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Falling Short: Appendix II: Media Law in China


12. Appendix II: Media Law in China

Regulations for the Administration of Publishing (Excerpts)

(Translation provided by TransAsia Lawyers, a firm that specializes in media law in China, from its publication China’s Media and Entertainment Law, Vol. 11, 2006)

Promulgated on December 25, 2001, by the State Council as Decree No. 343. Effective February 1, 2002

Article 1 These regulations are enacted in accordance with the Constitution in order to strengthen the administration of publishing activities, promote the development and prosperity of socialist publishing activities with Chinese characteristics, guarantee the right of citizens to exercise the freedom to publish in accordance with the law, and promote the development of a socialist material and spiritual culture.

Article 3 Publishing shall adhere to the principle of serving the people and socialism, and shall continue to be guided by Marxism-Leninism, Mao Zedong Thought, and Deng Xiaoping Theory. Publishing shall disseminate and accumulate all scientific and cultural knowledge that is beneficial to the elevation of the national character, the development of the economy, and the improvement of society, and shall enhance the outstanding characteristics of the national culture, promote international cultural exchanges, and enrich and elevate the spiritual lives of the people.

Article 5 Citizens are legally entitled to exercise their right to freedom of publishing, and this right shall be guaranteed by the people’s government at all levels.

In exercising their right to freedom of publishing, citizens must abide by the Constitution and the law. No citizen may oppose the fundamental principles confirmed by the Constitution, or cause harm to state interests, societal collective interests, or the legal freedom and rights of other citizens.

Article 10 The State Council administrative department for publishing shall formulate a plan for the total number, structure, and distribution of publishing entities, and shall guide and regulate the development of the publishing industry.

Article 11 Those wishing to establish publishing units shall fulfill the following conditions:

(1) they shall possess a name and articles of association for a publishing entity;
(2) their sponsoring entity and its competent authority shall have been confirmed by the State Council administrative department for publishing;
(3) they shall possess a definite business scope;
(4) they shall possess a registered capital totaling at least RMB300,000 and permanent business premises;
(5) they shall possess an organizational structure appropriate to the needs of their business scope, and professional editorial personnel who meet the qualifications stipulated by the state; and
(6) other conditions stipulated by laws and administrative regulations.

In addition to the conditions set forth in the above clauses, approval for the establishment of publishing entities shall also conform to the plan for the total number, structure, and distribution of publishing entities.

Article 24 Citizens may freely express in publications their opinions and wishes concerning the affairs of state, economic and cultural matters, and social matters in accordance with the stipulations of these regulations. Citizens may also freely publish their scientific research, literary and artistic creations, and the fruits of other cultural activities.

Publications that are lawful are protected by law. No organization or individual may illegally interfere with, obstruct, or disrupt the publishing of such publications.

Article 26 No publication may contain content that:
(1) opposes the basic principles set forth in the Constitution;
(2) jeopardizes the unity, sovereignty, or territorial integrity of the state;
(3) divulges state secrets, jeopardizes national security, or is detrimental to the dignity and interests of the state;
(4) incites ethnic hatred or discrimination, disrupts ethnic unity, or violates the customs and habits of ethnic minorities;
(5) advocates cults or superstition;
(6) disrupts the social order or undermines social stability;
(7) promulgates obscenity, gambling, or violence, or incites criminal activity;
(8) insults or slanders others, or infringes upon the legitimate rights and interests of others;
(9) is detrimental to social morality or to the finer cultural traditions of the nation; or
(10) any other content that is prohibited by law, administrative regulations, or state rules.

Article 27 Publications targeted at minors may not contain content that incites minors to emulate activities that run counter to social morality or that violate the law. Such publications shall not include depictions of terror or cruelty that are detrimental to the physical and mental health of minors.

Article 56 Where any of the activities listed below constitutes a crime, criminal liabilities shall be pursued in accordance with criminal law. Where a crime has not been constituted, the administrative department of publishing shall order the suspension of operations pending rectification within a time limit, and shall confiscate the publications and illicit income; where the illegal turnover exceeds RMB10,000, a fine of between 5 and 10 times the total amount of such illegal turnover shall also be imposed; where the amount of legal turnover is less than RMB10,000, a fine of between RMB10,000 and 50,000 shall also be imposed; in serious cases, the permit shall also be revoked by its original issuing department. The activities in question are as follows:

(1) publishing and importing publications containing content prohibited under Article 26 and 27 hereof;
(2) printing or duplication, and distribution of publications containing content prohibited under Articles 26 and 27 hereof by entities that are fully aware or should be aware of such prohibition; and
(3) sale or transfer by other means by a publishing entity of its name, book numbers, serial numbers, and page space, or lease of its name and serial numbers to others for the publishing of their publications, where the entity is fully aware or should be aware that the contents of such publications are prohibited under Articles 26 and 27 hereof.

Regulations for the Administration of Radio and Television (Excerpts)

(Translation provided by TransAsia Lawyers, a firm that specializes in media law in China, from its publication China’s Media and Entertainment Law, Vol. 11, 2006)

Promulgated on August 11, 1997, by the State Council as Decree No. 228. Effective September 1, 1997

Article 1 These regulations are enacted in order to strengthen the administration of radio and television, to develop radio and television activities, and to promote socialist, spiritual, and material civilization.

Article 31 Radio and television programs shall be produced by radio stations, television stations, and radio and television production business entities approved by the administrative departments for radio and television of people’s governments at or above the provincial level. Radio stations and television stations may not broadcast radio or television programs produced by entities which have not secured an operating permit for radio and television program production.

Article 32 Radio stations and television stations shall raise the quality of radio and television programs and increase the number of high-quality programs produced domestically; the production and broadcast of programs containing the following material is prohibited:

(1) that which is harmful to national unity, sovereignty, or territorial integrity;
(2) that which is harmful to national security, honor, or interest;
(3) that which incites ethnic division or damages ethnic unity;
(4) that which divulges state secrets;
(5) that which defames or insults other persons;
(6) that which is obscene or superstitious or is graphically violent; or
(7) other materials which are prohibited by laws and administrative rules and regulations.

Article 33 Radio stations and television stations shall carry out the pre-broadcast censorship of the contents of radio and television programs they broadcast and shall re-censor the contents of repeat broadcasts in accordance with Article 32 of these regulations.

Article 49 Where programs containing content prohibited by Article 32 of these regulations are produced, broadcast, or supplied to overseas parties, the administrative departments for radio and television of people’s governments at or above the county level will order the cessation of such production, broadcast, or overseas supply, confiscate their carriage medium, and impose a fine of between RMB10,000 and 50,000. In serious cases, the original approval authority will revoke the offender’s permit. Where regulations for the administration of public order are violated, public security authorities will impose public order administration penalties in accordance with the law. Where the act in question constitutes a crime, criminal liability will be pursued in accordance with the law.

Provisional Rules for the Administration of Online Publishing (Excerpts)

(Translation provided by TransAsia Lawyers, a firm that specializes in media law in China, from its publication China’s Media and Entertainment Law, Vol. 11, 2006)

Promulgated on June 27, 2002, by the General Administration of Press and Publication and Ministry of Information Industry as Decree No. 17. Effective August 1, 2002

Article 2 Those entities engaged in online publishing activities shall abide by the Constitution and relevant laws and regulations and shall adhere to the principles of socialism and serving the people. Online publishing shall disseminate and accumulate all scientific and cultural knowledge conducive to the elevation of the national character, the development of the economy, and the improvement of society, so as to enrich and elevate the spiritual lives of the people.

Article 4 The General Administration of Press and Publication is responsible for the nationwide supervision and administration of online publishing. Its main responsibilities include:

(1) formulating a nationwide plan for online publishing and organizing the implementation of the same;
(2) formulating guidelines, policies, and rules for the administration of online publishing;
(3) formulating a nationwide plan for the total number, structure, and distribution of online publishing entities and organizing the implementation of the same;
(4) implementing the preliminary examination process for online publishing entities; and
(5) monitoring and supervising the content of online publications and administering penalties to those entities in violation of national publishing laws according to relevant laws and regulations.

The press and publication administrations of provinces, autonomous regions, and directly-administered municipalities are responsible within their respective administrative areas for the day-to-day administration of online publishing, the examination and verification of entities applying to engage in online publishing, and the imposition of penalties on entities in violation of national publishing laws.

Article 6 Any entity engaged in online publishing must be approved to do so. Entities or individuals that do not have approval may not engage in online publishing activities.

No organization or individual may interfere with, obstruct, or sabotage online publishing institutions lawfully engaging in online publishing activities.

Article 16 Where online publishing entities publish works related to important topics such as national security and social stability, they must file the same for the record with the General Administration of Press and Publication according to the relevant stipulations for filing important topics. Publications which have not been filed in this manner must not be published.

Article 17 No online publication may contain content that:

(1) opposes the basic principles set forth in the Constitution;
(2) jeopardizes the unity, sovereignty, or territorial integrity of the state;
(3) divulges state secrets, jeopardizes national security, or is detrimental to the honor and interests of the state;
(4) incites ethnic hatred or discrimination, disrupts ethnic unity, or infringes upon ethnic customs and habits;
(5) advocates cults or superstitions;
(6) disrupts the social order or undermines social stability;
(7) propagates obscenity, gambling, or violence, or incites criminal activity;
(8) insults or slanders others, or infringes upon the legitimate interests of others;
(9) is detrimental to social morality or the finer cultural traditions of the nation; or
(10) is otherwise prohibited by law, administrative regulations, or state rules.

Article 18 Online publications that target minors shall not contain content that incites minors to engage in activities that run counter to social morality or that violate the law, nor shall such publications include terrifying or cruel content detrimental to the physical and mental health of minors.

Article 20 In the event that an online information service provider discovers that information transmitted by its Web site clearly falls under one of the categories listed under

Articles 17 and 18 hereof, it shall immediately stop the said transmission, retain the relevant records, and report the situation to the press and publication administration of the relevant province, autonomous region, or directly-administered municipality and at the same time report the incident to the General Administration of Press and Publication.

Article 21 Online publishing entities shall implement an editorial responsibility system, and must designate editors for examining the content of publications to ensure the legality of the same. Editors shall be trained before commencing their jobs.

Article 22 Online publishing entities shall record the content, corresponding publication time, and Web site address or domain name for all published or transmitted works and retain copies of the same for 60 days. Such records shall be made available to the relevant state authorities when they make inquiries in accordance with the law.

Article 26 Entities that violate the stipulations of Article 16 of these rules shall be ordered to cease the publication or transmission of such publications, and shall receive a warning from the General Administration of Press and Publication or the press and publication administration of the relevant province, autonomous region, or directly-administered municipality. In addition, they shall be fined between RMB10,000 and 50,000. In serious cases, the online publishing entity may be ordered to suspend operations and rectify the violation within a specified time limit or may have its approval revoked.

Article 27 Entities that violate the stipulations of Article 17 or 18 of these rules shall have their illicit income confiscated by the General Administration of Press and Publication or the press and publication administration of the relevant province, autonomous region, or directly-administered municipality. In addition, where the amount of such illicit revenue exceeds RMB10,000, a fine of between 5 and 10 times the amount of such illicit revenue shall be imposed simultaneously; where the amount of illicit revenue is less than RMB10,000, a fine of between RMB10,000 and 50,000 shall be imposed simultaneously.
In serious cases, the online publishing entity may be ordered to suspend operations and rectify the violation within a specific time or may have its approval revoked.

Article 28 Entities that violate the stipulations of Article 22 of these rules will be ordered by the telecommunications administration of the relevant province, autonomous region, and directly-administered municipality to rectify this violation. In serious cases, the online publishing entity may be ordered to suspend operations and rectify the violation or temporarily shut down its Web sites.

Provisions on the Administration of Internet News Information Services (Excerpts)

(Translation provided by the Congressional-Executive Commission on China)

Promulgated by the State Council Information Office and the Ministry of Information Industry on September 25, 2005

Article 3 Internet News Information Service Work Units that engage in Internet News Information Service shall abide by the Constitution, laws, and regulations, persist in being oriented toward serving the people and serving socialism, persist in correctly guiding public opinion, and safeguard the nation’s interests and the public interest.

The nation encourages Internet News Information Service work units to disseminate healthy and civilized News Information that is conducive to raising the quality of the nation, promoting economic development, and spurring social progress.

Article 19 Neither the News Information posted or transmitted, nor the current event electronic bulletin service provided, by Internet News Information Service Work Units may include any of the following content:

(1) violating the basic principles as they are confirmed in the Constitution;
(2) jeopardizing the security of the nation, divulging state secrets, subverting of the national regime, or jeopardizing the integrity of the nation’s unity;
(3) harming the honor or the interest of the nation;
(4) inciting hatred against peoples, racism against peoples, or disrupting the solidarity of peoples;
(5) disrupting national policies on religion, [or] propagating evil cults and feudal superstitions;
(6) spreading rumors, disturbing social order, or disrupting social stability;
(7) spreading obscenity, pornography, gambling, violence, [or] terror, or abetting the commission of a crime;
(8) insulting or defaming third parties, [or] infringing on the legal rights and interests of third parties;
(9) inciting illegal assemblies, associations, marches, demonstrations, or gatherings that disturb social order;
(10) conducting activities in the name of an illegal civil organization; and
(11) any other content prohibited by law or rules.

Article 20 Internet News Information Service Work Units shall establish a News Information content administration responsibility system. They may not post or transmit News Information with contents that violate clause 1 of Article 3 or Article 19 of these Rules; and if they discover that a current event electronic service has provided any content that violates Article 3, clause 1, or Article 19 of these Rules, they shall immediately delete it, retain relevant records, and provide them to relevant departments upon an inquiry made in accordance with the law.

Article 21 Internet News Information Service Work Units shall record the contents and the time and Internet address of all News Information they post and transmit, and record backups shall be maintained for at least 60 days, and shall be provided to relevant departments upon an inquiry made in accordance with the law.

Article 23 The State Council Information Office and the People’s Government information offices in the provinces, autonomous regions, and municipalities directly under the central government shall carry out supervision of Internet News Information Service; if they discover an Internet News Information Service Work Unit has posted or transmitted News Information, or provided a current event electronic bulletin service with contents that violate clause 1 of Article 3 or Article 19 of these Rules, they shall notify it to delete it. The Internet News Information Service Work Unit shall immediately delete it, retain relevant records, and provide them to relevant departments upon an inquiry made in accordance with the law.

Article 26 Anyone who, in violation of clause 2, Article 5 of these Rules, engages in Internet News Information Service without authorization, or who, in violation of Article 15 of these Rules, exceeds the scope of the service items for which they have been checked and ratified and engages in Internet News Information Service, shall be ordered to cease all illegal activities and fined more than 10,000 yuan and less than 30,000 yuan by the State Council Information Office or the People’s Government information office in the province, autonomous region, and municipality directly under the central government, in accordance with their respective official powers; if the circumstances are severe, the department responsible for telecommunications shall, in accordance with a written determination of the State Council Information Office or the People’s Government information office in the province, autonomous region, and municipality directly under the central government, on the basis of the stipulations of relevant Internet information service supervision administrative regulations, terminate the Internet information service or order the Internet access service to terminate access services.

Article 27 If the News Information an Internet News Information Service Work Unit posts or transmits includes contents prohibited under Article 19 of these Rules, or if they refuse to carry out their duty to delete, they shall be given a warning by the State Council Information Office or the People’s Government information office in the province, autonomous region, and municipality directly under the central government, and may be subject to a fine of more than 10,000 yuan and less than 30,000 yuan; if the circumstances are severe, the department responsible for telecommunications shall, in accordance with written determination of the State Council Information Office or the People’s Government Information Office in the province, autonomous region, and municipality directly under the central government, on the basis of the stipulations of relevant Internet information service supervision administrative regulations, terminate the Internet information service or order the Internet access service to terminate access services.

If the News Information an Internet News Information Service Work Unit posts or transmits includes contents prohibited under clause 1, Article 3 of these Rules, the State Council Information Office or the People’s Government information office in the province, autonomous region, and municipality directly under the central government shall, in accordance with their respective official powers, impose sanctions of the kind and scope stipulated in the foregoing clause.

Secrecy Rules in Respect of News Publishing (Excerpts)

(Translation provided by TransAsia Lawyers, a firm that specializes in media law in China, from its publication China’s Media and Entertainment Law, Vol. 11, 2006)

Promulgated June 13, 1992, by the State Secrecy Bureau Publicity Department of the CPC Central Committee, State Press and Publication Administration and Ministry of Radio, Film and Television as Document No. [1992] 34. Effective October 1, 1992

Article 5 News publishing entities and entities supplying information shall establish sound systems for the censorship of secrets in news publishing in accordance with the state laws and regulations regarding secrecy.

Article 6 Systems for the censorship of secrets in news publishing shall implement a combination of self-censorship and external censorship.

Article 7 In respect of information which they intend to make public, news publishing entities and entities supplying information shall undertake self-censorship in accordance with the relevant secrecy regulations; where it is unclear whether the information in question involves state secrets, they shall submit such information to the relevant departments in charge or to their higher-level authorities or entities for review and approval.

Article 8 Where information involving state secrets needs to be reported or circulated to relevant departments by news publishing entities and their reporters or editors, this shall be undertaken via internal channels, and the information being reported or circulated shall be marked as state secrets in accordance with the relevant regulations.

Article 10 News publishing entities which conduct interviews at meetings or other activities involving state secrets shall obtain prior approval from the organizing entity. The organizing entity shall verify the identities of the interviewers, indicate what content may not be openly reported or published, and review and approve that content which is intended for publication.

Article 12 Relevant authorities and entities shall designate certain censorship bodies or censors as being authorized to represent them. Such bodies or persons shall be responsible for reviewing and determining whether draft articles submitted by news publishing entities involve state secrets. Where it is unclear whether the contents of such involve state secrets, the draft article in question shall be submitted to a higher-level authority or entity for review and approval. If the contents involve state secrets pertaining to the work of other entities, the censorship bodies or censors shall be responsible for seeking the opinions of the relevant entities.

Article 15 Where an individual intends to supply content relating to national politics, the economy, diplomacy, science and technology, or military affairs to foreign news publishing entities for public reporting or publication, then such content shall be reviewed and approved in advance by that individual’s employer or its higher-level authority. The submission of draft articles outside the country shall be handled in accordance with the relevant state regulations.

Article 22 The State Secrecy Bureau shall be responsible for the interpretation of these rules.

Law of the People’s Republic of China on Guarding State Secrets (Full text)

(Translation by the Supreme Court of the People’s Republic of China)
Effective May 1, 1989

Chapter I: General Provisions

Article 1 This Law is formulated for the purpose of guarding state secrets, safeguarding state security and national interests, and ensuring the smooth progress of reform, of opening to the outside world, and of socialist construction.

Article 2 State secrets shall be matters that have a vital bearing on state security and national interests and, as specified by legal procedure, are entrusted to a limited number of people for a given period of time.

Article 3 All state organs, armed forces, political parties, public organizations, enterprises, institutions, and citizens shall have the obligation to guard state secrets.

Article 4 The work of guarding state secrets shall be carried out in line with the principle of actively preventing their leak and laying emphasis on priorities so that state secrets are kept while work in all other fields is facilitated.

Article 5 The state secret-guarding department shall be responsible for the guarding of state secrets throughout the country.

The local secret-guarding departments at or above the county level shall, within the scope of their functions and powers, be responsible for the guarding of state secrets in the administrative areas under their jurisdiction.

The central state organs shall, within the scope of their functions and powers, be responsible for and guide the work of guarding state secrets in their own organs and in the departments subordinate to them.

Article 6 State organs at or above the county level and units involving state secrets shall, in the light of their actual conditions, set up bodies or designate personnel to administer the day-to-day work of guarding state secrets within their own organs or units.

Article 7 Units or individuals that have rendered meritorious services in guarding and protecting state secrets and improving techniques and measures in this field of work shall be awarded.

Chapter II: Scopes and Categories Of State Secrets

Article 8 In accordance with the provisions of Article 2 of this Law, state secrets shall include the following:

(1) secrets concerning major policy decisions on state affairs;
(2) secrets in the building of national defense and in the activities of the armed forces;
(3) secrets in diplomatic activities and in activities related to foreign countries as well as secrets to be maintained as commitments to foreign countries;
(4) secrets in national economic and social development;
(5) secrets concerning science and technology;
(6) secrets concerning activities for safeguarding state security and the investigation of criminal offenses; and
(7) other matters that are classified as state secrets by the state secret-guarding department.

Matters that do not conform with the provisions of Article 2 of this Law shall not be state secrets.

Secrets of political parties that conform with the provisions of Article 2 of this Law shall be state secrets.

Article 9 State secrets shall fall into three categories: most confidential, classified, and confidential.

The most confidential information refers to vital state secrets, the divulgence of which will cause extremely serious harm to state security and national interests; classified information refers to important state secrets, the divulgence of which will cause serious harm to state security and national interests; and confidential information refers to ordinary state secrets, the divulgence of which will cause harm to state security and national interests.

Article 10 The specific scopes and categories of state secrets shall be stipulated by the state secret-guarding department together with the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Public Security, and State Security and other central organs concerned.

The specific scopes and categories of state secrets related to national defence shall be stipulated by the Central Military Commission.

Stipulations on the specific scopes and categories of state secrets shall be made known within relevant quarters.

Article 11 State organs and units at various levels shall, in accordance with the stipulations on the specific scopes and categories of state secrets, classify the state secrets arising in these organs and units.

When people are not sure whether a certain matter is a state secret or which category of state secrets it should be classified into, the question shall be determined by the state secret-guarding department, the secret-guarding department of a province, an autonomous region, or a municipality directly under the Central Government, the secret-guarding department of a city where the government of a province or an autonomous region is located, the secret-guarding department of a larger city approved by the State Council, or an organ examined and approved by the state secret-guarding department. Pending the classification of the secret, the state organ or unit where the matter has arisen shall initially take security measures in conformity with the category proposed for its classification.

Article 12 The categories of secrecy shall, in accordance with the provisions of Articles 9, 10, and 11 of this Law, be marked on documents and other material that are determined as state secrets. Documents and other material that are not determined as state secrets shall not be marked as such.

Article 13 When differences arise as to whether a matter is a state secret or which category it should be classified into, the question shall be determined by the state secret-guarding department or the secret-guarding department of a province, an autonomous region or a municipality directly under the Central Government.

Article 14 While classifying state secrets, state organs and units shall, in the light of each case, determine the periods for guarding these secrets. Specific measures for determining the periods shall be formulated by the state secret-guarding department.

Article 15 The categories of state secrets and the periods for guarding them shall be altered in the light of changing circumstances. Such alterations shall be decided on by the state organs or units that determined the categories of the secrets and the periods for guarding them, or by superior departments.

Article 16 A state secret shall be automatically declassified upon the expiration of the period for guarding it; in cases where it is necessary to extend the period, the matter shall be decided on by the state organ or unit that determined the category of the secret and the period for guarding it, or by a superior department.

When it is found before the expiration of the period for guarding a state secret that it is no longer necessary to guard it as such, it should be declassified without delay by the state organ or unit that determined its category and defined the period for guarding it, or by a superior department.

Chapter III: Security Rules

Article 17 The state secret-guarding department shall formulate security measures regarding the making, receiving, dispatching, transmitting, use, copying, extracting, preservation, and destruction of documents and other material and objects that are state secrets.

Measures for storing, drawing, processing, and transmitting state secrets by electronic information and other technical means shall be formulated by the state secret-guarding department together with the central organs concerned.

Article 18 Documents and other material and objects that are classified as “most confidential” state secrets must be guarded by the following security measures:

(1) They shall not be copied or extracted without approval by the state organ or unit that determined their categories or by superior departments;
(2) People shall be specially designated and necessary security measures taken for their dispatch, reception, delivery, and carrying; and
(3) They shall be kept in perfectly equipped safes.

Security measures shall be taken in accordance with the provisions of the preceding paragraphs, for approved copies or extracts of documents and other material and objects classified as “most confidential” state secrets.

Article 19 Security measures shall be formulated by the state secret-guarding department, together with the central organs concerned, for the trial manufacture, production, transportation, use, preservation, maintenance, and destruction of equipment or goods classified as state secrets.

Article 20 In the publication and distribution of newspapers, journals, books, maps, material with illustrations and captions, and audio and video products and in the production and broadcast of radio and television programs and films, the relevant security regulations shall be complied with and no state secrets shall be divulged.

Article 21 When state secrets have to be furnished for the benefits of contacts and co-operation with foreign countries, approval must be obtained beforehand in line with the prescribed procedures.

Article 22 With regard to meetings and other activities that involve state secrets, the sponsor units shall take security measures, explain to the participants the need to guard secrets, and set specific requirements for the purpose.

Article 23 Military forbidden zones and places and locations that are state secrets not open to the public shall be protected by security measures; no one may decide to open them to the public or enlarge the area that is open to the public without approval obtained in accordance with the relevant state regulations.

Article 24 No state secrets shall be divulged in private contacts or correspondence.

When carrying documents and other material and objects classified as state secrets on official tours, no one shall go against the relevant security regulations.

No state secrets shall be discussed in public places.

Article 25 Transmission of state secrets through wire or wireless communications shall be protected by security measures.

No state secrets shall be transmitted by plain code or by a secret code that has not been examined and approved by the central organs concerned.

No documents or other material and objects classified as state secrets shall be transmitted by ordinary mail.

Article 26 Without approval by competent departments, no documents or any other material or objects classified as state secrets shall be carried, transmitted, posted, or transported out of the country’s territory.

Article 27 State secrets shall, depending on the circumstances, be accessible only to a certain number of people. The most confidential state secrets shall be accessible only to people who have obtained approval.

Article 28 Personnel to be placed specially in charge of state secrets shall be examined and approved in accordance with the provisions of the state secret-guarding department and the competent personnel department.

Exit from the country’s territory by personnel specially in charge of state secrets shall be approved by the organ that approved their appointment. If the competent department under the State Council holds that the exit of any one of them from the country’s territory will endanger state security or cause serious damage to national interests, no approval shall be granted for his exit.

Article 29 State organs and units shall conduct education among their personnel in the need to guard secrets and check up on secret-guarding work regularly.

Article 30 State functionaries and other citizens should, upon discovering that state secrets have been divulged or are in danger of being divulged, take remedial measures immediately and promptly report the matter to the state organs and units concerned, which shall, upon receiving such reports, deal with the matter without delay.

Chapter IV: Legal Responsibility

Article 31 Persons who, in violation of the provisions of this Law, divulge state secrets intentionally or through negligence, if the consequences are serious, shall be investigated for criminal responsibility in accordance with the provisions of Article 186 of the Criminal Law.

Persons who, in violation of the provisions of this Law, divulge state secrets, if the consequences are not serious enough for criminal punishment, may be given disciplinary sanction in the light of the specific circumstances of each case.

Article 32 Persons who steal, spy on, buy, or illegally provide state secrets for institutions, organizations, and people outside the country shall be investigated for criminal responsibility in accordance with law.

Chapter V: Supplementary Provisions

Article 33 The state secret-guarding department shall, in accordance with this Law, formulate measures for its implementation, which shall come into force after being submitted to and approved by the State Council.

Article 34 The Central Military Commission shall, in accordance with this Law, formulate the Regulations of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army on the Guarding of Secrets.

Article 35 This Law shall come into force as of May 1, 1989. The Provisional Regulations on Guarding State Secrets promulgated in June 1951 shall be annulled as of the same date.

Criminal Law of the People’s Republic of China (Excerpts)

(Translation by the Supreme Court of the People’s Republic of China)

Adopted at the Second Session of the Fifth National People’s Congress, July 1, 1979.
Revised at the Fifth Session of the Eighth National People’s Congress on March 14, 1997

Part II: Special Provisions

Chapter I: Crimes of Endangering National Security

Article 102 Whoever colludes with a foreign state to endanger the sovereignty, territorial integrity, and security of the People’s Republic of China shall be sentenced to life imprisonment or fixed-term imprisonment of not less than 10 years.

Whoever commits the crime prescribed in the preceding paragraph in collusion with any organ, organization, or individual outside the territory of China shall be punished according to the provisions in the preceding paragraph.

Article 103 Among those who organize, plot, or carry out the scheme of splitting the state or undermining unity of the country, the ringleaders and the others who commit major crimes shall be sentenced to life imprisonment or fixed-term imprisonment of not less than 10 years; the ones who take an active part in it shall be sentenced to fixed-term imprisonment of not less than three years but not more than 10 years; and the other participants shall be sentenced to fixed-term imprisonment of not more than three years, criminal detention, public surveillance, or deprivation of political rights.

Whoever incites others to split the state or undermine unity of the country shall be sentenced to fixed-term imprisonment of not more than five years, criminal detention, public surveillance, or deprivation of political rights; the ringleaders and the ones who commit major crimes shall be sentenced to fixed-term imprisonment of not less than five years.

Article 104 Among those who organize, plot, or carry out armed rebellion or armed riot, the ringleaders and the others who commit major crimes shall be sentenced to life imprisonment or fixed-term imprisonment of not less than 10 years; the ones who take an active part in it shall be sentenced to fixed-term imprisonment of not less than three years but not more than 10 years; and the other participants shall be sentenced to fixed-term imprisonment of not more than three years, criminal detention, public surveillance, or deprivation of political rights.

Whoever instigates, coerces, lures, or bribes state functionaries or members of the armed forces, the people’s police, or the people’s militia to commit armed rebellion or armed riot shall be given a heavier punishment according to the provisions in the preceding paragraph.

Article 105 Among those who organize, plot, or carry out the scheme of subverting the state power or overthrowing the socialist system, the ringleaders and the others who commit major crimes shall be sentenced to life imprisonment or fixed-term imprisonment of not less than 10 years; the ones who take an active part in it shall be sentenced to fixed-term imprisonment of not less than three years but not more than 10 years; and the other participants shall be sentenced to fixed-term imprisonment of not more than three years, criminal detention, public surveillance, or deprivation of political rights.

Whoever incites others by spreading rumors or slanders or any other means to subvert the State power or overthrow the socialist system shall be sentenced to fixed-term imprisonment of not more than five years, criminal detention, public surveillance, or deprivation of political rights; and the ringleaders and the others who commit major crimes shall be sentenced to fixed-term imprisonment of not less than five years.

Article 106 Whoever commits the crime as prescribed in Article 103, 104, or 105 of this chapter in collusion with any organ, organization, or individual outside the territory of China shall be given a heavier punishment according to the provisions stipulated in these articles respectively.

Article 107 Where an organ, organization, or individual inside or outside of the territory of China provides funds to any organization or individual within the territory of China to commit the crime as prescribed in Article 102, 103, 104, or 105, the person who is directly responsible for the crime shall be sentenced to fixed-term imprisonment of not more than five years, criminal detention, public surveillance, or deprivation of political rights; if the circumstances are serious, he shall be sentenced to fixed-term imprisonment of not less than five years.

Article 108 Whoever defects to the enemy and turns traitor shall be sentenced to fixed-term imprisonment of not less than three years but not more than 10 years; if the circumstances are serious or if he leads members of the armed forces, the people’s police, or the people’s militia to defect to the enemy and turn traitor, he shall be sentenced to fixed-term imprisonment of not less than 10 years or life imprisonment.

Article 109 Any state functionary who, while discharging his official duties at home or abroad, leaves his post without permission and defects to another country, which endangers the security of the People’s Republic of China, shall be sentenced to fixed-term imprisonment of not more than five years, criminal detention, public surveillance, or deprivation of political rights; if the circumstances are serious, he shall be sentenced to fixed-term imprisonment of not less than five years but not more than 10 years.

Any state functionary who has state secrets [and] commits the crime as prescribed in the preceding paragraph shall be given a heavier punishment according to the provisions in the preceding paragraph.

Article 110 Whoever endangers national security by committing any of the following acts of espionage shall be sentenced to fixed-term imprisonment of not less than 10 years or life imprisonment; if the circumstances are minor, he shall be sentenced to fixed-term imprisonment of not less than three years but not more than 10 years:

(1) joining an espionage organization or accepting a mission assigned by the organization or its agent; or
(2) directing the enemy to any bombing or shelling target.

Article 111 Whoever steals, spies into, buys, or unlawfully supplies state secrets or intelligence for an organ, organization, or individual outside the territory of China shall be sentenced to fixed-term imprisonment of not less than five years but not more than 10 years; if the circumstances are especially serious, he shall be sentenced to fixed-term imprisonment of not less than 10 years or life imprisonment; if the circumstances are minor, he shall be sentenced to fixed-term imprisonment of not more than five years, criminal detention, public surveillance, or deprivation of political rights.

Article 112 Whoever aids the enemy during wartime by providing him with weapons and equipment or military materials shall be sentenced to fixed-term imprisonment of not less than 10 years or life imprisonment; if the circumstances are minor, he shall be sentenced to fixed-term imprisonment of not less than three years but not more than 10 years.

Article 113 Whoever commits any of the crimes of endangering national security as mentioned above in this chapter, with the exception of those provided for in paragraph 2 of article 103 and in articles 105, 107, and 109, if the crime causes particularly grave harm to the state and the people or if the circumstances are especially serious, may be sentenced to death.

Whoever commits any of the crimes mentioned in this chapter may concurrently be sentenced to confiscation of property.

Law of the People’s Republic of China on Responding to Sudden Incidents (Excerpts)

Promulgated August 30, 2007, by the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress.
Enacted November 1, 2007.

(Translation by the Committee to Protect Journalists)

Article 63: All levels of local people’s government and relevant departments of the people’s government higher than county-level who violate the regulations of this law, or who fail to implement the law, will be corrected by the higher-level administrative or oversight body. The following are cases whereby those with direct responsibility may mete out punishment according to law:

(2) delayed reporting, false reporting, failure to report or overlooked reporting of relevant sudden incidents, or disseminating or publicizing of false information, if any of the above actions have consequences.

Article 65: Anyone who manufactures and disseminates false information related to sudden incidents or the work of responding to them, or knowingly disseminates false information regarding sudden incidents or the work of responding to them, will be corrected or warned. If such reporting results in serious consequences, all operational activities will be suspended or the work permit will be revoked. If the responsible party is a state employee, administrative sanctions will be applied; behavior that violates security management will be punished according to law by public security organs.

Regulations on Reporting Activities in China by Foreign Journalists During the Beijing Olympic Games and their Preparatory Period (Full text)

(Translation by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China)

Article 1 These regulations are formulated to facilitate reporting activities carried out in accordance with the laws of the People’s Republic of China by foreign journalists in China to advance and promote the Olympic spirit during the Beijing Olympic Games and the preparatory period.

Article 2 These regulations apply to reporting activities carried out by foreign journalists covering the Beijing Olympic Games and related matters in China during the Beijing Olympic Games and the preparatory period.

The Beijing Olympic Games mentioned in the regulations refer to the 29th Olympic Games and the 13th Paralympic Games.

Article 3 Foreign journalists who intend to come to China for reporting should apply for visas at Chinese embassies, consulates or other visa-issuing institutions authorized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China.

Foreign journalists who hold valid Olympic Identity and Accreditation Cards and Paralympic Identity and Accreditation Cards are entitled to multiple entries into the territory of the People’s Republic of China with visa exemption by presenting Olympic Identity and Accreditation Cards, together with valid passports or other travel documents.

Article 4 Foreign journalists may bring a reasonable quantity of reporting equipment into China duty free for their own use. The aforementioned equipment should be shipped out of China’s territory at the end of their reporting activities.

To bring into China reporting equipment duty free for their own use, foreign journalists should apply for the Equipment Confirmation Letter at Chinese embassies or consulates and present the Equipment Confirmation Letter together with a J-2 visa when going through customs inspection. Foreign journalists who hold Olympic Identity and Accreditation Cards and Paralympic Identity and Accreditation Cards may present the Equipment Confirmation Letter issued by the Organizing Committee of the 29th Olympic Games when going through customs inspection.

Article 5 For reporting needs, foreign journalists may, on a temporary basis, bring in, install, and use radio communication equipment after completing the required application and approval procedures.

Article 6 To interview organizations or individuals in China, foreign journalists need only to obtain their prior consent.

Article 7 Foreign journalists may, through organizations providing services to foreign nationals, hire Chinese citizens to assist them in their reporting activities.

Article 8 The media guide for foreign journalists of the Beijing Olympic Games shall be

formulated by the Organizing Committee of the 29th Olympic Games in accordance with these regulations.

Article 9 These regulations shall come into force as of 1 January 2007 and expire on 17 October 2008.

Rules for Taiwan Reporters Reporting in the Mainland During the Beijing Olympic Games and their Preparatory Period (Full text)

(Translation by TransPerfect)

Article 1 To facilitate news reporting by Taiwan reporters reporting in the Mainland in accordance with law during the Beijing Olympic Games and their preparatory period and to spread and expand on the Olympic spirit, these rules have been made.

Article 2 News reporting on the Beijing Olympic Games by Taiwan reporters in the Mainland and related matters during the Beijing Olympic Games and their preparatory period shall be governed by these rules.

As used in these rules, the Beijing Olympic Games shall refer to the XXIX Olympic Games and the XIII Paralympic Games.

Article 3 When engaging in news reporting in the Mainland, Taiwan reporters shall apply with relevant agencies authorized by competent authorities for completion of issuance and notation procedures for their Mainland China passes.

Taiwan reporters who hold Olympic identification registration cards shall be exempt from issuance and notation requirements during the valid term of their Olympic identification registration cards and may enter and exit the Mainland multiple times by presenting Olympic identification registration cards and Taiwan resident passes for the Mainland.
Article 4 A reasonable amount of news reporting equipment carried by Taiwan reporters reporting in the Mainland for their own use may enter the country duty-free. Relevant equipment shall be transported out of the country after the news reporting activities end.

Taiwan reporters completing the procedures for duty-free entry of the news reporting equipment for their own use shall go to relevant agencies authorized by competent authorities for an equipment confirmation letter. When entering the country, they shall complete customs clearance procedures by presenting such an equipment confirmation letter and valid issuance and notations for their Taiwan resident passes for the Mainland; Taiwan reporters who hold Olympic identification registration cards may complete customs clearance procedures by presenting an equipment confirmation letter issued by the XXIX Olympic Games Organizing Committee.

Article 5 Taiwan reporters may temporarily import, set up, and use wireless communications equipment needed in their news reporting after completing routine procedures for approval.

Article 6 When reporting the news in the Mainland, Taiwan reporters shall only be required to obtain the consent of the organizations and individuals being reported on.

Article 7 Taiwan reporters may hire Mainland residents to assist in their news reporting work through relevant service organizations.

Article 8 The Beijing Olympic Games Reporter Service Guide shall be prepared by the XXIX Olympic Games Organizing Committee in accordance with these rules.

Article 9 These rules shall be implemented as of January 1, 2007, and shall be automatically abolished as of October 17, 2008.

Rules for Hong Kong and Macau Reporters Reporting Inland During the Beijing Olympic Games and their Preparatory Period (Full text)

(Translation by TransPerfect)

Article 1 To facilitate news reporting by Hong Kong and Macau reporters reporting inland in accordance with law during the Beijing Olympic Games and their preparatory period and to spread and expand on the Olympic spirit, these rules have been made.

Article 2 News reporting on the Beijing Olympic Games by Hong Kong and Macau reporters inland and related matters during the Beijing Olympic Games and their preparatory period shall be governed by these rules. As used in these rules, the Beijing Olympic Games shall refer to the XXIX Olympic Games and the XIII Paralympic Games.

Article 3 When engaging in news reporting inland, Hong Kong and Macau reporters may enter and exit inland multiple times by presenting inland passes, Olympics identification registration cards, or other valid certificates. Those who enter inland to engage in news reporting by presenting other valid certificates and who are required to complete visa procedures shall apply with the Office of the Commissioner of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Hong Kong or the Office of the Commissioner of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Macau for visas.

Article 4 A reasonable amount of news reporting equipment carried by Hong Kong and Macau reporters reporting inland for their own use may enter the country duty-free. Relevant equipment shall be transported out of the country after the news reporting activities end.

Hong Kong and Macau reporters completing the procedures for duty-free entry of the news reporting equipment for their own use shall go to the Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in Hong Kong or the Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in Macau for an equipment confirmation letter. When entering the country, they shall complete customs clearance procedures by presenting such an equipment confirmation letter and inland passes for Hong Kong and Macau residents or other valid certificates; those who hold other valid certificates and who are required to complete visa procedures shall complete customs clearance procedures by presenting the equipment confirmation letter and a J-2 visa; Hong Kong and Macau reporters who hold Olympics identification registration cards may complete customs clearance procedures by presenting an equipment confirmation letter issued by the XXIX Olympic Games Organizing Committee.

Article 5 Hong Kong and Macau reporters may temporarily import, set up, and use wireless communications equipment needed in their news reporting after completing routine procedures for approval.

Article 6 When reporting the news inland, Hong Kong and Macau reporters shall only be required to obtain the consent of the organizations and individuals being reported on.

Article 7 Hong Kong and Macau reporters may hire inland residents to assist in their news reporting work through relevant service organizations.

Article 8 The Beijing Olympic Games Service Guide for Hong Kong and Macau Reporters shall be prepared by the XXIX Olympic Games Organizing Committee in accordance with these rules.

Article 9 These rules shall be implemented as of January 1, 2007, and shall be automatically abolished as of October 17, 2008.

» continue to Appendix III:
Journalists Imprisoned in China

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