China passes revised law requiring timely release of information during emergencies

China’s top legislature passed an amendment on handling emergencies on Friday, requiring timely release of information in emergencies and accurate, objective, and fair media reporting.

The revised law stipulates that the country should establish a sound system for the release of information on emergencies, requiring relevant government departments to promptly disclose information, decisions, orders, and measures related to emergencies to the public.

In case of false or incomplete information being published, accurate information should be promptly released to clarify the situation.

The law also establishes a system for news reporting and supports media in conducting interviews, reporting, and public supervision. Media reporting on emergencies should be timely, accurate, objective, and fair, it highlighted.

Submission of reports on emergencies must be timely, objective, and truthful. Officials are prohibited from delaying, lying, concealing, or omitting reports, or instructing others to do so. It is also prohibited to obstruct others from reporting information, the law stipulates.

In terms of improving the country’s emergency support systems, the revised law clarifies the response to emergencies and establishes a system for emergency material reserves.

Local governments at or above the county level may sign agreements with qualified companies to produce and supply emergency rescue materials according to the law.

The law also highlights the participation of various sectors of society in emergency response work.

It suggests establishing a system for expert consultation on emergencies, supports and guides the participation of social forces such as the Red Cross, charitable organizations, volunteer service organizations, and volunteers in emergency response.

It encourages individuals, legal entities, and other organizations to reserve basic emergency self-rescue materials and essential goods, and requires grass-roots organizations such as village committees to immediately organize the masses to carry out self-rescue and mutual aid in emergency situations.

The current law governing emergency response protocols was enacted in 2007 and has played a vital role in preventing and reducing emergencies and their impact. It has contributed to protect the safety of people’s lives and property, maintaining national security, public security, ecological environment security, and social order.

The revised law, which will take effect from November 1, was passed by the Standing Committee of the 14th National People’s Congress.

The session also passed theĀ amendment on frontier health and quarantine. The revised law improves measures for routinely preventing the cross-border transmission of infectious diseases, and strengthen the protection of business secrets and personal information involved in national health quarantine.

Global Times