Sunday, June 13, 2021
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China to pass controversial anti-terror law, Obama raises concern

ChinaChina is set to pass its controversial new anti-terrorism law on Sunday, the largely rubber-stamp parliament said on Friday, despite US criticism about its cyber provisions and concerns over human rights.

The draft law, which could require technology firms to install “back doors” in products or hand over sensitive information such as encryption keys to the government, has also been criticised by some Western business groups.

US President Barack Obama has said that he had raised concern about the law directly with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

In a brief statement, China’s National People’s Congress said it would hold a news briefing on Sunday to talk about the law, following the end of parliament’s latest law-making session.

Parliament does not challenge or block legislation proposed by the ruling Communist Party, meaning it is certain to pass.

This week, the US State Department said it had expressed “serious concerns” about the law which it said would do more harm than good against the threat of terrorism.

China’s Foreign Ministry hit back, saying technology companies had nothing to fear and the US had no right to intervene.

On Thursday, the US Embassy took the unusual step of issuing Christmas security warnings for Westerners in Sanlitun, a popular Beijing diplomatic and entertainment district.

Chinese police stepped up patrols, though no specific threat has been reported.

China’s official Xinhua news agency, in an English-language commentary, said the US should stop harping on about the law and help Beijing fight terrorism instead.

“It is always the innocent people that fall victim to terrorism and extremism, and that is why the Chinese government is taking concrete actions to protect its people, including ordinary Americans enjoying Christmas in Beijing’s Sanlitun,” it said.

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