New Laws Focus on “Ideological Security”
A trio of proposed laws under consideration by China’s National People’s Congress constitute, “the most expansive articulation yet of President Xi Jinping’s vision of national security, and the widest interpretation of threats to the Communist Party and the state since the Mao era,” according to Edward Wong in the New York Times. The three laws—which cover counterterrorism, management of foreign NGOs, and national security—all relate to what Wong calls “ideological security.” As he writes:
Perhaps the most interesting question is why Mr. Xi thinks he needs such laws. Existing laws already enshrine Communist Party power and criminalize any act deemed to encourage “subversion of state power.”
But the new laws provide a firmer legal framework for controlling civil society and Western organizations, scholars say.
The most ambitious of the three, the national security law, solidifies Mr. Xi’s authority over national security by placing a central organ — likely to be the National Security Commission that Mr. Xi founded — in charge of all security matters. An April 23 article in People’s Daily, the official party newspaper, said the new draft of the security law reflected “General Secretary Xi Jinping’s spirit.”
Another reason Mr. Xi wants these laws is more abstract, scholars say. Party ideology no longer plays a central role in the lives of ordinary Chinese the way it did in the Mao era, so the party needs to promote and institutionalize the ideology by whatever means it can, including by writing it into law. That is especially true under Mr. Xi, who since the day he took office in 2012 has promoted old-school party ideology in a way not seen since the aftermath of the June 1989 crackdown on pro-democracy protests around Tiananmen Square in Beijing. [Source]
The government is also emphasizing Party ideology through new regulations that require all government offices and businesses to have a CCP unit in order to ease the implementation of Party policy across society, according to a Reuters report.