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Rule of law to consolidate high-level opening-up

By Cao Yin | China Daily | Updated: 2024-03-05 07:41
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Lou Qinjian, spokesman for the second session of the 14th National People's Congress, attends a news conference and briefs the media on the session. [ZHANG WEI/CHINA DAILY]

China will continue to promote high-quality opening-up through the rule of law, with stronger legislative efforts to continue to safeguard the legitimate interests of foreigners and overseas enterprises in the country, said an official from China's top legislature.

Lou Qinjian, spokesman for the second session of the 14th National People's Congress, said at a news conference on Monday that China will promote the strengthening of the rule of law in the process of expanding opening-up, and consolidate its legal foundation for high-quality opening-up.

Lou said that the NPC Standing Committee has formulated and revised several laws involving foreign affairs in recent years, with several other items of related legislation on its current legislative agenda.

"These legislative items aim to provide a legal basis for protecting the legitimate rights and interests of foreigners and overseas companies and organizations, and they are also to help build a market-oriented, legalized and internationalized first-class business environment," he added.

He made the comment in response to questions regarding a number of newly revised laws. These laws have been misinterpreted by foreign media.

Lou said that more such laws are on the nation's legislative agenda, but the purpose of such legislation is to bring more certainty and protection to the market and market players.

Saying that some foreign media previously reported that the revised Counter-Espionage Law expands the scope of espionage activities and that they had alleged that this led to greater risks for foreigners and foreign companies in China, Lou emphasized: "This is a misinterpretation of the law."

In April, the NPC Standing Committee adopted the revised Counter-Espionage Law, while the amended Law on Guarding State Secrets was adopted at the end of last month.

Lou said China opposes any attempt to attack its business environment by misreading the law, noting that it did not broaden the scope of espionage activities, but rather refined the definition of activities and drew a clear line between legal and illegal activities.

"It won't affect the normal activities of business, science and research cooperation, and academic exchanges," he said. "In fact, the law has beefed up foreigners' and foreign enterprises' sense of certainty and security in China."

China is committed to reform and opening-up, with the development of external relations and the promotion of friendly exchanges, he said, underscoring that "this attitude has never changed and will not change".

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