International Agreements and Domestic Legislation Affecting Freedom of Expression
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
1. Everyone shall have the right to hold opinions without interference.
2. Everyone shall have the right to freedom of expression; this right shall include freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds, regardless of frontiers, either orally, in writing or in print, in the form of art, or through any other media of his choice.
3. The exercise of the rights provided for in paragraph 2 of this article carries with it special duties and responsibilities. It may therefore be subject to certain restrictions, but these shall only be such as are provided by law and are necessary:
(a) For respect of the rights or reputations of others;
(b) For the protection of national security or of public order, or of public health or morals.
Universal Declaration of Human Rights
Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.
Constitution of the People's Republic of China (1982.02.04)
Article 35: Citizens of the PRC have freedom of speech, publication, assembly, association, procession and demonstration.
Regulations on the Administration of Publishing (2001.12.25)
Article 5: All levels of the People's Government shall ensure that citizens are able to legally exercise their right to freedom of publication. When citizens exercise their right to freedom of publication they shall abide by the Constitution and laws, shall not oppose the basic principles confirmed in the Constitution, and shall not harm the interests of the country, the society or the collective or the legal freedoms and rights of other citizens.
Article 24: Citizens may, in accordance with the prescriptions of these Regulations, in their publications freely express their views and opinions with respect to national affairs, economic and cultural affairs, and social affairs, and freely release the results of their undertakings in scientific research, literary art creations and other cultural activities. Legal publications shall receive the protection of the law, and no group or individual may illegally interfere, hinder or disrupt the publishing of publications.
Article 3: With the approval of the State Administration for Radio, Film and Television, foreign satellite television channels may be received by such designated places as three star and higher hotels for foreign guests, places specifically for foreigners to work and apartments set up for foreigners and other specified places.
Article 4: Applicants to distribute foreign satellite television channels shall have the following qualifications:
(4) The channel which is being applied for and its directly related agencies shall be friendly toward China, and have long term friendly broadcasting exchanges and cooperation with China.
Article 6: Regarding a foreign satellite television agency, it shall in principle only receive approval for a single channel with a specific scope to be distributed, and in principle no foreign satellite television news channels shall be approved to be distributed domestically. . . .
第四条 申请落地的境外卫星电视频道，应具备下列条件 ：
Measures on the Administration of Broadcasting Audio/Visual Programs over the Internet or Other Information Networks (2003.01.07)
Article 5: The State Administration of Radio, Film and Television shall implement permitting administration of the operators of Internet broadcasting of audio/visual programs. Anyone transmitting audio/visual programs to the public via the Internet must possess an "Internet Audio/Visual Program Transmission License."
Article 8: Anyone setting up an Internet broadcast business for news-related audio/visual programs must possess the following qualifications, in addition to possessing the basic qualifications set forth in Article 7 of these Measures:
(i) be approved by the State Council Information Office, and possess the qualifications to distribute news over the Internet;
(ii) be an entity which has already held an "Internet Audio/Visual Program Transmission License" as an Internet broadcasting business for engaging in entertainment or specialized programming for at least three years, or a news organ that has been established for at least three years.
Article 10: An enterprise setting up an information network audio/visual program broadcasting business must have a radio/television, news, publishing, cultural or propaganda unit at the local level or higher as its sponsoring agency.
Regulations on the Administration of Internet Access Service Business Establishments [Internet Cafes] (2002.09.29)
Article 23: Units operating Internet Access Service Business Establishments shall examine, register, and keep a record of the identification card or other effective document of those customers who go online. The contents of the registration and records shall be maintained for at least 60 days, and shall be provided to the cultural and public security agencies for examination in accordance with the law. Registration contents and records shall not be altered or destroyed during this period.
Interim Provisions on the Administration of Internet Publishing (2002.08.01)
Article 6 : Engaging in Internet publishing activities may only be done through permission. No unit or individual may engage in Internet publishing activities without permission. No group or individual may interfere with, hinder or disrupt Internet publishing entities in engaging in Internet publishing activities in accordance with the law.
Notice Regarding the Further Strengthening the Administration of Selection of Articles for Newspapers and Periodicals (2002.02.25)
1. When selecting manuscripts periodicals must firmly grasp the path of the political concensus, strictly obey the press and publication administrative rules and the Party's propaganda discipline, and adhere to political awareness in manuscript contents. They shall not submit or transmit drafts that are contrary to the guidelines of the Party or the nation. Anyone publishing contents such as those that touch upon important national policies, people's religions, foreign relations, or the preservation of secrets, shall strictly adhere to relevant regulations, and must consult the opinions of relevant agencies in a timely manner.
6. No periodicals may willfully submit or transmit news or information taken from the Internet without having first verified its authenticity.
Regulations on the Administration of Publishing (2001.12.25)
Article 3: Publishing businesses shall adhere to the path of serving the people and serving socialism, adhere to the guidance of Marxism, Leninism, Mao Zedong Thought and Deng Xiaoping Theory, and promulgate and accumulate scientific technology and cultural knowledge that is advantageous to economic development and social progress . . . .
Article 9 : Newspapers, periodicals, reference books, audio/visual products and electronic publications and other publications shall be published by publishing units. As used in these regulations, publishing units include newspaper publishing houses, periodical publishing houses, reference book publishing houses, audio/visual publishing houses and electronic publication publishing houses and others. If a legal person publishes newspapers and periodicals but does not establish a newspaper publishing house or periodical publishing house, the newspaper editorial office or periodical editorial office that it establishes shall be deemed the publishing unit.
Article 10: The State Council's publishing administration agency shall formulate plans for the entire country's publishing units' quantity, organization and distribution, and shall guide and coordinate the development of publishing undertakings.
Article 11: Anyone establishing a publishing unit shall possess the following qualifications:
1. Have a publishing unit name and articles of incorporation;
2. Have a sponsoring unit and managing unit that have been recognized by the State Council's publishing administration agency;
3. Have a defined scope of operation;
4. Have a registered capital of at least RMB 300,000 and a fixed working location;
5. Have organizational structures suited to the business scope and editorial publishing specialists whose qualifications conform to national prescriptions;
6. Other legal and administrative qualifications prescribed by law. Examination and approval of the establishment of publishing units shall, in addition to the aforementioned qualifications, also conform to the nation's plans for the quantity, organization and distribution of publishing units.
第三条 出版事业必须坚持为人民服务、为社会主义服务的方向，坚持以马克思列宁主义、毛泽东思想和邓小平理论为指导，传播和积累有益于提高民族素质 . . . .
Notice Regarding Prohibiting the Transmission of Harmful Information and Further Regulating Publishing Order (2001.10.25)
2 . No one may establish an entity whose primary purpose is to transmit news information and engage in other news publishing activities without permission from the press and publication administration agency.
Article 7: The nation implements a licensing system for the printing industry. No unit or individual may engage in printing activities unless they have obtained a Printer Operating License in accordance with these regulations.
Article 15: Enterprises engaging in publication printing activities may not print publications that the government has ordered censored or publications that are not published by a publishing work unit.
Provisions on the Administration of Internet Electronic Bulletin Board Services (2000.11.08)
Article 5: Operators of Internet Information Services who also establish electronic bulletin board services shall, when applying to the provincial, autonomous region, or independent municipality telecommuniations administration agency, or the Ministry of Information Industry for a Commercial Internet Information Service License or undertaking registration as a non-commercial Internet Information Service, set forth this fact specifically in their application or registration.
Article 11: Electronic bulletin board providers shall provide only services in accordance with the category or subject matter areas that have been permitted, and may not provide services that exceed these categories or establish other subject matter areas.
Article 13: If an electronic bulletin board provider notices that any information falling under Article 9 of these regulations has appeared on its electronic bulletin board service system, they shall immediately delete it, retain the relevant records, and report it to the relevant authorities.
Interim Provisions on the Administration of Internet Websites Engaged in News Posting Operations (2000.11.01)
Article 5: The legally established websites of central news units, news units of all departments of the central government's agencies and the news units directly under the provinces, autonomous regions and independent municipalities and the municipal people's governments for the provinces and autonomous regions ("news websites") may engage in news posting operations after receiving authorization. Other news units may not independently establish news websites, but after receiving authorization may establish news web pages and engage in news posting operations on the news website established by a central news unit or a news unit of a province, autonomous region or independent municipality.
Article 7: Non-news units that establish general interest websites ("general interest non-news unit websites") that possess the qualifications set forth in Article 9 of these Provisions, may engage in operations of posting news promulgated by central government news units, the news units of departments of central government agencies, and the news units directly under the provinces, autonomous regions and independent municipalities, but may not post news from their own sources or news from other sources. Other Internet websites that are established by a non-news unit in accordance with the law may not engage in news posting operations.
Article 8: General interest non-news unit websites that engage in news posting operations shall, in accordance with Article 7 of these Provisions, after receiving examination and approval from the people's government information offices for the provinces, autonomous regions and independent municipalities, submit to examination and verification by the State Council Information Agency.
Measures for the Administration of Internet Information Services (2000.09.25)
Article 4: There will be national implementation of a licensing system for commercial internet information services, and a registration system for non-commercial internet information services.
No one who fails to be licensed or who fails to comply with registration measures may engage in internet information services.
Article 14: Providers of internet information services engaged in journalism, publishing and BBS services shall record all information content and the time it was issued, and the internet address or city name; internet access providers shall record information regarding the amount of time each customer was on the internet, the customer's account number, internet address or city name, primary phone number, etc. Providers of internet information services and internet access providers shall maintain these records for 60 days, and shall make them available to all relevant government agencies examining them pursuant to law.
Regulations on the Administration of Television Dramas (2000.06.15)
Article 20: No television drama may be distributed, broadcast, imported or exported unless it has been examined and granted a "Television Program Distribution License" by a Television Program Examination Organ established by a broadcast television executive department at the provincial level or higher.
Notice Regarding Strengthening the Administration Work of Provincial Level Television Satellite Program Channels (2000.01.30)
1. Satellite television channels shall strictly observe propaganda requirements, and firmly observe correct guidance of public opinion. With respect to reports on important events, breaking stories and other sensitive issues, they must obey the integrated dispositions of the local party committee Propaganda Departments, and strictly abide by Party discipline.
Notice Regarding Further Strengthening the Administration of Periodicals Relating to Current Affairs and Politics, General Lifestyle, Information Tabloids and Scientific Theory (2000.06.28)
1. The publication of periodicals relating to current affairs and politics, general lifestyle, information tabloids, and scientific theory must uphold the correct political direction, uphold the correct guidance of public opinion, strengthen political conciousness, general situation conciousness, responsibility conciousness, uphold service of the people, and uphold service to society through the publishing principle of socially beneficial effects taking precedence.
2. In the process of publishing periodicals relating to current affairs and politics, general lifestyle, information tabloids, and scientific theory, those involved shall earnestly implement the guiding policies of the Party's relevant propaganda work, strictly obey Party propaganda discipline, and strictly implement relevant national regulations and rules on periodical publishing administration, and strictly prohibit any of the following contents from appearing in periodicals:
(i) Denying the guiding status of Marxism, Mao Zedong Thought, or Deng Xiaoping Theory;
(ii) Violating the Party line, guiding principles, or policies;
(vii) Anything else that violates Party propaganda discipline or violates national publishing administration regulations.
3. Periodicals relating to current affairs and politics, general lifestyle, information tabloids, and scientific theory that carry contents relating to significant political issues regarding the Party and the nation, carry contents relating to foreign diplomacy, nationality, or religious policies, or carry contents relating national security, the military, and national defense construction must strictly obey the united demands of the Central Propaganda Department, and strictly obey relevant national regulations.
Notice Regarding Prohibiting Non-News Publishing Organs from Engaging in Activities Relating to Newspapers and Periodicals (1999.08.16)
1. News publishing organs that have been established with the permission of the State are authorized to engage in activities such as news publishing, interviewing and reporting. News activities shall conform to national regulations and policies, and shall make social benefit their priority. Non-news publishing organs may not engage in news activities without permission from the State agency administering news and publishing.
Notice Regarding Strengthening and Improving the Work of Recording Important Topics (1999.03.09)
2. Implementing a monthly reporting system for important topics. In order to strengthen the overall administration of the publishing of important topics, beginning from April 4, 1999, a monthly reporting system for the working situation for these topics is hereby implemented. By the 10th day of each month the Press and Publication Office of each province, autonomous region, and independent municipality, as well as the responsible department for every publishing unit in the capital, must submit a list (in the form attached) of all planned topics that are required to be recorded in the following month to the Book Administration Office of the General Administration of Press and Publication, and simultaneously send a copy to the Publishing Office of the Central Propaganda Department. The Press and Publication Office of each province, autonomous region, and independent municipality must receive approval of its monthly report's contents from the provincial committee's propaganda department before submitting it to their superiors.
4 . . . . The publishing administration agencies of each province, autonomous region and independent municipality, as well as the agencies responsible for publishing work units in the capitals, shall further strengthen overall administration, strictly standardize the working procedures for the work of recording important topics, and increase the degree of law enforcement. With respect to books involving the category of important topics, they shall not only assist publishing units in conducting auditing work in accordance with regulatory procedures, and get a strict grasp on the contents of drafts, but shall also strengthen their regulation and control of quantity, reduce redundancies in publishing, and the overall quality of these types of books.
In the recording of important topics, the publishing administration agencies of each province, autonomous region and independent municipality, shall consult the opinion of the Central Propaganda Department in a timely manner. The publishing administration agencies of each province, autonomous region and independent municipality, as well as the agencies responsible for publishing work units in the capitals, shall supervise and urge the publishing units to earnestly implement the editorial opinions offered by the relevant agencies in the process of auditing drafts, and shall re-audit the drafts that have been revised in accordance with the recordation procedures.
二 、实行重大选题月报制度。为加强对重大选题出版的宏观管理，自1999年4 月起，对这类选题的运作情况实行月报制度。各省、自治区、直辖市新闻出版局、在京出版单位的主管部门，每月10日须列表（表格附后）将下一个月拟安排的有关需要备案的选题，报送我署图书出版管理司，并同时抄送中宣部出版局。各省、自治区、直辖市新闻出版局月报内容上报前，须经省委宣传部同意。
四 . . . 各省、自治区、直辖市出版管理部门和在京出版单位主管部门要进一步加强宏观管理，严格规范重大选题备案工作的运作程序，加大执法力度。对涉及重大选题范畴的图书，不仅要帮助出版单位按规定程序做好审核工作，对书稿内容严格把关，而且要加强总量调控，减少重复出版，提高这类图书的整体质量。
Explanation Regarding Certain Questions About the Specific Laws to be used in Adjudicating Criminal Cases of Illegal Publications (1998.12.17)
Article 11: Anyone who violates national regulations and publishes, prints, copies or distributes illegal publications other than those listed in Article 1 through 10 of this Regulation and severely jeopardizes social order or disrupts market order shall, where the situation is serious, be sanctioned in accordance with the stipulations of Article 225 of the Criminal Law for the crime of illegally conducting business.
Notice Regarding Certain Problems with Recent Publishing of Periodicals (1998.10.16)
1 . The publishing of periodicals must be done in accordance with the Party line, guidelines, and policies, shall submit to the general situation, and accord with the requirements of the socialist spirit civilization.
Notice Regarding Further Strengthening the Administration Relating to Publications (1998.08.24)
1 . Diligently manage the publishing of publications containing important topics. Publications containing important topics regarding the work and life situation of the primary leaders of the Party and the government, the history of the PRC, the history of the People's Liberation Army, and foreign relations, religion, etc., shall only be published by publishing houses with the relevant scope approved by the General Administration of Press and Publication.
Provisions on the Administration of Electronic Publications (1997.12.30)
Article 70: Anyone who, without authorization, presumes to establish a unit to publish, copy, or import electronic publications, or presumes to engage in the business of publishing, copying, importating, or distributing electronic publications, shall be shut down and have their electronic publications, tools and equipment used primarily to engage in the illegal activity, and illegal revenue, confiscated. Furthermore, they shall be subject to a fine of between 2 and 10 times their illegal revenue. Where a crime has occurred criminal responsibility shall be investigated in accordance with the law.
Urgent Notice Regarding Reaffirming the Strengthening of the Administration of Books Reflecting the Work and Life Circumstances of the Major Leaders of the Party and the Nation (1997.01.24)
1 . Any book that reflects upon work or life situation of a current or former member of the Party Politburo Standing Committee, the National Chairman, Vice Chairman, Premier of the State Council, Chairman of the Central Military Commission, Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, or the Chairman of the Political Consultative Conference must be specifically reported and approved.
3 . Books reflecting on the work and life situation of the Party's and the nation's primary leaders may only be published by publishing houses that specialize in publishing work within this scope designated by the State, and it is absolutely forbidden for other publishers to arrange for such publications.
4 . The publishing of books reflecting on the work and life situation of the Party's and the nation's primary leaders must strictly implement the system of reporting the topic and applying for authorization.
Notice Regarding the Printing and Promulgation of the "Measures on the Recording of Important Topics of Books, Periodicals, Audio/Visual Productions and Electronic Publications" (1997.10.10)
Article 3: In these Measures "important topics" refers to any selections whose contents relate to such matters as national security and social stability or which shall produce a relatively large influence on such things as the nation's government, economy, culture or military matters, and shall specifically include:
(i) topics concerning documents or literature of the party or the nation;
(ii) works and literature concerning any former or current leaders of the party or the nation, and selections concerning the circumstances of their lives or work;
(iii) topics which deal with party or state secrets;
(iv) topics which compile introductions of the structure of government entities or the circumstances of party or state leaders;
(v) topics which deal with nationality problems or religious problems;
(vi) topics which deal with the building of national defense and the battles, combat, work or lives of important figures of China's military in any historical period;
(vii) topics which deal with the "Cultural Revolution";
(viii) topics which deal with any significant historical matters or important historical figures in the history of the Chinese Communist Party;
(ix) topics which deal with top level figures in the Republican Party and any other top level objectives of the united front;
(x) topics which deal with the Soviet Union, eastern Europe and all other party brothers and nationally significant matters and primary leaders;
(xi) topics which deal with maps of China's borders;(xii) topics which deal with books on the Hong Kong Special Administration Zone, Macao and the Taiwan region;
(xiii) topics of large scale translations of ancient texts into modern Chinese (equal to or greater than 5,000,000 characters)(xiv) topics of imported animated reading material; and
(xv) selections whose contents are any type of directory of entity names or communication addresses.
The scope of the important topics listed above shall be adjusted and promulgated by the General Administration of Press and Publication in accordance with circumstances.
Article 5: Within 30 days of deciding to accept recordation, GAPP shall provide an answer or opinion to the applicant, and if no answer or opinion is provided within this time, the recordation shall be automatically effective.
Article 7 : The primarily responsible person at any publishing unit that violates these Measures and publishes publications with contents within the scope of important topics without recording shall be subject to administrative punishment by the provincial Office of Press and Publication or the Office of Press and Publication that is the superior responsible agency. Publication and distribution of the publication shall cease, and the publishing unit shall be ordered to undertake recording procedures in accordance with these Measures. Violations of the "Regulations on the Administration of Publishing" shall be punished in accordance with the relevant regulations.
Notice Regarding the Work of Bringing the Periodical Industry Under Control (1997.03.10)
(6) Any entity exhibiting any of the following circumstances that does not show clear alteration following the implementation of administrative measures shall be shut down:
1. Publication of articles containing serious political errors.
Notice Regarding Resolutely Clamping Down on Illegal Publishing Activities (1996.01.25)
1. In accordance with State regulations, no entity or individual may engage in publishing, printing, copying or distributing books, newspapers, periodicals or audio/visual publications without authorization from the General Administration of Press and Publication.
Regulations for the Management of Ground Satellite Television Broadcasting Receptors (1993.10.5)
Article 9: Individuals may not install and use satellite earth reception equipment.
Interim Provisions on the Functions of the Sponsoring Unit and the Managing Unit for Publishing Units (1993.06.29)
Article 3: "Publishing Unit" refers to any newspaper publisher, periodical publisher (editorial department), book publishing house and audio/visual publishing house that has been organized in accordance with relevant national regulations, has been examined and approved by the press and publication executive administration agency, and has complied with registration procedures.
Article 6: The Sponsoring Unit/Managing Unit and the Publishing Unit must have a leader/lead relationship, and may not merely have a relied-upon/reliant party relationship.
Regulations on Customs' Administration of Printed Materials and Audio/Visual Materials Imported or Exported by Individuals Via Carriage or Post (1991.07.10)
Article 4: Any printed materials or audio/visual materials with any of the following contents shall be prohibited from being brought into China:
1. Attacking any relevant regulations of the Constitution of the People's Republic of China; slandering any policies of the nation currently in effect; defaming any Party or national leaders; inciting the carrying out of subversion or destruction of the People's Republic of China or creating division among ethnic groups; or advocating "two Chinas" or "Taiwan independence."
4. Anything else that is harmful to the government, economy, culture, or morals of the People's Republic of China.
1.攻击中华人民共和国宪法的有关规定; 污蔑国家现行政策; 诽谤中国共产党和国家领导人; 煽动对中华人民共和国进行覆复破坏、制造民族分裂；鼓吹"两个中国"或"台湾独立"的。
Interim Provisions on the Administration of Newspapers (1990.12.25)
Article 7: The nation's newspaper enterprises constitute an important part of the Communist Party's socialist news enterprise, and shall persistently adhere to the path of serving socialism and serving the people, and persistently adhere to the highest standards for the benefit of society, propagate Marxism and Maoist thought, propagate the path and policies of the Chinese Communist Party and the People's Republic of China; transmit information and scientific technology, cultural knowledge, and provide healthy entertainment for the masses of people; reflect the opinions and suggestions of the masses of people, and bring about the fruits of monitoring the news consensus.
Article 24: Newspapers must undergo authorization by, and registration with, the relevant press and publication administrative management agency, otherwise it shall be deemed illegal publishing.
Regulations Regarding Strengthening the Administration of Publications Describing Major Party and National Leaders (1990.05.05)
1. . . . . As used in these Regulations "publications describing major party and nation leaders" refers to any monographs, biographies, memoirs, documentary writings and reportage describing or narrating [major party and nation leaders].
2. The publication and distribution of these types of books and essays must be solemn and discreet. The description of historical facts must be accurate, and the point of view must conform with the spirit of the Party's "Decision Regarding Certain Historical Problems," "Decision Regarding Certain Historical Problems Since the Establishment of the Party" and related Party documents. All responsible agencies and publishing units must strictly guard against violations, and anything that does not conform to the above mentioned requirements may not be published and distributed.
3. These types of books may only be published by the People's Publishing House, the Central Historic Documents Publishing House, the Communist Party Historical Materials Publishing House, the Communist Party School Publishing House, the Communist Youth Publishing House, the Liberation Army Publishing House, and the People's Publishing Houses for the provinces, autonomous regions and independent municipalities. No other publishing houses may arrange for their publication. . . .
4. When relevant publishing houses are arranging for the publication of topics for these types of books, local publishing houses shall provide drafts to their local Press and Publication Office, which shall read and evaluate the manuscript and offer their opinions, and after receiving approval from the Communist Party Propaganda Department shall provide it to the General Administration for Press and Publication for examination and approval. Central level publishing houses shall provide a draft to their responsible department, and after the responsible department has reviewed the manuscript and provided an opinion, provide it to the General Administration for Press and Publication for examination and approval. Publishers of manuscripts written about major Party and national leaders who are currently living must solicit the opinions of that person prior to submission to the General Administration for Press and Publication.
一 、. . . . 本规定所称描写党和国家主要领导人的出版物指：专门描写、记述上述人物的专著、传记、回忆录、纪实文学、报告文学等。
三 、这类图书限由人民出版社、中央文献出版社、中共党史资料出版社、中共中央党校出版社、中国青年出版社、解放军出版社和各省、自治区、直辖市人民出版社出版，其他出版社一律不得安排出版。. . .
Administrative Sanction Implementation Measures for the "Interim Measures on the Administration of Periodicals" (1989.06.22)
Article 11: Unofficial periodicals that publicly distribute, display, sell, and presume to undertake commercial activities shall be subject to a fine of between 0.5 and 1 times the illegal income and confiscation of all illegal income. Where the circumstances are severe, the registration shall be cancelled.
Interim Provisions on the Administration of Periodicals (1988.11.24)
Article 6: The administration of periodicals shall adopt the method of separation of systems and unification of channels of the exececutive management agencies of news publishing. The Party's and State Council's ministries, commissions, agencies, all democratic parties people's organizations, and all systems of the localities shall earnestly implement the administration of the periodicals of their respective units. All periodicals shall also accept the guidance and administration of the press and publication executive administration agency.
Article 38: Anyone engaging in periodical publishing, printing, or distribution activities who, in violation of national regulations, fails to get authorization and register, presumes to engage in periodical publishing activities, or who buys, counterfeits, or forges a periodical name, registration number or other instrument shall have criminal responsibility investigated by the justice department in accordance with law. Where the behavior does not constitute a crime, it shall be subject to punishment in accordance with relevant regulations by the press and publication executive administration agency, the industry and commerce executive administration agency, and the public security bureau within their jurisdiction.
Notice Regarding Striking Hard Against Illegal Publishing Activities (1987.07.06)
1. Except for those publishing units approved by the State, no unit or individual may publish to society for open distribution any book, periodical or audio/visual publication. Violators shall be deemed to engage in illegal publishing activities.
Explanation of Certain Issues Regarding the Specific Laws to be Used in Adjudicating Cases of Stealing or Spying to Obtain, or Illegally Supplying, State Secrets or Intelligence for Foreigners (2000.11.20)
Article 1: The term "intelligence" in Article 111 of the Criminal Law refers to items which involve the security and interests of the nation, but which are not public or which, according to relevant regulations, should not be made public.
Article 5: Any person who knows, or should know, that an item which is not marked secret relates to the security and interests of the nation and steals, acquires through spying or buys it for, or illegally supplies it to, a foreigner, shall be prosecuted and punished under the provisions of Article 111 of the Criminal Law for stealing, acquiring through spying or buying state secrets for, or illegally supplying state secrets to, a foreigner.
Article 6: Anyone using the Internet to illegally transmit state secrets or intelligence to a foreign entity, organization or individual shall be prosecuted and punished under the provisions of Article 111 of the Criminal Law; where the promulgation of state secrets through the Internet is particularly serious, they shall be prosecuted and punished under the provisions of Article 398 of the Criminal Law.
Provisions on the Administration of the Protection of Secrets on Internationally Networked Computer Information Systems (2000.01.01)
Article 3: All individuals, legal persons and other organizations conducting international interconnection ("users"), Internet units or access units shall abide by these Provisions.
Article 8: The administration of the protection of secrecy of online information shall adhere to the principle of "those who go online shall bear responsibility." Anyone who provides or disseminates information to internationally networked sites must go through secrecy protection examination and approval. Agencies which implement the administration of secrecy protection examination and approval and relevant units shall establish and perfect online information secrecy protection examination and approval leadership responsibility systems in accordance with national secrecy protection regulations. Units which provide information shall perfect the secrecy protection examination and approval system in accordance with defined working procedures.
Article 9: Anyone who gathers information with the intention of providing online information services shall acquire the approval of the unit providing the information, unless it has already been openly issued in other news media. Anyone carrying out augmentation or updating of online information shall conscientiously enforce a system information secrecy protection examination and verification.
Article 10: Any unit or user who sets up an online bulletin board system, chat room or network newsgroup shall be examined and approved by the relevant secrecy protection work entity, which shall explicitly define its secrecy protection requirements and responsibilities. No unit or individual may disseminate, discuss or transmit information which is a state secret on an online bulletin board system, chat room or network newsgroup. Those persons who set up online bulletin board systems, chat rooms and network newsgroups which are open to the public or their superior responsible agencies shall conscientiously perform secrecy protection duties and establish sound administration systems to strengthen supervision and monitoring. Upon discovering any information which involves secrets, measures shall be taken in a timely manner and it shall be reported to the local secrecy protection work agency.
Article 11: Users utilizing electronic correspondence to carry online information exchange shall abide by the nation's relevant secrecy protection regulations, and shall not take advantage of electronic correspondence to transmit, transfer or forward on information which is a state secret. Internet units and access units shall explicitly define secrecy protection requirements and perfect administration systems for users of the mail servers which they administer.
Article 12: Internet units and access units shall make secrecy protection education one of the primary components of international interconnection technical training. Contracts entered into between internet units and access units and access units and users and user manuals shall clearly stipulate provisions that national secrecy protection laws shall be obeyed and the divulging of information which is a state secret is prohibited.
Supreme People's Court Explanation Regarding Certain Problems in Implementing the Civil Procedure Law of the PRC (1998.09.02)
Article 20: Where active military personnel and nonmilitary persons commit a crime together, they shall be tried separately in military tribunals and local peoples courts or other courts with specialized jurisdiction. Where cases involve national military secrets the entire case shall be heard in the military tribunal with jurisdiction.
Criminal Law (1997.03.04)
Article 105(2): Use of rumor mongering or defamation or other means to incite subversion of the national regime or the overthrow of the socialist system shall be punished by a sentence of five years or less of imprisonment, criminal detention, supervision or deprivation of political rights. Criminal leaders or those whose crimes are particularly severe shall be punished by a sentence of five years or more of imprisonment.
Article 111: Stealing or acquiring through spying or buying state secrets or intelligence for, or illegally supplying state secrets or intelligence to, a foreign entity, organization or personnel shall be punishable by a sentence of more than 5 and less than 10 years of imprisonment. Severe infractions shall be punishable by a sentence of 10 years to life of imprisonment. Minor infractions shall be punishable by a sentence of 5 years or less of imprisonment, criminal detention, supervision or deprivation of political rights.
Article 246: Use of violence or other methods to publicly humiliate a third party, or fabricating facts to defame a third party shall, where the circumstances are severe, be punished by a sentence of three years or less of imprisonment, criminal detention, supervision or deprivation of political rights. The aforementioned crime shall be prosecuted only if suit is filed, except where social order and national interests are severely disrupted.
Article 282: Illegally acquiring state secrets through theft, espionage or purchase shall be punishable by no more than three years imprisonment, criminal detention, supervision or deprivation of political rights. Severe infractions shall be punishable by a sentence of 3 to 7 years of imprisonment. Illegally possessing documents, information or other materials which are classified top secret or secret and refusing to explain the source or purpose shall be punishable by no more than three years imprisonment, criminal detention or supervision.
Article 283: Illegally producing or selling wire-tapping, micro-cameras or other equipment used for espionage is to be sentenced to not more than 3 years of imprisonment, criminal detention, or supervision.
Article 398: Any state personnel who violates the prescriptions of the State Secrets Law and intentionally or negligently divulge state secrets shall, where the infraction is severe, be punishable by no more than three years imprisonment or criminal detention. Especially severe infractions shall be punishable by a sentence of 3 to 7 years of imprisonment. Persons who are not state personnel who commit a crime mentioned in the foregoing paragraph shall, if the circumstances warrant it, be punished in accordance with the foregoing paragraph.
Measures for the Implementation of the Law on State Security (1994.06.04)
Article 7: As used in Article 4 of the Law on State Secrets, "collude" to carry out actions which will jeopardize national security, refers to any actions of organizations or individuals within the borders of China:
(i) plotting or carrying out together with foreign entities, organizations or individuals activities which jeopardize national security;
(ii) accepting financing from foreign entities, organizations or individuals to facilitate or carry out activities which jeopardize national security;
(iii) establishing affiliation with, obtaining aid from, assisting or carrying out with foreign entities, organizations or individuals activities which jeopardize national security.
Article 8: The following actions shall constitute "other disruptive activities which jeopardize national security" under Article 4 of the Law on National Security:
(i) organizing, plotting or implementing terrorist activities which jeopardize national security;
(ii) fabricating or distorting facts, disseminating or spreading writing or speech or producing or transmitting audio/visual productions that jeopardize national security;
(iii) taking advantage of established social groups or enterprise organizations to carry out activities which jeopardize national security;
(iv) taking advantage of religions to carry out activities which jeopardize national security;
(v) producing dissension among peoples or inciting division among peoples in a manner which jeopardizes national security; and
(vi) any foreign individual who, in violation of relevant regulations, does not listen to dissuasion, and without authorization meets with personnel in China who has activities which jeopardize national security, or who are under significant suspicion of having activities which jeopardize national security.
Notice Regarding Preventing State Secrets from Being Divulged in Publications (1994-03-12)
3. Any publication having the following contents must strenuously implement a system for submission for examination and approval: important national policies, Party documents and files, the national defense establishment and military might situation, the nation's foreign policy and foreign propaganda work, statistics and data regarding the national economy and social development, materials for advanced technology and scientific achievements, surveys and maps, national security activities and the prosecution of criminal activities, any other important issues that government agencies and industries should not publicize, and any other issue that the publishing unit is unable to determine might be a state secret.
State Security Law (1993.02.22)
Article 4: Any organization or individual engaging in behavior which jeopardizes the national security of the People's Republic of China shall be subject to legal investigation.
As used in this Law "behavior which jeopardizes national security" refers to the following behavior which jeopardizes the national security of the People's Republic of China which entities, organizations or individuals outside of the country carry out, or instigate or finance third parties to carry out, or which organizations or individuals within the country collude with entities, organizations or individuals outside of the country to carry out:
(i) conspiring to subvert the government, divide the country or overthrow the socialist system;
(ii) joining an espionage organization or accepting a mission from an espionage organization or its agents;
(iii) stealing, making secret inquiries of, paying for or illegally providing state secrets;
(iv) encouraging, instigating or paying for a state employee to commit treason; and
(v) engaging in any other disruptive behavior which jeopardizes national security.
Regulations on the Protection of Secrets in News Publishing (1992.06.13)
Article 14 : Article 14: Anyone who plans to supply a news agency with information for public report or publication shall, if such information relates to the work of their own system or unit, or if they are unclear as to whether it relates to state secrets, first apply to their unit or their supervising organ or unit for examination and approval.
Article 15: Anyone wishing to provide a foreign news publishing organization a report or publication with contents that relate to the nation's government, economy, diplomacy, technology or military shall first apply to their unit or their supervising organ or unit for examination and approval.
Measures for the Implementation of the Law on the Protection of State Secrets (1990.04.25)
Article 4: Any matter which would give rise to any of the following consequences if it were divulged, shall be brought within the scope of a state secret and a specific secrecy grade:
(i) jeopardizes the ability of the national government to maintain stability and defend itself;
(ii) affects the integrity of the nation's unity, solidarity among peoples or social stability;
(iii) harms political or economic interests of the nation with respect to the outside world;
(iv) affects the safety of any national leader or foreign dignitary;
(v) hinders important national safety or health work;
(vi) causes a reduction in the effectiveness or reliability of any measures to protect state secrets;
(vii) weakens the nation's economy or technological strength;
(viii) causes any national organ to lose its ability to exercise its legal authority.
Law on the Protection of State Secrets (1988.09.05)
Article 2: State secrets are all issues relating to the security and interests of the nation, determined in accordance with legally defined procedures, the knowledge of which is restricted to a defined scope of personnel for a defined length of time.
Article 8: State secrets include the following secret issues which comply with prescriptions of Article 2 of this law:
(i) secret issues in significant decisions in national affairs;
(ii) secret issues in the activities of national defense building and the strength of the armed forces;
(iii) secret issues in the activities of diplomacy and foreign affairs and issues of assuming secret duties with respect to the outside world;
(iv) secret issues in the economic and social development of citizens;
(v) secret issues in scientific technology;
(vi) secret issues in activities of maintaining national security and the investigation of criminal activity; and
(vii) any other state secret issues which the national secrecy protection work agencies determines should be preserved.
Anything which does not comply with prescriptions of Article 2 of this law shall not be considered state secrets.
All party matters which comply with prescriptions of Article 2 of this law shall be considered state secrets.
Note: The wording of these laws would not necessarily be vague and overbroad if PRC legislative bodies provided statutory guidance regarding what constitutes the national interest, rumor mongering, or defamation in the subversion context, or if the public security authorities and Procuracy provided guidance as to when they will or will not pursue criminal complaints in connection with these matters, or if China's courts issued meaningful opinions when deciding cases involving such matters. Unfortunately, Chinese authorities have yet to offer any such guidance to the public.
Interim Provisions on the Administration of Internet Publication (2002)
|Article 17: Internet publications may not carry the following types of content:
(iii) harming the honor or the interests of the nation;
(vi) spreading rumors, disturbing social order, disrupting social stability.
Measures for the Administration of Telecommunication Business Licenses (2001)
|Appendix 2 (III)(iv): No operators or their employees shall utilize telecommunication networks to produce, copy, promulgate or transmit any information containing the following types of content:
3. harming the honor or the interests of the nation;
6. spreading rumors, disturbing social order or disrupting social stability.
Regulations on the Administration of Publishing (2001)
|Article 26: No publication may contain the following types of contents:
(iii) harming the honor or the interests of the nation;
(vi) disturbing social order, disrupting social stability.
Notice Regarding Further Strengthening the Administration of Periodicals Relating to Current Affairs and Politics, General Lifestyle, Information Tabloids and Scientific Theory (2000)
|2. It is strictly prohibited for publications to include any of the following contents:
(1) gainsaying the leadership of Marxism, Mao Zedong Thought, Deng Xiaoping Theory;
(3) . . . jeopardizing the interests of the nation;
(4) . . . influencing social stability;
(5) . . . propagating superstition, pseudo-science or incorrect teachings.
(6) spreading rumors, producing and distributing false news, interfering in the broader work of the party or the nation;
(7) otherwise violating the propaganda discipline of the party or violating the regulations administering the nation's publishing.
Notice Regarding the Further Strengthening the Administration of Selection of Articles for Newspapers and Periodicals (2000)
|1. . . . . [Newspapers and periodicals] shall not select articles that contradict the guiding policies of the Party and the nation. . . .|
Provisions on the Administration of Internet Electronic Bulletin Services (2000)
|Article 9: No person may issue any information having the following types of content on an electronic bulletin service:
(iii) harming the honor or the interests of the nation;
(vi) spreading rumors, disturbing social order or disrupting social stability.
Notice Regarding the Work of Bringing the Periodical Industry Under Control (1997)
|2(6): In any of the following circumstances where administrative measures have been adopted but there has been no clear improvement, publication should be ceased:
(1) Articles have been carried which have severe political errors;
Provisions on the Administration of Electronic Publications (1997)
|Article 6: No electronic publications may contain the following types of content:
(iii) jeopardizing the nation's . . . honor or interests.
Measures on the Administration of Safeguarding the Safety of Internationally Networked Computer Information Networks (1997)
|Article 5: No unit or individual may utilize the Internet to produce, copy, look up or transmit any of the following categories of information:
(v) spreading rumors or disrupting social order;
(viii) harming the credibility of a government agency.