Regulations of the People's Republic of China on News Coverage by Permanent Offices of Foreign Media Organizations and Foreign Journalists

(Decree of the State Council of the People's Republic of China No. 537)

Article 1 These Regulations are formulated for the purpose of facilitating news coverage and reporting activities carried out by permanent offices of foreign media organizations and foreign journalists in the territory of the People's Republic of China in accordance with law and promoting international exchange and dissemination of information.

Article 2 The term "permanent offices of foreign media organizations" in these Regulations means branch offices established by foreign media organizations in China for the purpose of news coverage and reporting.

The term "foreign journalists" in these Regulations includes resident foreign journalists and foreign journalists for short-term news coverage. The term "resident foreign journalists" means career journalists who are dispatched by foreign media organizations to be stationed in China for a period of not less than six months for news coverage and reporting. The term "foreign journalists for short-term news coverage" means career journalists who stay in China for a period of less than six months for news coverage and reporting.

Article 3 China follows a basic State policy of opening up to the outside world, protects the lawful rights and interests of permanent offices of foreign media organizations and foreign journalists in accordance with law, and facilitates their news coverage and reporting activities carried out in accordance with law.

Article 4 Permanent offices of foreign media organizations and foreign journalists shall abide by the laws, regulations and rules of China, observe the professional ethics of journalism, conduct news coverage and reporting activities on an objective and impartial basis, and shall not engage in activities which are incompatible with the nature of the organizations or the capacity as journalists.

Article 5 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 permanent offices of foreign media organizations and foreign journalists. The Information Office of the State Council and other competent departments are, within their respective functions and duties, responsible for the relevant affairs concerning permanent offices of foreign media organizations and foreign journalists.

The foreign affairs offices of the local people's governments are entrusted by the Foreign Ministry with the handling of affairs concerning permanent offices of foreign media organizations and foreign journalists in their respective administrative areas. The information offices and other competent departments of the local people's governments are, within their respective functions and duties, responsible for the relevant affairs concerning permanent offices of foreign media organizations and foreign journalists in their respective administrative areas.

Article 6 A foreign media organization that intends to establish a permanent office in China or dispatch a resident journalist to China shall seek the approval of the Foreign Ministry.

Article 7 A foreign media organization that applies for the establishment of a permanent office in China shall submit the following documents to the Foreign Ministry directly or through a Chinese diplomatic mission abroad:

(1) a written application signed by a principal officer in charge of the headquarters of the media organization;

(2) a profile of the media organization;

(3) profiles of the head of the permanent office to be established and the journalists and staff members to be dispatched; and

(4) a copy of the document certifying that the media organization is established in its home country.

Article 8 Upon approval of the application for the establishment of a permanent office in China, the head of the permanent office to be established shall, within 7 working days from the date of his arrival in China, register with the Foreign Ministry by presenting his passport for the issue of the Certificate for Permanent Office of Foreign Media Organization in China; where the permanent office of a foreign media organization to be established is based in a place other than Beijing, the head thereof shall, within 7 working days from the date of his arrival in China, register with the foreign affairs office of the local people's government entrusted by the Foreign Ministry by presenting his passport for the issue of the Certificate for Permanent Office of Foreign Media Organization in China.

Article 9 A foreign media organization that applies for the dispatch of a resident journalist to China shall submit the following documents to the Foreign Ministry directly or through a Chinese diplomatic mission abroad:

(1) a written application signed by an officer in charge of the headquarters of the media organization;

(2) a profile of the journalist to be dispatched; and

(3) a copy of the document certifying the professional activities of the said journalist in the home country of the media organization.

Where two or more foreign media organizations intend to dispatch one and the same resident journalist, they shall submit separate applications in accordance with the provisions of the preceding paragraph and specify in their respective applications other foreign media organizations for which the said journalist works concurrently.

Article 10 Upon approval of the application for the dispatch of a resident journalist to China, the resident journalist dispatched shall, within 7 working days from the date of his arrival in China, register with the Foreign Ministry by presenting his passport for the issue of the Press Card (R); where a resident foreign journalist is to reside in a place other than Beijing, he shall, within 7 working days from the date of his arrival in China, register with the foreign affairs office of the local people's government entrusted by the Foreign Ministry by presenting his passport for the issue of the Press Card (R).

After being issued the Press Card (R), the foreign journalist shall register with the public security authority of his place of residence for the issue of a resident permit.

Article 11 Where the permanent office of a foreign media organization intends to change its name, place of residence, etc., it shall submit a written application to the Foreign Ministry for approval before going through the necessary procedures accordingly.

The permanent office of a foreign media organization shall notify the Foreign Ministry in writing of the change of its head, office address, etc. within 7 working days after the change is made. The permanent office of a foreign media organization based in a place other than Beijing shall notify in writing the foreign affairs office of the local people's government entrusted by the Foreign Ministry of the change of its head, office address, etc. within 7 working days after the change is made.

Article 12 Where the Press Card (R) of a resident foreign journalist needs to be extended upon expiration, he shall, prior to the expiration, apply to the Foreign Ministry or the foreign affairs office of the local people's government entrusted by the Foreign Ministry for extension and go through the necessary procedures accordingly. If he fails to do so, he shall be deemed to have automatically waived his status as a resident foreign journalist and his Press Card (R) shall be cancelled accordingly.

Article 13 Where the permanent office of a foreign media organization intends to terminate its operation in China, it shall notify the Foreign Ministry of its intention 30 days prior to the termination and, within 7 working days from the date of the termination, register with the Foreign Ministry or the foreign affairs office of the local people's government entrusted by the Foreign Ministry for the cancellation of its Certificate for Permanent Office of Foreign Media Organization in China and the Press Cards (R) of its resident journalists.

Where the permanent office of a foreign media organization does not have any resident journalists for ten consecutive months or more, it shall be deemed to have automatically terminated its operation and its Certificate for Permanent Office of Foreign Media Organization in China shall be cancelled accordingly.

Where a resident foreign journalist stays in China for less than six months annually on an accumulative basis, his Press Card (R) shall be cancelled.

The permanent office of a foreign media organization shall, before the departure of a resident journalist, register with the Foreign Ministry or the foreign affairs office of the local people's government entrusted by the Foreign Ministry for the cancellation of his Press Card (R).

Article 14 The cancellation of the Certificate for Permanent Office of Foreign Media Organization in China and the Press Card (R) shall be made public.

The Journalist Visa of a resident foreign journalist whose Press Card (R) is cancelled automatically becomes invalid ten days after the date of cancellation.

A resident foreign journalist whose Press Card (R) is cancelled shall, within ten days from the date of cancellation, present the relevant certifying documents to the public security authority of his place of residence to apply for the alteration of his visa or resident permit.

Article 15 A resident foreign journalist or a foreign journalist for short-term news coverage shall apply for the Journalist Visa with a Chinese diplomatic mission abroad or a visa agency authorized by the Foreign Ministry.

Article 16 Where a foreign journalist is to travel to China with the head of State, head of government, head of legislative body, members of the royal family or senior government officials of a country, the foreign ministry or relevant department of the country concerned shall apply to a Chinese diplomatic mission abroad or a visa agency authorized by the Foreign Ministry of China for the Journalist Visa on behalf of the journalist.

Article 17 A foreign journalist who intends to interview organizations or individuals in China needs to obtain their prior consent.

A foreign journalist shall carry and present his Press Card (R) or Journalist Visa for Short Visit when conducting news coverage activities.

Article 18 The permanent office of a foreign media organization or a foreign journalist may, through organizations providing services to foreign nationals, hire Chinese citizens to do auxiliary work. Organizations providing services to foreign nationals are designated by the Foreign Ministry or the foreign affairs offices of the local people's governments entrusted by the Foreign Ministry.

Article 19 For the needs of news coverage and reporting, the permanent office of a foreign media organization or a foreign journalist may, on a short-term basis, bring into, install and use radio communications equipment in China after completing the application and approval procedures in accordance with law.

Article 20 Where a foreign national engages in news coverage or reporting activities in China without obtaining a Press Card (R) or Journalist Visa for Short Visit or without holding a valid one, the public security authority shall order him to stop the news coverage or reporting activities and shall handle the case in accordance with the relevant law.

Article 21 Where the permanent office of a foreign media organization or a foreign journalist violates the provisions of these Regulations, the Foreign Ministry shall give it/him a warning, order it/him to suspend or terminate its/his operational activities and, if the circumstances are serious, revoke the Certificate for Permanent Office of Foreign Media Organization in China, Press Card (R) or Journalist Visa.

Article 22 The permanent office of a foreign media organization or a foreign journalist that violates the provisions of other laws, regulations or rules of China shall be dealt with in accordance with law. If the circumstances are serious, the Foreign Ministry shall revoke the Certificate for Permanent Office of Foreign Media Organization in China, Press Card (R) or Journalist Visa.

Article 23 These Regulations shall be effective as of October 17, 2008. The Regulations Concerning Foreign Journalists and Permanent Offices of Foreign News Agencies promulgated by the State Council on January 19, 1990 shall be repealed simutaniously.

 

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