New State Secrets Implementing Regulations: more of a damp fizzle than a bang?

The People’s Republic of China State Secrets Protection Law Implementing Regulations (the ‘New State Secrets Implementing Regulations’) were promulgated on 17 January 2014 and became effective on 1 March 2014. The People’s Republic of China State Secrets Protection Law Implementing Measures — ratified by the State Council on 25 April 1990 (the ‘Old Implementing Measures’) and later published by the State Secrets Bureau (SSB) on 25 May 1990 — were simultaneously repealed with effect from 1 March 2014.

The most significant change brought about by the New State Secrets Regulations, as compared with the Old Implementing Measures, is the removal of the ‘type of harm’ definition in state secrets. Article 4 of the Old Implementing Measures had provided that any matter that if disclosed could result in specified types of harm should be considered as falling within the scope of state secrets…

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