China's President Xi Jinping (L) and his wife Peng Liyuan attend a ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, 26 May 2023. EFE-EPA FILE/THOMAS PETER / POOL

Xi urges CPC to modernize national security in light of new challenges

Beijing, May 31 (EFE).- Chinese President Xi Jinping has urged the Communist Party of China to make efforts to modernize and improve the national security capacity due to the emerging challenging circumstances for the country, state media reported Wednesday.

In a meeting of the national security commission under the CPC’s central committee, the president urged the party to “deeply understand the complex and challenging circumstances facing national security,” and “properly grasp major national security issues,” according to state news agency Xinhua.

In his speech during the event – held on Tuesday – Xi did not go into the details of the problems, but local media outlets have highlighted tensions with the United States and South China Sea as well as the Taiwan issue as the main security concerns of the leadership.

Xi, who is also the general secretary of the 20th central committee and the president of the central military commission, was presiding over the first meeting of the current security commission.

The commission stressed that the CPC had so far succeeded in “safeguarding national sovereignty, security and development interests” but warned that the “complexity and severity” of national security problems have “increased dramatically.”

“We must be prepared for worst-case and extreme scenarios, and be ready to withstand the major test of high winds, choppy waters, and even dangerous storms,” the CPC body said, as per Xinhua.

Moreover it also urged efforts to protect “political security” and improve security governance of network data and artificial intelligence.

Probes launched in recent months against foreign consultancies in China for “omitting national security risks” and “transmitting confidential information overseas” have triggered unease in the sector and among potential foreign investors, even though China has insisted that these were isolated actions.

On the other hand, in April China also amended its anti-spying law to include “collaboration with spy agencies and their agents” in the category of espionage.

The lawmakers said that the reform had a problem-solving orientation and widened the category of objects whose theft would be considered “theft of secrets.”

State daily Global Times said in a recent article that the law widens the definition of espionage to all the matters related to national security, as Beijing was doubling its efforts to protect itself at a time when the West – led by the United States – was “intensifying” its espionage activity in China. EFE