Date
30 March 2017
An Weixing, the head of China’s Public Security Ministry's counter-terrorism division, speaks at a news conference in Beijing after parliament passed a new anti-terrorism law. Photo: Reuters
An Weixing, the head of China’s Public Security Ministry's counter-terrorism division, speaks at a news conference in Beijing after parliament passed a new anti-terrorism law. Photo: Reuters

China passes controversial counter-terrorism law

China’s parliament passed on Sunday a controversial anti-terrorism law that will require technology companies to hand over sensitive information such as encryption keys to the government.

Following the parliamentary approval, a top official told reporters that China was simply doing what other Western nations already do in asking technology firms to help fight terror.

“This rule accords with the actual work need of fighting terrorism and is basically the same as what other major countries in the world do,” Reuters quoted Li Shouwei, deputy head of the parliament’s criminal law division under the legislative affairs committee, as saying.

The new law will not affect the normal operation of tech companies and they have nothing to fear in terms of having “backdoors” installed or losing intellectual property rights, Li added.

The comments came after Western governments, particularly the US, have expressed concerns about the new legislation, saying that it will put unfair regulatory pressure on foreign firms.

Beijing’s new law also permits the People’s Liberation Army to get involved in anti-terrorism operations overseas, Reuters noted.

An Weixing, head of the Public Security Ministry’s counter-terrorism division, said on Sunday that China faces a serious threat from terrorists, especially “East Turkestan” forces operating in the Xinjiang region.

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