China Adopts Emergency Response Law – People’s Daily

The National People’s Congress passed the much-discussed Emergency Response Law today. From People’s Daily:

Chinese officials will soon be legally obliged to provide accurate and timely information on public emergencies, while media organizations that publish false reports could lose their business licenses under a new law passed on Thursday.

The passed by the national legislature on Thursday is aimed at improving handling of industrial accidents, , health and public security hazards.

… The first version of the draft law submitted in June 2006 included the provision that “news media that irregularly report the development and handling of emergencies without authorization, or release fraudulent reports will be fined from 50,000 yuan (6,250 U.S. dollars) to 100,000 yuan, if the reports lead to serious consequences”.

The provision was cut from the law when it was submitted to the NPC Standing Committee for the second reading in June this year after heated debate among lawmakers and the public, many of whom argued it could be misused by government bodies to stall the release of emergency information. [Full text]

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