Dual duties for China security panel

Discussion in 'China' started by Ray, Nov 14, 2013.

  1. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

    Apr 17, 2009
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    Dual duties for China security panel

    eijing, Nov. 13: China’s new national security committee will apparently differ from the National Security Council in Washington, on which it is modelled, in one crucial aspect: the Chinese version will have dual duties with responsibility over domestic security as well as foreign policy, Chinese experts say.

    That means the new body will deal with cybersecurity, relations with Tibet and unrest in Xinjiang province, where a restive Uighur population feels increasingly pressed by the ethnic Han majority, said Shi Yinhong, a professor of international relations at Renmin University in Beijing and an occasional adviser to the government.

    “In China, the security question is largely domestic: cyber, Xinjiang and Tibet,” Shi said. The focus will be on foreign policy with a considerable domestic component that will call for the Public Security Bureau to participate on the committee when it discusses matters of internal security, he said.

    The communiqué at the end of the Communist Party conference yesterday announced the formation of two new agencies: the national security committee that had been contemplated by previous Chinese Presidents, and a party leadership group on economic policy.

    The decision by President Xi Jinping to push ahead with the national security committee drew special attention because although two of his predecessors, Jiang Zemin and Hu Jintao, had contemplated forming such a coordinating policy group, bureaucratic resistance, particularly from the military, had prevented its creation, the experts said.

    Over the years, Chinese officials have asked their American counterparts about the workings of the National Security Council, established after World War II by President Harry S. Truman, to advise Presidents on national security and foreign policy and to coordinate policies among government agencies. In the US, the President is chairman of the National Security Council, and the regular attendees include the vice-president and the secretaries of state, defence and the treasury.

    The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff is the military adviser to the council, and the director of national intelligence is the intelligence adviser.

    It seemed clear from the Chinese announcement that Xi will head the new Chinese agency and that his position at the helm would serve to increase his already firm grasp on power, said Zhao Kejin, an associate professor at Tsinghua University in Beijing, who is an expert on China’s diplomacy.

    The precise membership of the new committee was not specified in the statement. It may take some months and considerable political jockeying before the exact composition of the new body is defined, Shi said. Another obvious difference between the American model and the new Chinese agency is the dominant role of the Communist Party in China.

    “The Standing Committee will still be king for all important things,” said Shi, referring to the seven men, including Xi, who are decision makers of the Politburo.

    At Sunnylands, the California estate where President Obama and Xi met for a two-day summit in June, an official in Xi’s entourage asked an American official about how the National Security Council was staffed, according to an American official who declined to be named because of the sensitivity of the matter.

    “I know of specific inquiries key Chinese officials were making as recently as a month ago about how the US NSC has evolved,” said Ken Lieberthal, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution who was a staff member of the National Security Council during the Clinton presidency.

    The Chinese version of the National Security Council would likely borrow elements from the department of homeland security, the American agency created after the September 2001 attacks to manage terrorism threats within the US, said Xie Yue, a professor of political science at Tongji University in Shanghai who is an expert on Chinese domestic security policy.

    Dual duties for China security panel


    The unrest in Tibet and Xinjaing has brought it under a greater scrutiny.

    Indeed, China has to ensure that by all means feasible, these two regions do not impinge on the domestic security or upset the foreign policy apple cart.

    Under the guise of loosening the society, China is actually tightening it further under the personal hawk eye of XI Jumping.

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