China's Ministry of State Security stipulates strict restrictions and supervisions on the state organs' counter-espionage work
Published: Aug 07, 2023 11:47 PM Updated: Aug 07, 2023 11:45 PM
spy Photo: VCG

Spy Photo: VCG

China's revised Counter-Espionage Law has clearly stipulated the strict restrictions and supervisions on the state organs' counter-espionage work in terms of four aspects, China's Ministry of State Security (MSS) said on its recently debuted WeChat account on Monday.

According to the MSS, the Counter-Espionage Law clearly defines the approval authority for law enforcement powers. According to the different nature and types of law enforcement powers, they will be designated to be exercised by corresponding levels of national security agencies, with strict approval processes, to strengthen pre-regulation and oversight from the very beginning.

The Counter-Espionage Law also clearly stipulates that law enforcement procedures must adhere to specific requirements. In counter-espionage work, personnel from national security agencies must work with a minimum of two individuals present when employing measures such as accessing, retrieving, summoning, inspecting, querying, sealing, seizing or freezing. They should also present their official work permit and identification, and provide appropriate legal documents as it's required by regulations. 

Important evidence-gathering activities such as inspections, sealing, and seizures should be recorded with audio and video throughout the process, in a bid to enhance in-process supervision through procedural means. 

Besides, the administrative penalty decisions should be implemented in accordance with the relevant provisions of China's Administrative Penalty Law. 

The Counter-Espionage Law also clarifies the internal supervision system, stipulating that national security agencies shall strictly implement the internal supervision and security review system, supervise the staff in complying with laws and regulations, conduct regular or irregular security reviews, and enhance internal supervision through institutional measures. 

Moreover, the Counter-Espionage Law specifies the channels for reporting. Anyone has the right to report or accuse the national security agency and its staff of any illegal activities to higher-level national security agencies, supervisory authorities, or the people’s procuratorates. 

The official WeChat account of the MSS debuted on August 1 with registration information showing its certification as "MSS." "National security is the foundation of national rejuvenation. It adheres to the overall national security concept and resolutely safeguards national sovereignty, security, and development interests," the account said on its introduction page. 

Global Times