News / Asia

China to Revamp Security Amid Threats at Home and Abroad

FILE - Police stand guard in front of the Shanxi Provincial Communist Party office building after explosions in Taiyuan, Shanxi Province, Nov. 6, 2013.FILE - Police stand guard in front of the Shanxi Provincial Communist Party office building after explosions in Taiyuan, Shanxi Province, Nov. 6, 2013.
x
FILE - Police stand guard in front of the Shanxi Provincial Communist Party office building after explosions in Taiyuan, Shanxi Province, Nov. 6, 2013.
FILE - Police stand guard in front of the Shanxi Provincial Communist Party office building after explosions in Taiyuan, Shanxi Province, Nov. 6, 2013.
Reuters
China will set up a new "state security committee'' as it seeks to tackle growing social unrest and unify the powers of a disparate security apparatus in the face of growing challenges at home and abroad, the government said on Tuesday.

Details of how the committee will work and when exactly it will begin operations were left unclear in the announcement, carried by state news agency Xinhua at the end of a key meeting of the ruling Communist Party to map out political and economic  reforms.

Xinhua said the committee would "improve the system of national security and the country's national security strategy'' so as to "effectively prevent and end social disputes and improve public security."

Cheng Li, a fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington and an expert on Chinese politics, said the idea was based on the National Security Council in the United States and would increase coordination between the various wings of China's security bureaucracy, split now between the police, military, intelligence and diplomatic services.

"The official line is to better coordinate the very different domains: the intelligence, military, foreign policy, public security and also national defence. This gives tremendous power to the presidency,'' Cheng said, referring to President Xi Jinping.
       
China's potential flashpoints overseas include North Korea and the South China Sea, where the potential exists for a crisis to escalate quickly.

For years, officials have argued for a national security agency "that can handle crises in a more effective manner," said David Zweig, a political scientist at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.

"This could be a positive thing, in the sense that it would be a way for all the people involved in a foreign policy crisis to be in the same room at the same time,'' Zweig said.
       
The new committee could also strengthen the powers of the domestic security apparatus, grappling with rising numbers of protests over pollution, illegal land grabs and corruption, as well as continued unrest in places like Tibet and Xinjiang.

"I think what it says is that China, the party and government expect a considerable rise in social tensions over the next few years,'' said Nicholas Bequelin, senior Asia researcher for New York-based Human Rights Watch.

"Since legal reform and establishing rule of law is on the back burner at the moment...we can expect that the party and the government will try to respond to this potential risk by other means.''

Critics say Xi's administration has presided over a harsh crackdown that has moved beyond the targeting of dissidents demanding political change, including detaining activists who have called for officials to publicly disclose their wealth.

The Xinhua communique did refer to "upholding the constitution and laws'' and "improving judicial practice," but one prominent dissident said he feared things would only get worse with the new security committee.

"It will be used against rights defenders, people who uphold universal values, supporters of free speech and freedom of religion, people who are organising protests - all those the Chinese government cannot tolerate as they seem them as a threat to their rule,'' Hu Jia told Reuters.
   
"The Soviet Union had a state security committee - it was called the KGB. Twenty years after the fall of the Soviet Union, China is resurrecting this. It's a step backwards into history.''

You May Like

Video For West Ukraine City, Conflict Far Away Yet Near

Physically and culturally close to Western Europe, Lviv feels solidarity with compatriots in country’s east but says they need to decide own future More

West African Women Disproportionately Affected by Ebola

Women's roles in families and the community put them at greater risk for contracting the disease, officials say More

Video NASA's MAVEN Spacecraft Arrives at Mars

Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution craft will measure rates at which gases escape Martian atmosphere into space More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
NASA’s MAVEN Probe Enters Mars Orbiti
X
September 22, 2014 9:20 PM
NASA’s newest Mars probe, called MAVEN, has successfully entered its designated orbit around the Red Planet. Scientists will use its sophisticated instruments to try to learn what happened to the atmosphere Mars had a few billion years ago. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video NASA’s MAVEN Probe Enters Mars Orbit

NASA’s newest Mars probe, called MAVEN, has successfully entered its designated orbit around the Red Planet. Scientists will use its sophisticated instruments to try to learn what happened to the atmosphere Mars had a few billion years ago. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video For West Ukraine City, Conflict Far Away Yet Near

The western Ukrainian city of Lviv prides itself on being both physically and culturally close to Western Europe. The Russian-backed separatists in the eastern part of the country are 1,200 kilometers away, and seemingly even farther away in their world view. Still, as VOA’s Al Pessin reports, the war is having an impact in Lviv.
Video

Video Saving Global Fish Stocks Starts in the Kitchen

With an estimated 90 percent of the world’s larger fish populations having already vanished, a growing number of people in the seafood industry are embracing the concept of sustainable fishing and farming practices. One American marine biologist turned restaurateur in Thailand is spreading the word among fellow chefs and customers. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Chinese Admiral Key in China’s Promotion of Sea Links

China’s President last week wrapped up landmark visits to India, Sri Lanka and Maldives, part of a broader campaign to promote a new “Maritime Silk Road” in Asia. The Chinese government’s promotion efforts rely heavily on the country’s best-known sailor, a 15th century eunuch named Zheng He. VOA's Bill Ide reports from the sailor’s hometown in Yunnan on the effort to promote China’s future by recalling its past.
Video

Video Experts Fear Ebola Outbreak ‘Beyond Our Capability to Contain’

Each day brings with it new warnings about the deadly Ebola outbreak already blamed for killing more than 2,600 people across West Africa. And while countries and international organizations like the United Nations are starting to come through on promises of help for those most affected, the unprecedented speed with which the virus has spread is raising questions about the international response. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from Washington.
Video

Video Natural Gas Export Plan Divides Maryland Town

A U.S. power company that has been importing natural gas now wants to export it. If approved, its plant in Lusby, Maryland, would likely be the first terminal on the United States East Coast to export liquefied natural gas from American pipelines. While some residents welcome the move because it will create jobs, others oppose it, saying the expansion could be a safety and environmental hazard. VOA’s Deborah Block examines the controversy.
Video

Video Difficult Tactical Battle Ahead Against IS Militants in Syria

The U.S. president has ordered the military to intensify its fight against the Islamic State, including in Syria. But how does the military conduct air strikes in a country that is not a U.S. ally? VOA correspondent Carla Babb reports from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Iran, World Powers Seek Progress in Nuclear Talks

Iran and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany, known as the P5 + 1, have started a new round of talks on Iran's nuclear program. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports that as the negotiations take place in New York, a U.S. envoy is questioning Iran's commitment to peaceful nuclear activity.
Video

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calais

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Westgate Siege Anniversary Brings Back Painful Memories

One year after it happened, the survivors of the terror attack on Nairobi's Westgate Shopping Mall still cannot shake the images of that tragic incident. For VOA, Mohammed Yusuf tells the story of victims still waiting for the answer to the question 'how could this happen?'
Video

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

The International Whaling Commission, meeting in Slovenia, has voted to uphold a court ruling banning Japan from hunting whales in the Antarctic Ocean. Conservationists hailed the ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid