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China’s First Province-Level Anti-Espionage Regulations

On September 1, 2023, the Chongqing municipal government implemented a set of detailed regulations called the “Chongqing Anti- Espionage Work Regulations.” It is the first local government in China to implement such rules following publication of the central government’s revised “Counter-Espionage Law” in July.

Chongqing’s regulations contain 29 articles. The first three articles echoed the central government’s Counter-Espionage Law. Starting from the fourth article, Chongqing’s regulations emphasize the supervisory role of the municipality’s state security agency. They call for close cooperation of various governmental departments in carrying out counter-espionage work, including the department of cyberspace administration, Taiwan affairs, national defense and science and technology, development and reform, education, science and technology, ethnic and religious affairs, public security, civil affairs, natural resources planning, urban and rural construction, commerce, veterans’ affairs, foreign affairs, postal management, and culture and tourism.

Civil services and public institutions will include counter-espionage propaganda in their training programs, and the education system will include such material in its teaching content.

For individuals involved in foreign exchange or collaboration, the regulations mandate a pre-departure anti-espionage education, a program of “overseas management” while the individual is abroad, and a post-return meeting. They also require that institutions stationed overseas or institutions who send people overseas develop espionage-prevention plans.

Many foreign organizations and individuals have been cautious about engaging with China since the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) pushed out the state-level “Counter-Espionage Law.” This has led to a significant reduction in foreign investment and travel to the country.

Source: Epoch Times, September 2, 2023