A draft proposal for China’s first anti-terrorism law was reviewed by lawmakers on Feb 25 and, if approved, is likely to accelerate improvements in the management of aviation airspace to guard against terrorist attacks.
The draft had already undergone a first reading by the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress in October at the committee’s bimonthly session. It is currently in the process of a second reading at the ongoing NPC session.
It defines terrorism and includes articles dealing with the management of the country’s airspace to reduce risks and protect the public.
The draft is expected to pass after its third reading, if customary procedures are followed. When passed, China’s counterterrorism efforts will be reinforced from a legal perspective, and aviation work practices will be more tightly regulated.
“With more airspace open for aircraft, and with the development of drones, the committee decided to introduce an article requiring those departments responsible for airspace control, civil aviation and public security to tighten their management of airspace and aircraft, as well as aviation-related activities, to prevent aircraft from being targeted,” the draft said.
It also sought to strike a balance between combating extremism and protecting individual rights. In particular, security authorities’ access to citizens’ information via electronic technology would go through “strict approval procedures”. Information obtained under the draft law could only be used for the purpose of counterterrorism operations, the draft said.