Regulations Concerning Foreign Journalists and Permanent Offices of Foreign News Agencies

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REGULATIONS CONCERNING FOREIGN JOURNALISTS AND PERMANENT OFFICES OF FOREIGN NEWS AGENCIES (Adopted by the State Council at the 53rd Executive Meeting on January 11, 1990, promulgated by Decree No. 47 of the State Council of the People's Republic of China on January 19, 1990 and effective as of the date of promulgation)

Article 1 These Regulations are formulated for the purpose of promoting inter- national exchanges and the dissemination of information, regulating the activities of foreign journalists and permanent offices of foreign news agencies within the territory of China and facilitating their journalistic work.

Article 2 The present Regulations shall apply to resident foreign correspondents, foreign reporters for short-term news coverage (hereinafter both referred to as foreign journalists) and permanent offices of foreign news agencies.

Resident foreign correspondents refer to the professional journalists dispatched by foreign news agencies, in accordance with these Regulations, to be stationed in China for a period of more than 6 months for news coverage and reporting. Foreign reporters for short-term news coverage refer to the professional journalists who come to China and stay for a period not exceeding 6 months for news coverage and reporting in accordance with these Regulations.

Permanent offices of foreign news agencies refer to branch offices composed of one or more staff members and established within the territory of China by foreign news agencies for news coverage and reporting in accordance with these Regulations.

Article 3 The Government of the People's Republic of China shall protect according to law the legitimate rights and interests of foreign journalists and of the permanent offices of foreign news agencies and provide them with facilities for their normal journalistic activities. Foreign journalists and permanent offices of foreign news agencies must abide by the laws and regulations of the People's Republic of China.

Article 4 The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China (hereinafter referred to as the Foreign Ministry) is the competent authority in charge of the affairs concerning foreign journalists and the permanent offices of foreign news agencies in China.

Article 5 A foreign news agency wishing to send a resident correspondent to China shall file an application with the Information Department of the Foreign Ministry (hereinafter referred to as the Information Department). The application must be signed by the head of its headquarters and contain the following particulars, with necessary papers attached thereto:

(1) basic facts about the news agency;

(2) the name, sex, age, nationality, position, curriculum vitae and the place of intended residence of the correspondent to be sent; and

(3) the professional correspondent certificate of the correspondent.

If one resident correspondent is to be sent by two or more foreign news agencies, these agencies shall submit separate applications according to the procedures as stipulated in the preceding paragraph and indicate in their respective applications the posts held concurrently by the said correspondent.

Article 6 Upon approval of the application, the resident foreign correspondent to be sent shall, within 7 days of his/her arrival in China, register with the Information Department on presentation of an appointment letter signed by the head of the headquarters of the relevant news agency and his/her passport, and obtain the Foreign Journalist Identity Card.

A resident foreign correspondent to reside in a place other than Beijing shall, within 7 days of his/her arrival in China, go through the procedures as stipulated in the preceding paragraph at the relevant foreign affairs office of the local people's government entrusted by the Information Department (hereinafter referred to as the authorities entrusted by the Information Department).

Article 7 A foreign news agency shall apply to the Information Department if it wishes to set up a permanent office in China. The application shall be signed by its legal representative and shall contain the following particulars, with necessary papers attached thereto:

(1) basic facts about the news agency;

(2) the name of the office to be set up in China, the place of intended residence, business scope, number of staff as well as the name, sex, age, nationality, position and curriculum vitae of the head of the office and those of other members; and (3) a copy of the registration certificate of the news agency issued by its home country.

Article 8 Upon approval of the application, the head of the permanent office to be set up shall, within 7 days of his/her arrival in China, register with the Information Department on presentation of an appointment letter signed by the legal representative of the foreign news agency concerned and his/her passport and the passports of other members, and obtain the Certificate for Permanent Office of Foreign News Agency in China. The head of a permanent office of a foreign news agency in a place other than Beijing shall, within 7 days of his/her arrival in China, go through the procedures as stipulated in the preceding paragraph at the authorities entrusted by the Information Department.

Article 9 If a foreign news agency wishes to send an acting correspondent in the absence of its resident correspondent in China for a period of no less than one month and no more than 6 months, the head of the agency's headquarters shall submit in advance to the Information Department or the authorities entrusted by it a written application which shall contain the name, sex, age, nationality, position, curriculum vitae of the acting correspondent, with his/her professional correspondent certificate attached thereto. The acting correspondent may not engage in journalistic activities unless he/she obtains approval and due certification.

Article 10 A resident foreign correspondent shall apply to the Information Department or the authorities entrusted by it for examination and renewal of his/her Foreign Journalist Identity Card once every full year. Whoever fails to go through such procedure within 30 days after the period due without justification will automatically forfeit his/her status of resident foreign correspondent.

Whenever a permanent office of a foreign news agency needs a change of its head, a change in the size of its staff and other important changes, it shall submit an application to the Information Department, obtain the latter's approval and go through the necessary registration procedures for the change.

Article 11 For foreign journalists wishing to come to China to cover a visit by the head of state or government or the foreign minister of a country, the application for approval shall be made collectively through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of that country in advance to the Chinese Foreign Ministry.

Article 12 A foreign reporter or journalists group wishing to come to China for news coverage on a short-term basis shall file an application with a Chinese embassy or consulate abroad or a department concerned in China. Upon approval, the said reporter or group shall go through the procedures for visas at a Chinese embassy or consulate abroad or a visa-issuing organ authorized by the Foreign Ministry.

A foreign reporter or journalist group that is to visit China at the invitation of a Chinese organization for short-term news coverage shall apply for visas at a Chinese embassy or consulate abroad or a visa-issuing organ authorized by the Foreign Ministry on presentation of the invitation letter or cable.

Article 13 The Chinese host organization shall be responsible for arranging the short-term news coverage activities of a foreign journalist within the territory of China and render him/her assistance in this regard.

A foreign reporter for short-term news coverage shall obtain the consent of the host organization for an extended news coverage in China with justified reasons and shall go through formalities for extension of the visa in accordance with the relevant regulations.

Article 14 A foreign journalist or permanent office of a foreign news agency shall conduct journalistic activities within the scope of business as registered or within that of the mutually agreed plan for news coverage.

Foreign journalists and permanent offices of foreign news agencies must observe journalistic ethics and may not distort facts, fabricate rumours or carry out news coverage by foul means.

Foreign journalists and permanent offices of foreign news agencies may not engage in any activities incompatible with their status or the nature of their profession, or detrimental to China's national security, unity or social and public interests.

Article 15 A foreign journalist shall apply for approval through the Information Department for interviewing a top leader of China, and shall apply to the relevant foreign affairs departments for approval for gathering news from China's government departments or other institutions.

Foreign journalists shall obtain in advance permission from the relevant foreign affairs office of the people's government of a province, autonomous region or municipality directly under the Central Government for news coverage in an open area in China. They shall submit a written application to the Information Department for approval, if they intend to cover news in a non-open area in China. Upon approval, they shall go through formalities for travel certificates at the relevant public security organ.

Article 16 Resident foreign correspondents and permanent offices of foreign news agencies shall rent houses and set up offices in accordance with the relevant Chinese regulations. Resident foreign correspondents and permanent offices of foreign news agencies may employ Chinese citizens as staff members or service personnel through local foreign affairs service departments, whereas the employment of citizens of their respective home countries or of a third country as staff members or service personnel requires the consent of the Information Department.

Article 17 Foreign journalists and permanent offices of foreign news agencies may not install transceivers or satellite communications facilities within the territory of China. They shall apply to the competent telecommunications department of the Chinese Government for approval if they are to use walkie-talkies or similar telecommunication facilities within the territory of China Foreign reporters for short-term news coverage in China shall apply to the Foreign Ministry for approval if they are to carry with them or install satellite communications facilities for special reasons.

Article 18 Resident foreign correspondent shall notify in writing the Information Department of their departure 30 days before they leave their posts and return their Foreign Journalist Identity Cards to the Information Department or the authorities entrusted by it for cancellation before their departure from China. A permanent office of a foreign news agency in China shall notify the Information Department of its closure 30 days beforehand and, after closure, it shall return its Certificate for Permanent Office of Foreign News Agency to the Information Department or the authorities entrusted by it for cancellation.

Article 19 In case of violation of the present Regulations by foreign journalists or permanent offices of foreign news agencies in China, the Information Department may, on the merits of each case, give them a warning, suspend or stop their journalistic activities in China, or revoke their Foreign Journalist Identity Cards or Certificates for Permanent Office of Foreign News Agency.

Cases involving violations of the Law of the People's Republic of China on Control of the Entry and Exit of Aliens or other laws and regulations shall be dealt with by the competent Chinese authorities according to law.

Article 20 Foreigners and foreign agencies other than the foreign journalists and permanent offices of foreign news agencies as specified in the present Regulations may not engage in journalistic activities in China. Due penalty shall be meted out by the relevant Chinese public security organ to any violator depending on the seriousness of the case.

Article 21 The Ministry of Foreign Affairs shall be responsible for the interpretation of these Regulations. Provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities directly under the Central Government may formulate implementation measures in accordance with these Regulations.

Article 22 These Regulations shall come into force as of the date of promulgation. The Interim Provisions of the State Council of the People's Republic of China Concerning Resident Correspondents of Foreign News Agencies promulgated by the State Council on March 9, 1981 shall be abrogated as of the same date.

This work is in the public domain because it is exempted by Article 5 of Chinese copyright law. This exempts all Chinese government and judicial documents, and their official translations, from copyright. It also exempts news on current affairs (the mere facts or happenings reported by the mass media, such as newspapers, periodicals and radio and television stations as defined in Article 5 of the Implementing Regulations of the Copyright Law of the People's Republic of China), and calendars, numerical tables, and other forms of general use and formulas.