Chinese President Xi Jinping signed Presidential Decree No. 29 into effect today (01 July 2015), which instantly puts China’s new National Security Law into force.
The new law is vital and mentions media and the Internet a number of times:
- Article 23 mentions that the Chinese government will continue adhering to advanced socialist culture as well as promoting the glorious traditions of the Chinese ethnicities. More importantly, it mentions the Core Socialist Values, opposes the influence of “poor culture”, and controls the ideological sphere.
- Article 25 is where there is clear mentions of the Internet, or as the law simply states it, the “network” (网络). It mentions an increase in Internet management and is opposed to network attacks, and the spreading of “dangerous information”. It finally also states the protection of Internet sovereignty, security, and development interests.
- Article 28 makes clear China’s complete opposition to all forms of terrorism and extremism.
- Article 76 emphasises the government’s focus on fortifying national security reports and public opinion guidance in the news media. It also incorporates Chinese national security in the national curriculum.
- Finally, article 83 states that where the government needs to limit freedoms on the citizenry, such limits must be implemented according to law, and be implemented only to the extent that national security is assured.
The law has been implemented on quite a noticeable day — 01 July, which commemorates the foundation of the Communist Party of China (although it was founded in reality on 23 July 1921).
The new law is visibly tougher than previous laws, but also naturally continues Chinese government policy on the matter. It will be of note to see how the new law impacts the media and the Internet.