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China's Counter-Espionage Law seeks to create favorable climate for foreign investors


 , Updated 21:36, 04-Mar-2024

The revised Counter-Espionage Law, which came into effect on July 1, 2023, plays a crucial role in safeguarding national security and is part of a comprehensive strategy to bolster the confidence and security of foreign businesses and individuals in China, according to Lou Qinjian, a spokesperson for the second session of the 14th National People's Congress.

This revision aligns with a series of national security-related laws enacted in recent years, all aimed at enhancing the certainty and peace of mind for foreign entities investing, working, and living in the country, noted Lou, who made the remarks at a press conference held by the NPC, China's top legislature, in Beijing on Monday.

"There have been reports from foreign media suggesting that the revised law expands the scope of espionage activities, thus increasing risks for foreign individuals and companies operating in China. However, I would like to emphasize that this is a misinterpretation of the Counter-Espionage Law," said Lou.

"I encourage everyone to carefully read the provisions of the law. The revised Counter-Espionage Law does not broaden the scope of espionage activities. Instead, it improves the definition of espionage activities based on international practices and references to legal systems of other countries."  

"It clarifies the boundaries between illegal and legal actions, enhancing the certainty and security for foreign enterprises and individuals investing, working, and living in China. It is important to note that this law does not target normal activities such as business transactions, scientific research cooperation, or academic exchanges."  

"We strongly oppose any attempts to misrepresent the Counter-Espionage Law and undermine China's business environment. "

Lou added the National People's Congress has taken significant steps in formulating and revising various laws pertaining to foreign investment. "The current legislative agenda includes multiple projects specifically focused on foreign-related legislation." he said.

"These endeavors have laid a solid legal foundation to safeguard the lawful rights and interests of foreign individuals, overseas enterprises, and organizations operating within China. They also demonstrate a commitment to fostering a top-notch business environment characterized by market orientation, the rule of law, and international standards."

"China has always adhered to the fundamental policy of reform and opening-up, actively developing its foreign relations, and promoting friendly exchanges. It welcomes and attracts foreign individuals, overseas enterprises, and organizations to engage in trade, investment, and cooperation in China."  

"This commitment remains unwavering and will not change. China's doors are always open to the world and will never be closed."

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