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Flying Dragon Seeking Freedom of Information: A Critique of Chinese OGI Regulations
Unformatted Document Text:  depth analyses of the law. This paper thus seeks to expand knowledge about the rise of transparency in China. To help shed light on what the OGI Regulations mean to China’s moves toward an open society, this paper will consider three research questions. The first research question asks: how could China, a country without political culture of government openness, come up with the OGI Regulations? Our second research question is: how is the law structured and what is special in terms of its statutory language? The last question considers how Chinese OGI Regulations have been implemented. Government transparency includes three specific rights: right of access of the public (press) to government held documents and records, right of access of the public (press) to government facilities, and right of access of the public (press) to government meetings. 18 This paper will deal with right of access to government held documents and records only. Also, freedom of information laws in Hong Kong 19 , Taiwan 20 and Macao are beyond the scope of this paper. The project will focus only on freedom of information in mainland China. 18 For example, in the United States, U.S. Freedom of information Act was enacted to guarantee the right of the public/press to access government-held information at the federal level. The Government in Sunshine Act was passed to open federal government meetings to the general public/press. All 50 states have statutes that mandate open meetings. Gaining press access to government facilities is more problematic. In all three cases Pell v. Procunier (1974), Saxbe v. Washington Post (1974) and Houchins v. KQED (1978), the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that journalists have no First Amendment right to gather news in a prison. See generally D ON R. P EMBER and C LAY C ALVERT , M ASS M EDIA L AW (2009-2010). 19 The Code on Access to Information can be found on Hong Kong government website. < http://www.access.gov.hk/en/code.htm >. (last visited 03/31/2011).

Authors: Tang, Yong. and Martin, Halstuk.
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background image
 
 
depth analyses of the law. This paper thus seeks to expand knowledge about the 
rise of transparency in China. 
     
To help shed light on what the OGI Regulations mean to China’s moves 
toward an open society, this paper will consider three research questions. The 
first research question asks: how could China, a country without political culture 
of government openness, come up with the OGI Regulations? Our second 
research question is: how is the law structured and what is special in terms of its  
statutory language? The last question considers how Chinese OGI Regulations 
have been implemented.  
     Government transparency includes three specific rights: right of access of the 
public (press) to government held documents and records, right of access of the 
public (press) to government facilities, and right of access of the public (press) to 
government meetings.
18
 This paper will deal with right of access to government 
held documents and records only. Also, freedom of information laws in Hong 
Kong
19
, Taiwan
20
 and Macao are beyond the scope of this paper. The project will 
focus only on freedom of information in mainland China. 
                                                      
18
 For example, in the United States, U.S. Freedom of information Act was 
enacted to guarantee the right of the public/press to access government-held 
information at the federal level. The Government in Sunshine Act was passed to 
open federal government meetings to the general public/press. All 50 states have 
statutes that mandate open meetings. Gaining press access to government 
facilities is more problematic. In all three cases Pell v. Procunier (1974), Saxbe v. 
Washington Post 
(1974) and Houchins v. KQED (1978), the Supreme Court of 
the United States ruled that journalists have no First Amendment right to gather 
news in a prison. See generally D
ON 
R.
 
P
EMBER
 and C
LAY 
C
ALVERT
, M
ASS 
M
EDIA 
L
AW 
(2009-2010). 
 
19
 The Code on Access to Information can be found on Hong Kong government 
website. <
>. (last visited 03/31/2011). 


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