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China's planned changes to espionage law alarm foreign businesses

Fears grow of more cases like Astellas employee's detention

Chinese President Xi Jinping, who secured an unprecedented third term in March, is moving to bolster national security. (Photo by Yusuke Hinata)

BEIJING -- China is preparing to restrict transfers of any information related to national security under an updated counterespionage law, raising fears of a stepped-up crackdown on foreign individuals and companies here.

The Standing Committee of the National People's Congress began deliberating the changes Monday. The legislation, which will broaden the definition of espionage, is expected to pass Wednesday.

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