Xi Jinping

China's National Security Commission holds its first meeting

Xi Jinping presides over meeting, says body will focus on both domestic and international threats

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 16 April, 2014, 5:06am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 16 April, 2014, 9:35am

The newly established National Security Commission formally came into operation yesterday with Communist Party chief Xi Jinping presiding over its first meeting.

Xi outlined the commission's policy programme, describing it as a "comprehensive approach to national security", according to Xinhua.

Xi said the body would focus on both domestic and international security issues as the Communist Party faced unprecedented challenges from internal and external sources, Xinhua added.

The body's composition is not known. A state television anchorman read a statement issued after the meeting during the evening newscast without showing footage of the meeting.

The statement said both of the panel's vice-chairmen, Premier Li Keqiang and National People's Congress chairman Zhang Dejiang, attended the meeting.

Xi said national security was of paramount importance for consolidating the Communist Party's hold on power and the nation's development.

The body should balance domestic and external security needs, as well as those of individual citizens and territories, he said. It should put equal emphasis on conventional and unconventional security issues, the latter a reference to terrorism.

Xi said the country would attach great importance to international security to "form a community of common destiny and promote all parties involved to seek mutual benefit and common security interests".

Jia Qingguo, a professor of international relations at Peking University, said internal security would be the main concern of the committee.

"Similar committees of overseas nations focus more on external and diplomatic affairs, but for China, the internal situation will be given more weight," Jian said.

Xu Guangyu, a retired PLA major general, said counter-terrorism would be a major issue for the committee to tackle, as domestic terrorist attacks posed a serious threat to the public.

Chen Jiping of the China Law Society said during the National People's Congress that Li Zhanshu, head of the party's general office, would serve concurrently as the head of the commission's general office.

The South China Morning Post reported previously that Cai Qi would likely become deputy head of the general office.

Additional reporting by Teddy Ng and Minnie Chan