China Drafting Government Affairs Freedom of Information Law, Journalists Can Compel Government Disclosure in Draft Law (story in Chinese)

October 12, 2004

The People's Daily reports that the State Council is in the process of drafting a national "Government Affairs Freedom of Information Law" that will require executive agencies to release information to the media unless there is a reason for withholding it. According to the article, under the draft law if an executive agency official refuses to release information on government activities without proper grounds, “media units” (i.e., China’s state-sponsored media) can go to court to compel disclosure. The article points out that the law faces obstacles, however, including the need to have appropriate regulations in place to "ensure that making information public can be carried out in a peaceful and just manner."