BEIJING (AFP) – China has passed an anti-espionage law that could widen the scope for activities to be classified as spying, after the ruling Communist Party at a key meeting last month vowed to implement the “rule of law”.
The Counterespionage Law was passed by the standing committee of the National People’s Congress, replacing the State Security Law of 1993, according to the full text of the new measure on the website of the rubber-stamp legislature.
It shuns the ideological references of the previous legislation, such as “protecting the state power of the people’s democratic dictatorship and the socialist system”.
There is no similarly party-political definition in the new law, which instead states broadly that it is intended “to prevent, suppress and punish acts of espionage and to safeguard national security”.
The definitions of acts endangering state security in the 1993 law included “plotting to subvert the government, dismember the State or overthrow the socialist system”.