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Beijing Commends Covert Front, Emphasizes National Security in Rare Conference

China held a rare nationwide commendation conference in Beijing to recognize the achievements of its national security system in safeguarding sovereignty and security. Chen Wenqing, Secretary of the Central Political and Legal Affairs Commission of the Chinese Communist Party, stressed the importance of the CCP’s “covert front” work in achieving these goals.

The conference highlighted the “covert front’s” involvement in significant events, including the 1997 Hong Kong sovereignty transfer, the 2008 Beijing Olympics, the 2019 Hong Kong anti-extradition law protests, the 2021 “Operation Fox Hunt,” and the arrest of the founder of the Taiwanese National Party, Yang Chih-yuan.

The conference event took place on the 40th anniversary of the Ministry of State Security’s establishment. The last such national conference commending the national security system took place in 2015. According to a U.S. Department of Justice document, China’s Ministry of Cstate Security functions as the country’s intelligence, security, and secret police agency, akin a combination of U.S’s CIA and FBI.

During the conference, Chen Wenqing emphasized the need to modernize the national security system and confront the increasingly complex security challenges facing China. He called for the implementation of President Xi Jinping’s rule of law and overall national security principles to protect the country’s sovereignty and security.

Recent reports suggest that new arrangements have been made regarding the “covert front” work. On July 1, a revised version of China’s Anti-Espionage law came into effect, marking the first specialized legislation pertaining national security since the 20th National Congress. This indicates that China’s commitment to strengthening its national security apparatus and addressing evolving security concerns is a top priority for the CCP.

Source: Central News Agency (Taiwan), July 17, 2023