Freedom of Information (China)

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On May 1, 2008 the Chinese government released the details of a regulation which Zhang Qiong, the deputy director of the Legal Affairs Office of the State Council, stated aims "improve transparency and protect the right to know and public scrutiny of official acts."[1]

However, Rowan Callick reports in The Australian that a pilot program in three of China's biggest cities in 2004 "indicates the chances of Chinese journalists making use of this embryonic freedom of information regulation are very slim." The only request by a journalist in the trial was from Ma Sheng, a legal affairs reporter for Communist Party-owned Liberation Daily in Shanghai. Ma sought a copy of a map "from a district-level planning bureau where, he believed, a corrupt deal had been made with a developer that involved the removal of many residents to clear the way for luxury apartments." His request was denied and, after several twists in the saga, Ma lost his job. The development went ahead.[2]

Articles and Resources


  1. Sun Yunlong, "China issues new information rules to promote gov't transparency", China View, April 30, 2008.
  2. Rowan Callick, "Chinese FOI act tied by red tape", The Australian, May 1, 2008.

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