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Counter-Espionage Rules Stipulate Exit, Entry Restrictions

A new document, published on December 6, on detailed rules for the implementation of China's counter-espionage law, which took effect in 2014, stipulates that certain people may be subject to exit and entry restrictions.

The State Council's state security department may decide to restrict certain overseas individuals from entering if they are believed to be likely to undermine China's national security, according to the document.

The department may deport overseas individuals who violate the law, or order them to leave within a specified time limit. Those deported will be banned from entry for 10 years from the date of deportation.

State security agencies may decide to restrict people suspected of espionage from traveling overseas, the document said.

According to the rules, state security agencies are responsible for the implementation of the regulations, and public security authorities, secrecy departments and military units should cooperate within their jurisdictions.

The document stipulates that the State Council's state security department is legally responsible for identifying "espionage organizations and their agents" and "specialized espionage devices."

The identification of "hostile organizations" should be conducted by the state security department or public security authority, it said.

According to the 2014 counter-espionage law, the law could also apply to the work of state security and public security agencies in preventing and stopping acts that undermine national security.

Wednesday's document said that such acts may include organizing, plotting or conducting separatist or subversive activities, terrorism, and fabricating and spreading information detrimental to national security.

Acts that undermine national security through religion, cults or by instigating disputes among different ethnic groups should also be regulated, it said.

State security agencies are responsible for issuing arrest warrants, arresting those on suspicion of betraying their country or undermining China's national security, and making enquiries with organizations and personnel related to its counter-espionage tasks.

Staff of state security agencies have the right to check the belongings of those who are unidentified or are suspicious of undermining national security.

They should act in strict accordance with the law, and should not exceed or abuse their power, or infringe the rights and interests of organizations and individuals.

Citizens and organizations have the obligation to assist counter-espionage tasks, and those refuse to help or deliberately hinder such progress will be prosecuted for criminal liability, according to the document.

(Xinhua News Agency December 6, 2017)

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