 25 (Xinhua) -- Chinese lawmakers are considering
renaming the National Security Law with more provisions for
A bill submitted for first reading at the bi-monthly session of
the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, which
will run through Monday to Sunday, suggests changing the title to
the Counterespionage Law.
The country's counterespionage agencies currently face new
circumstances and challenges and need stronger support from the
legislation, said Geng Huichang, minister of national security,
when explaining the bill to lawmakers.
The current law mainly regulates the work of the country's
national security agencies, whose major duty is
The bill introduces new regulations about counterespionage work
that has been proven effective in practice but not been written
into the current law. It also rewrites articles that are not in
line with other laws that have been revised in recent years,
including the Criminal Law and Criminal Procedure Law.
Foreign organizations and individuals who conduct espionage
activities, or who instigate and sponsor others to do it, will be
punished, as will domestic organizations and individuals who spy on
the country for foreign organizations and individuals, the bill
It grants national security agencies the authority to ask an
organization or individual to stop or change their activities that
are considered harmful to national security. If they refuse or fail
to do so, the agencies will be entitled to seal or seize related
The agencies are also entitled to seal and seize any device,
money, venue, supplies and other properties that are related to
espionage activities, according to the bill.
They will be either confiscated by national security agencies or
handed over to judicial departments.
The illegal income and properties gained through knowingly
hiding and fencing properties related to espionage will be
confiscated, according to the bill.
The current national security law has not been revised since it
took effect in 1993.
At the first meeting of the central national security commission
in April, President Xi Jinping advocated an "overall national
Xi stressed that the challenges China faces in maintaining
national security today are more diverse than they have ever been,
as it has seen complicated internal and external situations.
He talked up a "national security path with Chinese
characteristics," the major goal of which is to protect the
population. Maintaining political and economic security are
essential to this goal while protecting military, cultural and
social security are important means, according to the president.