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China Proposes Legislation to Promote Biosecurity as Part of a Broader National Security Push

24 Jul 2020

The two latest editions of the MoFo Life Sciences blog feature detailed discussions of China’s new draft Biosecurity Law, which contemplates set-up of a comprehensive administrative regime for monitoring and protecting national security in the life sciences realm. It has potentially wide‑ranging implications for life sciences companies, given new security measures applicable to biotech R&D, restrictions on access by foreign parties to human genetic resources (HGR) and biological resources, and other measures discussed in the blog.

At the same time, the draft law ought to be of interest not only to life sciences companies. It is just one part of a broader effort by the Chinese government to strengthen the protection of national security interests that goes back to the 2015 promulgation of China’s National Security Law; drove promulgation of legislation on cyber security, terrorism, and national intelligence between 2015 and now; and, most visibly to foreign observers, led to the June 30, 2020, enactment of the Hong Kong National Security Law. A number of other new pieces of legislation with some national security implications are also in the legislative process alongside the draft Biosecurity Law, including a Personal Information Protection Law and Data Security Law, as well as amendments to the Criminal Law and the Administrative Penalty Law that will provide for enhanced administrative and criminal penalties for national security offenses. National security restrictions may start to affect international businesses in China across a broadening range of sectors.

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