Stricter law on defence to be tabled
By CHRIS YEUNG
CHINA plans to have a new law drafted in about a year to tighten control over the country's national defence system, according to official reports.
Reports carried by Xinhua (the New China News Agency) and the Hong Kong China News Agency (HKCNA) said a drafting committee formed in October has begun its hectic work to ensure a draft law would be ready in about one year.
It will then be tabled to the National People's Congress for approval after it is passed by the Central Military Commission (CMC) and the State Council.
The drafting body is headed by CMC member and Defence Minister, General Chi Haotian.
Other members include relevant ministries under the State Council, major headquarters of the CMC, State Commission of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defence.
The reports said CMC chairman Jiang Zemin and premier Li Peng as well as other senior leaders had endorsed the report on the composition of the drafting body.
Xinhua said the group would organise and co-ordinate the participation of other relevant bodies in drafting the laws.
It would examine and solve any ''major problems'' which arise during the drafting, it said.
A China analyst said the communist Government was anxious to step up control over defence matters through legislation following the June 4, 1989, suppression.
The new law would also boost education on national security such as the protection of military equipment and facilities, he said.
''For instance, military facilities have been seriously damaged by people in border areas unintentionally. People just do not have the sense of upholding national security,'' the analyst said.
He said the rapid changes within the country's military establishment also made it imperative for the drafting of legislation to increase control over military activities.
He pointed to the emergence of more enterprises within the People's Liberation Army (PLA) and the growing reliance of some regional troops on local government funding.
The new law is expected to provide clearer regulations on matters such as the property rights of the PLA and the civilian army system, the analyst said.
The participation of officials from various authorities would ensure conflicts were settled behind closed doors, he said.
Xinhua said the purpose of the new law was to ''adjust and scrutinise'' the construction of national defence and the Army.
The first stage of work is to look at the ''theory'' and conduct practical research on the issue, it said.
The defence law would provide an authoritative and legal guarantee on the development of China's national defence in this new period, the HKCNA said.
Preparation work on the formulation of the national defence law began in 1991.