The new draft law removes the ban on “independently issuing information” regarding sudden incidents, and replaces it with a ban on the dissemination of “false information” regarding sudden incidents, according to a June 24 Xinhua article. This may reflect an effort by Chinese officials to respond to public opposition regarding the original draft language, and some recognition of the positive role that independent media reporting can play in exposing severe governance abuses by local officials. But it also reflects the desire of Chinese central officials to maintain checks over media reporting on sensitive public issues. [Full text]
Update: See also comments on the draft law from journalist Luqiu Luwei’s blog, translated by ESWN and “Chinese media respond to revised draft of emergency response law” from China Media Project.