Law of China on Guarding State Secrets (2010 Revision)

 2018-05-17  54


Law of China on Guarding State Secrets (2010 Revision)


· Document Number:Order No.28 of the President of the People’s Republic of China

· Area of Law: Government Affairs National Security

· Level of Authority: Laws

· Date issued:04-29-2010

· Effective Date:10-01-2010

· Status: Effective

· Issuing Authority: Standing Committee of the National People's Congress

 

Order of the President of the People's Republic of China
(No.28)
Law of China on Guarding State Secrets, as amended, was adopted at the 14th meeting of the Standing Committee of the 11th National People's Congress of the People's Republic of China on April 29, 2010, is hereby promulgated, and shall come into force on October 1, 2010.
Hu Jintao, President of the People's Republic of China
April 29, 2010
Law of the People's Republic of China on Guarding State Secrets 
(Adopted at the 3rd meeting of the Standing Committee of the 7th National People's Congress on September 5, 1988 and amended at the 14th meeting of the Standing Committee of the 11th National People's Congress of the People's Republic of China on April 29, 2010)
Contents
Chapter I General Provisions 
Chapter II Scope and Classification of State Secrets 
Chapter III Secrecy Provisions 
Chapter IV Supervision and Administration 
Chapter V Legal Liability 
Chapter VI Supplementary Provisions 
Chapter I General Provisions
Article 1 This Law is formulated to guard state secrets, protect the national security and interests and guarantee the smooth implementation of reform, opening up and socialist construction.
Article 2 State secrets refer to matters which relate to the national security and interests as determined under statutory procedures and to which access is vested in a limited scope of persons during a given period of time.
Article 3 State secrets shall be protected by law.
All state organs, armed forces, political parties, social organizations, enterprises, public institutions and citizens shall have the obligation of guarding state secrets.
Any conduct endangering the safety of state secrets must be subject to legal liability.
Article 4 The work of guarding state secrets (hereinafter referred to as the “secrecy work”) shall be carried out under the guideline of “actively preventing leakage, giving prominence to key matters and managing state secrets according to law”, so that state secrets are kept safe while information resources are reasonably utilized.
Matters that shall be disclosed as required by laws and administrative regulations shall be disclosed according to law.
Article 5 The state secrecy administrative department shall be responsible for the secrecy work throughout the country. The local secrecy administrative departments at and above the county level shall be responsible for the secrecy work within their respective administrative regions.
Article 6 A state organ or an entity involved in any state secret (hereinafter referred to as “organ or entity”) shall administer the secrecy work of the organ or entity.
A central state organ shall, within its functions, administer or guide the secrecy work within its system.
Article 7 An organ or entity shall apply a responsibility system for its secrecy work, establish complete secrecy management rules, improve its secrecy measures, carry out publicity and education on secrecy, and strengthen secrecy inspection.
Article 8 The state shall reward entities or individuals which have made extraordinary contributions to guarding or protecting state secrets as well as improving secrecy techniques, measures, etc.
Chapter II Scope and Classification of State Secrets
Article 9 The following matters which relate to the national security and interests and the leakage of which may damage the national security and interests in the field of politics, economy, national defense, foreign affairs, etc. shall be determined as state secrets:
1. Classified matters involved in the key policy decisions on state affairs;
2. Classified matters involved in the national defense construction and armed force activities;
3. Classified matters involved in the diplomatic and foreign affair activities and classified matters involved in the state's international obligation of secrecy;
4. Classified matters involved in the national economic and social development;
5. Classified matters involved in science and technology;
6. Classified matters involved in the activities of maintaining national security and investigating criminal offences; and
7. Others classified matters as determined by the state secrecy administrative department.
A political party's classified matters which conform to the provisions of the preceding paragraph shall be state secrets.
Article 10 State secrets shall be classified into three levels: top-secret, secret and confidential.
State secrets at the top-secret level are the most important state secrets, the leakage of which would cause extraordinarily serious damage to the national security and interests; state secrets at the secret level are important state secrets, the leakage of which would cause serious damage to the national security and interests; state secrets at the confidential level are ordinary state secrets, the leakage of which would cause damage to the national security and interests.
Article 11 The specific scope of state secrets and scope of each classification level shall be determined by the state secrecy administrative department respectively with the foreign affairs department, the public security department, the national security department and other relevant central organs.
The scope of state secrets in the military field and the scope of each classification level shall be determined by the Central Military Commission.
Provisions on the specific scope of state secrets and scope of each classification level shall be published within a certain range and adjusted in light of changes of situations.
Article 12 The person in charge of an organ or entity or any person designated by him shall be the state secret decider responsible for the determination, change and declassification of state secrets of the organ or entity.
To determine, change or declassify a state secret of an organ or entity, the handling person shall put forward a specific proposal subject to the examination and approval of the state secret decider.
Article 13 The classification levels of state secrets shall be determined within the powers to determine state secrets.
Central state organs, provincial organs and organs or entities authorized by them shall have the powers to determine state secrets at the top-secret level, the secret level and the confidential level. Organs of districted cities and autonomous prefectures and organs or entities authorized by them shall have the powers to determine state secrets at the secret level and the confidential level. The specific powers to determine state secrets and scope of authorization shall be prescribed by the state secrecy administrative department.
Where an organ or entity executes a state secrete determined by its superior and needs to classify the state secret, it shall follow the classification level of the executed state secret. Where an organ or entity considers that the determination of classification level of a state secret which arises in the organ or entity is within the powers of its superior, it shall take secrecy measures in advance and report it immediately to the superior for determination. If it has no superior, it shall immediately apply to the competent business department or secrecy administrative department which has the corresponding determination powers.
The public security and national security organs shall, within their respective scopes of work, determine the classification levels of state secrets within the prescribed powers.
Article 14 An organ or entity shall determine the classification level of a state secret arising in the organ or entity pursuant to the provisions on the specific scope of state secrets and scopes of classification levels, as well as the secrecy period and access scope.
Article 15 The secrecy period of a state secret shall be a necessary period of time set according to the nature and characteristics of the matter and the needs for maintaining the national security and interests. Where it is impossible to determine the secrecy period, the conditions for declassification shall be determined.
Unless it is otherwise provided for, the secrecy period of a state secret shall not exceed 30 years at the top-secret level, 20 years at the secret level or 10 years at the confidential level.
Organs and entities shall determine the specific secrecy period, declassification time or declassification conditions according to their respective work needs.
Where an organ or entity, for its work needs, decides to disclose a matter which has been determined as a classified matter in the process of deciding or handling the relevant matters, the matter shall be deemed declassified once it is officially disclosed.
Article 16 The access scope of a state secret shall be minimized according to the work needs.
When possible, the access to a state secret shall be granted to specific persons; otherwise, shall be granted to specific organs or entities which specify the persons to have access thereto.
Where any person outside the access scope of a state secret needs to have access to the state secret due to his work, his access shall be subject to the approval of the person in charge of the relevant organ or entity.
Article 17 Organs and entities shall put a state secret label on the paper, optic, electromagnetic and other media carrying state secrets (hereinafter referred to as “state secret carriers”) as well as equipment and products which are state secrets.
Those not being state secrets shall not be labeled state secrets.
Article 18 The classification levels, secrecy periods and access scopes of state secrets shall be timely modified in light of changes of situations. The modification of the classification level, secrecy period and access scope of a state secret shall be decided by the organ or entity which originally determined the state secret or by its superior.
Where any modification is made to the classification level, secrecy period or access scope of a state secret, a written notice shall be given to the organs, entities or persons within the access scope in a timely manner.
Article 19 A state secret shall be automatically declassified at the expiry of its secrecy period.
Organs and entities shall examine the state secrets determined by them at regular intervals. A state secret shall be timely declassified if it is no longer treated as state secret due to adjustment of the scope of classified matters or it no longer needs to be kept secret as its disclosure would not damage the national security or interests. If it is necessary to extend the secrecy period of a state secret, its secrecy period shall be re-determined before the expiry of the original secrecy period. The early declassification or the extension of secrecy period of a state secret shall be decided by the organ or entity which originally determined the state secret or by its superior.
Article 20 Where any organ or entity is confused or raises any question about whether a matter is a state secret or at which classification level a state secret is, it shall be determined by the state secrecy administrative department or the secrecy administrative department of the relevant province, autonomous region or municipality directly under the Central Government.
Chapter III Secrecy Provisions
Article 21 The making, sending, receiving, delivery, use, reproduction, keeping, maintenance and destruction of state secret carriers shall be in conformity with the state secrecy provisions.
Carriers of state secrets at the top secret level shall be kept in the facilities or equipment which reaches the secrecy standards of the state, and special personnel shall be assigned to manage them. Without the approval of the original organ or entity which determined a state secret or its superior, no one shall copy or extract them. Special personnel shall be assigned to be responsible for the sending, receiving, delivery and carrying of such carriers, and necessary security measures shall be taken.
Article 22 The research, development, production, transport, use, keeping, maintenance and destruction of equipment and products which are state secrets shall be in conformity with the state secrecy provisions.
Article 23 Computer information systems used to store and process state secrets (hereinafter referred to as “secret-related information systems”) shall be protected at different grades based on the degree of involvement with state secrets.
Secrecy facilities and equipment shall be provided for a secret-related information system according to the state secrecy standards. Secrecy facilities and equipment shall be planned, constructed and put to use simultaneously with the secret-related information system.
A secret-related information system may be put to use only after it has passed the prescribed inspection.
Article 24 Organs and entities shall strengthen the management of secret-related information systems, and no organization or individual shall:
1. Connect any secret-related computer or storage device to the Internet or any other public information network;
2. Exchange message between a secret-related information system and the Internet or any other public information network without taking any protective measures;
3. Store or process state secret information by using any computer or storage device which is not a secret-related computer or storage device;
4. Uninstall or modify the security technique program or management program of a secret-related information system without permission; or
5. Present, sell, abandon or use for any other purpose any secret-related computer or storage device which has ceased to be used but not undergone treatment by security techniques.
Article 25 Organs and entities shall strengthen the management of state secret carriers, and no organization or individual shall:
1. Illegally acquire or hold any state secret carrier;
2. Purchase, sell, transfer or privately destroy any state secret carrier;
3. Transmit any state secret carrier by ordinary mail, express mail or any other channel without secrecy safeguards;
4. Send any state secret carrier out of this country by mail or consignment; or
5. Carry or transmit any state secret carrier out of this country without the approval of the relevant competent authorities.
Article 26 It shall be prohibited to illegally reproduce, record or store any state secret.
It shall be prohibited to transmit any state secret on the Internet or any other public information network or in any wire or radio communication without secrecy safeguards.
It shall be prohibited to refer to any state secret in private contact or correspondence.
Article 27 The relevant secrecy provisions shall be observed in the editing, publication, printing and issuance of newspapers, periodicals, books, audio and video recordings and electronic publications, in the making and broadcasting of radio programs, TV programs and films, and in the editing and publication of information on the Internet, mobile communication network or any other public information network or medium.
Article 28 Operators and service providers of the Internet or any other public information network shall cooperate with the public security organs, the national security organs and the procuratorial organs in the investigation of secret leakage cases. Where any operator or service provider finds that any information disclosed via the Internet or any other public information network involves any state secret, it shall immediately stop transmitting it, keep the relevant records, and report to the public security organ, national security organ or secrecy administrative department. Operators and service providers shall delete information which involves state secrets as required by the public security organs, the national security organs or the secrecy administrative departments.
Article 29 Organs and entities shall observe the secrecy provisions when disclosing information to the public or conducting procurement for projects, goods or services which involve state secrets.
Article 30 Where an organ or entity needs to provide any state secret in foreign contact or cooperation or any overseas person appointed or employed by an organ or entity needs to have access to any state secret due to his work, the organ or entity shall report to the competent department of the State Council or the people's government of the relevant province, autonomous region or municipality directly under the Central Government for approval, and enter into a secrecy agreement with the other party.
Article 31 The sponsor of a meeting or any other activity which involves any state secret shall take secrecy measures, provide secrecy education to attendees and specify the secrecy requirements.
Article 32 Organs and entities shall determine their institutions involving state secrets at the top secret level or a relatively large amount of state secrets at the secret or confidential level as vital institutions in the secrecy work, determine their places exclusively used for producing, storing and keeping state secret carriers as vital places in the secrecy work, and arrange and use necessary technical protection facilities and equipment according to the state secrecy provisions and standards.
Article 33 For forbidden military zones and other sites or positions which are state secrets and not open to the public, secrecy measures shall be taken, and no one shall decide to open them to the public or widen the area open to the public without the approval of the relevant authorities.
Article 34 Enterprises or public institutions engaging in the production, reproduction, maintenance or destruction of state secret carriers, the integration of secret-related information systems, the scientific research or manufacturing of weaponry or any other business involving state secrets shall be subject to secrecy vetting. The specific measures shall be formulated by the State Council.
An organ or entity which entrusts any of the above-mentioned businesses to an enterprise or a public institution shall enter into a secrecy agreement with the latter, clarify the secrecy requirements and take secrecy measures.
Article 35 Personnel who work at posts involving state secrets (hereinafter referred to as secret-related personnel) shall be divided into core, important and ordinary secret-related personnel according to the degree of involvement in state secrets, and be subject to categorized management.
Vetting shall be made pursuant to the relevant provisions before appointing or employing secret-related personnel.
Secret-related personnel shall have a good political quality, good characters and the working competency required by their secret-related posts.
The legitimate rights and interests of secret-related personnel shall be protected by law.
Article 36 Secret-related personnel shall receive secrecy education and training before taking posts, have secrecy knowledge and skills, sign a secrecy commitment statement, strictly abide by the secrecy rules and regulations, and never divulge state secrets in any way.
Article 37 Secret-related personnel to leave this country shall apply to the relevant authorities for approval. Where the relevant authority believes that such a person's leaving this country would endanger the national security or cause material losses to the national interests, it shall not approve his application for leaving the country.
Article 38 Secret-related personnel shall be deprived of access to state secrets for a period of time before leaving his post or quitting his job. During that period, secret-related personnel shall perform the secrecy obligation according to the relevant provisions, and shall not violate employment provisions or divulge state secretes in any way.
Article 39 Organs and entities shall establish sound management rules for secret-related personnel, clarify their rights and post duties and requirements, and conduct routine supervision and inspection on their performance of duties.
Article 40 Where a state functionary or any other citizen finds that a state secret has been or may be divulged, he shall immediately take repair measures and report to the relevant organ or entity. The organ or entity shall, immediately after receiving the report, handle the situation and report to the secrecy administrative department.
Chapter IV Supervision and Administration
Article 41 The state secrecy administrative department shall make secrecy rules and national secrecy standards pursuant to laws and administrative regulations.
Article 42 The secrecy administrative departments shall organize and carry out secrecy publicity and education, secrecy inspection, secrecy technique protection, investigation of secret leakage cases and other work according to law, and guide and supervise the secrecy work of organs and entities.
Article 43 Where a secrecy administrative department finds that any state secret is inappropriately determined, modified or declassified, it shall timely notify the relevant organ or entity to correct.
Article 44 When a secrecy administrative department conducts an inspection on an organ's or entity's compliance with the secrecy provisions, the organ or entity shall cooperate. If the secrecy administrative department finds that the organ or entity has any hidden risk of leakage of state secrets, it shall require the organ or entity to take measures and make rectification within a certain time limit, and order the organ or entity to stop using the facility, equipment or place with a hidden risk of leakage of state secrets. The secrecy administrative department shall suggest that the relevant organ or entity take disciplinary actions against secret-related personnel who have seriously violated the secrecy provisions and remove them from the secret-related posts. If leakage of any state secret is suspected, the secrecy administrative department shall urge and direct the relevant organ or entity to investigate and handle it. If anyone is suspected of a crime, the secrecy administrative department shall transfer the case to the judicial organ.
Article 45 The secrecy administrative departments shall capture the illegally acquired or held state secret carriers found in secrecy inspections.
Article 46 Where an organ handling a state secret leakage case needs to identify whether the matter in question is a state secret and the classification level, the identification shall be conducted by the state secrecy administrative department or the secrecy administrative department of the relevant province, autonomous region or municipality directly under the Central Government.
Article 47 Where an organ or entity fails to take disciplinary actions against its personnel violating the secrecy provisions, the secrecy administrative department shall suggest that the organ or entity make a correction. If the organ or entity refuses to correct, the secrecy administrative department shall request its immediate superior or the supervisory organ to deal with the responsible leaders and directly liable persons of the organ or entity according to law.
Chapter V Legal Liability
Article 48 Whoever commits any of the following conduct in violation of this Law shall be subject to a disciplinary action; and if a crime is constituted, be subject to criminal liability:
1. Illegally acquiring or holding any state secret carrier;
2. Purchasing, selling, transferring or privately destroying any state secret carrier;
3. Transmitting any state secret carrier via ordinary mail, express mail or any other channel without secrecy safeguards;
4. Sending any state secret carrier out of this country by mail or consignment or carrying or transmitting any state secret carrier out of this country without the approval of the relevant competent authorities;
5. Illegally reproducing, recording or storing any state secret;
6. Referring to any state secret in private contact or correspondence;
7. Transmitting any state secret on the Internet or any other public information network or in any wire or radio communication without secrecy safeguards;
8. Connecting any secret-related computer or storage device to the Internet or any other public information network;
9. Exchanging message between a secret-related information system and the Internet or any other public information network without taking any safeguard measures;
10. Storing or processing state secret information by using any computer or storage device which is not a secret-related computer or storage device;
11. Uninstalling or modifying the safety technique program or management program of a secret-related information system without permission; or
12. Presenting, selling, abandoning or using for any other purpose any secret-related computer or storage device which has ceased to be used but not undergone treatment by security techniques.
If any of the above-mentioned conduct committed by a person does not constitute a crime and disciplinary actions are not applicable to him, the secrecy administrative department shall urge the organ or entity where he works to properly deal with him.
Article 49 Where any serious secret leakage case occurs in an organ or entity violating this Law, it shall take disciplinary actions according to law against the directly liable person in charge and other directly liable persons. For persons to whom disciplinary actions are not applicable, the secrecy administrative department shall urge the competent department to deal with them.
Where, in violation of this Law, an organ or entity fails to determine a matter as a state secret which it shall determine as a state secret or determines a matter as a state secret which it shall not determine as a state secret, causing serious consequences, the organ or entity shall take disciplinary actions against the directly liable person in charge and other directly liable persons.
Article 50 Where any operator or service provider of the Internet or any other public information network violates Article 28 of this Law, the public security organ, the national security organ or the competent industry and information technology department shall impose punishment within its scope of functions.
Article 51 Where any staff member of a secrecy administrative department abuses his powers, neglects his duties, practices favoritism or makes falsehood in performing his secrecy administrative functions, he shall be subject to disciplinary actions; and if any crime is constituted, be subject to criminal liability.
Chapter VI Supplementary Provisions
Article 52 The Central Military Commission shall formulate the secrecy regulation of the Chinese People's Liberation Army according to this Law.
Article 53 This Law shall come into force on October 1, 2010.