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The Politburo has identified political security as the top priority. Photo: Xinhua

China’s Communist Party targets big risks in countdown to congress

  • Politburo gives top priority to political security and defending against infiltration and subversion
  • Group also passes national security strategy but offers no details
The Communist Party pledged to double down on controlling risks across the board in the countdown to a major party meeting next year that is set to mark the start of President Xi Jinping’s third term as party leader.

“[We] must insist on making political security the top priority and coordinate to step up security work in key disciplines including political security, economic security, social security [and] technology security,” the Politburo said in a statement after a meeting on Thursday.

“[We] must firmly uphold regime security, institutional security and ideological security, and strictly defend ourselves against all sorts of infiltration and subversive acts.”

The 25 members of the party’s inner circle – led by Xi – also pledged to be on guard for systemic financial risks and to ensure industry was more resilient.


Chinese Communist Party resolution cements Xi Jinping leadership, putting him on par with Mao

Chinese Communist Party resolution cements Xi Jinping leadership, putting him on par with Mao

The Politburo, which meets about once a month, also passed the “National Security Strategy (2021-2025)” but offered no details on the document.

An apparently similar document called the National Security Strategic Outline was passed during a Politburo meeting in 2015.

Thursday’s statement underlined a holistic approach to national security, which means looking at a broad set of political, economic and social issues through the lens of national security.

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The pledges on national security come amid preparations for next year’s party congress, a twice-a-decade conclave for leadership transitions.

Selection for the 2,300 members to attend the congress started on Thursday and will continue until June. The members are expected to meet in the following autumn to select a new generation of party leaders and confirm Xi’s continued rule.

Thursday’s meeting generated a long list of risks that officials should pay close attention to, including food security, infrastructure and social stability.

The Politburo also called for continued disease control efforts to stem the coronavirus pandemic, and vowed to defend national sovereignty and territorial integrity.

“[We] must create a favourable external environment; and make no concessions on issues of national core interests and national dignity,” the statement said.


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The Politburo meeting was held a week after the sixth plenum, a four-day closed-door gathering of hundreds of high-ranking party members.

National security was also a focus of the plenum, with a communique from the meeting saying China faced “unprecedented” external pressure and was not well-equipped enough to deal with its national security challenges.
Among successful examples of safeguarding national security mentioned in the communique were Beijing’s policies in Hong Kong, Xinjiang, Tibet and disputed waters.
This article appeared in the South China Morning Post print edition as: politburo vows security will be main priority