China moved closer on Monday to adopting a controversial cybersecurity law, after parliament held a second reading of the draft rules, which carry significant consequences for domestic and foreign business and threaten greater censorship.
China enforces widespread controls over the internet that it has sought to codify in law, and Chinese laws often go through multiple readings and drafts before they are adopted.
The draft, presented before the standing committee of the National People’s Congress, requires network operators to comply with social morals and accept the supervision of the government and public, official news agency Xinhua said.
China is denouncing interpretations of its military operations in the East and the South China Sea contained in a new new U.S. Defense Department report that spotlighted a focus on cyberwarfare.
The report “deliberately distorted” China’s defense policy and legitimate actions, spokesman Yang Yujun said in a statement posted Saturday on the Chinese defense ministry’s official feed on Weibo, the popular Chinese microblogging site.
China typically responds sharply to the U.S. assessments, and the 156-page document was released ahead of a visit to Vietnam and Japan this month by President Barack Obama amid increasing tensions between the U.S., China and Southeast Asian nations over sovereignty claims in the South China Sea.