In May 2008, the State Council issued “Regulations of the People’s Republic of China on Open Government Information” (中华人民共和国政府信息公开条例) went into law, requiring government departments to disclose a very wide range of information to the public and media. (See my prior article, “China’s determined and long march towards rule of law.”) Since then I have been keeping an eye out for new developments. China’s media watchdog, General Administration of Press and Publication (GAPP), few weeks ago declared illegal for governments or any other entities to blacklist journalists or to stop them from reporting. Continue reading China’s Supreme People’s Court clarifies trial procedures in citizens suing local governments over information disclosure
Xinhua reported official policies announced by the General Administration of Press and Publication (GAPP) where journalists cannot be blacklisted or blocked from reporting. China has over 7,000 papers and magazines in circulation, and this figure is hardly a surprise given the explosive growth in the last three decades in the country. GAPP, having oversight over news media, has absolutely made the right call. In 2008, China passed a very important transparency law (“Regulations of the People’s Republic of China on Open Government Information” (中华人民共和国政府信息公开条例)) requiring government departments to disclose certain information. (See my prior post, “China’s determined and long march towards rule of law.”) This assertion made by the GAPP will help foster a culture of timely government disclosure – as a way to combat rumors and disinformation as well in dealing with corruption. Note that the report also says that reporters who fabricate stories or blackmail will be punished. Continue reading China’s media watchdog, General Administration of Press and Publication (GAPP), on blacklisting journalists
With Tunisia and Egypt in revolution, the Western media seem to be hypnotized with this notion that the only way Chinese society can improve is the citizens themselves fermenting a ‘jasmine revolution’ and overthrow the government. Note that they don’t actually say it, but their narratives are frequently with this a presumption. (See my prior post.) We retard our views if we limit ourselves to thinking that for weaker nations, revolution is the panacea to everything. For China, the key is always reforms from within, and I want to share about China’s recent freedom of information act. These reforms are in fact being done in earnest and some times with foreigner input.
In 2007, China’s State Council issued the “Regulations of the People’s Republic of China on Open Government Information” (中华人民共和国政府信息公开条例) which went into law in May 2008. They required government departments to disclose a very wide range of information. The purpose is to make the government more transparent and to make Chinese society one of rule of law. The Yale Law School’s China Law Center has a good collection of resources inside and outside China on how those regulations are being put into practice (in English). Peking University’s Center for Public Participation Studies and Supports (北京大学公众参与研究与支持中心) can be reached here in Chinese with a broader view of what is happening in China. The Chinese in fact works with Western NGO’s too, including the Ford Foundation.
Continue reading China’s determined and long march towards rule of law
July 9th, Buxi posted a story about Yang Jia. I think many of us were hoping that his trail would have been public, would have been transparent. But it wasn’t. Rather it was done in closed session. Continue reading (Letter from MutantJedi) Follow up on Yang Jia
The other headline story in China over the last week has been the murder of 6 police officers in Shanghai. Yang Jia, an unemployed man originally from Beijing, attacked a public security office building, stabbing to death 6 officers.
All of this happened just as the Weng’an riot story itself became white hot, and the Chinese internet response was predictably extreme (and in my opinion, disgusting). After seeing local injustices, some Chinese netizens basically celebrated the attacks on the police. Yang was often described as one of the Robin Hood-type heroes forced to rebel in Outlaws of the Marsh (水浒传). Many simply assumed Yang acted for a reason, that previous police abuse was the reason for his anger; a rumor was spread that Yang had been beaten so badly his sex organs were injured.
The Shanghai public security ministry has been placed on the defensive, forced to explain whether Yang Jia was “justified” in his attack. Yesterday, Shanghai issued a 6-hour recording from an encounter last October, apparently the seed of Yang Jia’s anger (连接). Part of the transcript is translated below:
After a series of horn blasts, a middle aged man with a Shanghai accent (police officer) begins a dialog with a young man with a Beijing accent (Yang Jia).
Officer: Hey pal, please stop your bicycle for an examination!
Yang Jia: There are so many people on the road, why are you picking on me?