Okays establishment of an all-powerful security set-up to formulate strategies to deal with terrorism and separatism

Beijing : China’s ruling Communist Party has approved the formation of an all-powerful security committeeto formulate strategies to deal with emerging challenges like terrorism and separatism. The National Security Committee, being formulated on the lines of the US National Security Council consisting of heads of military, intelligence and top homeland security officials, was announced by the leaders of the Communist Party of China yesterday after a four-day meeting known as the Third Plenum. “A national security committee will be established to perfect the national security system and national security strategy and safeguard national security,” the announcement said.

“The purpose for China to establish the Committee is to improve our national security regime and national security strategy so as to ensure the security of the nation,” China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang told a media briefing here today answering a question on the purpose of such a committee.
“The establishment of security will make forces like terrorism, extremism and separatism nervous,” he said replyingto a question from a Japanese journalist. “In general, all those forces who would tend to threaten or sabotage China’s national security will feel nervous,” said Qin declining to say whether Foreign Minister Wang Yi will be the committee’s member.
Replying to a question by the Japanese journalist whether China’s decision is related to Japan’s plan for a similar council, Qin said: “Your question placed a trap for me… “Are you trying to put Japan in that place?”
The new agency would include representatives from the diplomatic, military, intelligence and commerce agencies, with a view to avoiding the implementation of policies becoming fragmented, the South China Morning Post said.
“Beijing has in recent years moved gradually from a low-key foreign policy approach to a more proactive one.
The party leadership that took power under (President) Xi Jinping last November is widely seen as being more assertive, especially in territorial disputes with maritime neighbours such as Japan and the Philippines,” it said.
Internally, public discontent over social and economic equality and potential ethnic unrest in Tibet and Xinjiang are considered the main security threats.
“The committee will probably be an organisation that has the power to coordinate government organs at the highest level to respond to a major emergency and incidents that pose threats to national security, such as border conflicts and major terrorist attacks,” Li Wei, director of the anti-terrorism centre at the China Institutes of ContemporaryInternational Relations, told state-run China Daily.
China is facing increased social conflict due to a widening wealth gap and corruption and threats from terrorism have also spread to the political heart of the country from remote border areas, the Daily said. Ahead of the Plenum meet, a disgruntled ex-convict had set off home-made serial bomb blasts in front of a party office building in Taiyuan in which one person was killed and eight others injured.
On October 28, five people were killed and 40 injured when three attackers from Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region drove a jeep into a crowd in Tian’anmen Square in the heart of Beijing on a suicide mission.
Until now, China lacked a powerful agency to co-ordinate security strategies across various departments, such as those responsible for intelligence, the military, foreign affairs and police, even though the idea was floated more than 30 years ago, the Post report said.

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