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China set to keep weather forecasts as national secrets, says newspaper

China set to keep weather forecasts as national secrets, says newspaper

China's government, which suppresses a range of information deemed threatening to national security, now wants to keep weather forecasts from falling into the wrong hands, state press said yesterday.
New regulations to take effect next year will clamp down on the illegal acquisition of Chinese meteorological information by foreigners, the China Daily newspaper reported. The China Meteorological Administration has identified about 20 breaches of weather security since 2000, the paper said.
"Illegal meteorological surveys and data collection have infringed China's sovereignty... and threatened the country's security," the paper quoted CMA Vice Minister Zheng Guogang as saying.
Examples of the breaches include the construction by a Japanese company of an illegal meteorological observation station around a power plant in northwest China last year, it said. This year, a British group built an observation station near the venue for 2008 Olympic yachting events, which also is near a military harbor, in the eastern China city of Qingdao.
"Meteorological data plays an important role in the national economy, social development and daily life. It also plays an equally important role in national defense and military activities," the newspaper said.
It did not say how weather information could be used against China by foreign forces.
China strictly controls information such as military data, planned changes in its political leadership and embarrassing environmental and health information seen as possibly capable of triggering unrest.


Updated : 2021-09-17 10:18 GMT+08:00