China dismisses as ‘preposterous’ claims of entry checks for phones

By Thomson Reuters May 27, 2024 | 11:02 PM

HONG KONG (Reuters) – Assertions that all arrivals in China will face mobile telephone checks from July 1 are false, authorities said on Tuesday, dismissing them as distortions of the truth made by “anti-China forces”.

On April 26, the state security ministry issued documents it said broadened the reach of law enforcement regulations and helped combat illegal activities that risk national security.

“However, some hostile overseas anti-China forces have seized on the opportunity to distort the truth by making scandalous and false allegations,” the ministry said in a statement on its public Wechat account.

In particular, it dismissed as “absolutely preposterous” a claim that all arrivals would undergo phone checks upon entry.

The new national security rule drew wide public attention and positive feedback, it said, adding that the newly amended counterespionage law sets specific regulations on lawful inspection of electronic equipment and facilities.

Targets of such inspection must be “individuals or organisations related to counter-espionage work, such as suspected spies who take pictures or videos in military restricted areas or classified units,” the ministry said.

The incident comes after Chinese lawmakers expanded a state secrets law this year, for the first time since 2010, widening the scope of restricted sensitive information to include what were described as “work secrets”.

(Reporting by Farah Master and the Beijing newsroom; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)