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Aug. 29, 2023

National Security after China’s 20th Party Congress: Trends in Discourse and Policy

By Sheena Chestnut Greitens

The 20th Party Congress in October 2022 affirmed the centrality of Xi Jinping’s vision of national (or state) security in Chinese domestic and foreign policy. Trends in national security discourse and policy at the start of Xi’s third term indicate that Chinese leaders continue to emphasize elements of the “comprehensive national security concept” framework established in 2014: the centrality of political/regime security, the interconnectedness of internal and external security threats, an emphasis on preventive solutions to security challenges, and the need to deepen reforms in national security law, organization, and policy to address an increasingly challenging security environment. At the same time, evolution is observable in four key areas of China’s national security policy: the changing prioritization of security vs. development; an enhanced focus on state security and counter-espionage work; emphasis on strengthening national security education; and efforts to harness foreign policy to shape China’s external environment in ways that are favorable to regime security.  

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