• Tue
  • Dec 23, 2014
  • Updated: 9:11pm

'Cultural threats' among five focuses of new national security panel, colonel says

National security committee will plan response to extremists, online agitators and West's cultural influence, among others, colonel says

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 14 January, 2014, 4:48am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 14 January, 2014, 10:31am

China's new national security committee will target five types of "unconventional security threats", including extremist forces and ideological challenges to the culture posed by Western nations, a senior colonel has said.

Gong Fangbin said existing government agencies were not well equipped to handle the new "highly intertwined and complicated" security threats.

The other areas of concern were cybersecurity, which includes calls made on the internet for protests against the government, ideological struggle and a combination of conventional and unconventional threats.

"No single agency can handle such threats," Gong said in an article for the Study Times, the daily newspaper of the Communist Party's Central Party School. "It is necessary to set up a high-level agency that has the proper authority to co-ordinate all forces involved."

The establishment of the committee was announced after the party's third plenum in November, but no details about its structure or role were given.

Gong, also a professor at the National Defence University, said ideological challenges had grown. The West was imposing its values on the world, which made it difficult for China to protect its interests. Hollywood movies for example were changing the thinking and values of the nation's youth, he said.

The committee would also need to address threats posed by the internet. Online communities were being used to organise massive anti-government protests elsewhere in the world, putting governments at risk.

"Western nations such as the United States have used the cyber community as a channel to influence … China, and we are not fully prepared to face the challenge in this regard," Gong said.

Observers said singling out ideological threats as a main task of the committee indicated the party wanted to pursue political stability through tighter domestic security and monitoring online activities would be part of it.

"The key word should be political security," said Dr Mathieu Duchatel, head of the China and Global Security Project at the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. "There are also external sources of threats, and there is a linkage between the two."

Li Wei , an anti-terrorism expert with the China Institute of Contemporary International Relations, said Beijing needed to step up efforts to deal with online threats. "Radical thoughts are spread through the mobile internet, posing a more serious threat to society," he said.

Gong said the committee would be more like its Russian equivalent than the US National Security Council, which is part of the Executive Office of the President. The Russian council is a consultative body of the nation's president composed of key ministers.

He said the body would be tasked largely with planning, co-ordination and consultation. Power to carry out policies would stay with existing government agencies.



For unlimited access to:

SCMP.com SCMP Tablet Edition SCMP Mobile Edition 10-year news archive



This article is now closed to comments

Really! Could there be any greater threat to Chinese culture than the Communist Party? Mao and the Party has essentially destroyed Chinese culture, and continues to do that through its draconian cultural policies. I remember interviewing some of the surviving Peking Opera greats several years ago. They each told me how opera stars were persecuted during the political campaigns. One leading performer told me she was pushed out a window. She walked with a serious limp. I was also told that opera would never regain its former glory because the destruction was too great. And this is across the board. The only places where we see progress and greatness are from artists who shine despite the Party's grip on culture, and not because of it. There's very little culture that the Party has been involved with that is worth much.
naive me. And I thought cultural threats are things like the pollution eating away on the old buildings, or fires burning down old cities like in Shangri-La, or developers destroying old hutongs, or people remaining ignorant of their heritage. Turns out it's all about the boogeyman instead... *yawn*
Book burning for the iPhone age
Not surprising that the CCPC will exert greater control over the media and the internet, employing the same tactics and strategies of the Cultural Revolution. Instead of confronting critical social, economic and environmental crisis, Chinese Overlords deflect attention to a fictitious threat into its culture and often blame foreign governments for historical aggressions - Japan and USA.
In truth, they are preparing for their own demise.
Remitting Prosperity
How pathetic. What a sad little paranoid Party they are becoming. And yet Western countries are not threatened by Communist values are they? Why could that be?
Sad, pathetic little trolls hiding in Zhongnanhai talking about all the evil WESTERN cultural influences (as if Japan's anime, manga and p_or_n haven't already totally worked their way into the hearts and minds of China's male population) that may hurt their naive and ignorant population.
Yes...do 100% block all Hollywood and European movies and TV programs (IF you can also block illegal DVD sales and Chinese online streaming websites)! But what about the WTO that you so eagerly signed onto? And what about all your darling princeling children that go to university in the West? However shall you block them from all the evil influences? 24-7 attendants on duty to make sure darling children don't stray ideologically?
The feelings of the Chinese people are insulted...
Make Spring Festival New Year's Gala mandatory viewing.
It's the epitome of China's cultural achievement.
And the pinnacle...


SCMP.com Account