Anti-espionage law of the People’s Republic of China
Adopted on 1 November 2014
by the 11th Plenary Session of the 12th National People’s Congress
Chapter 1. General Principles
Chapter 2. Functions and powers of State Security Organs in anti-espionage work.
Chapter 3. Rights and Duties of Citizens and Organizations.
Chapter 4. Legal liability
Chapter 5. Supplementary provisions
Article 1. This Law is formulated in accordance with the Constitution for the purpose of preventing, stopping and combating espionage.
Article 2. Anti-espionage work upholds the unified leadership of the (Party) centre, adheres to the principles of combining open and secret work, combining specialized work and the mass line, active defense, and punishment in accordance with the law
Article 3. State security organs are the competent organization in charge of anti-espionage work.
Public security, secrets administrative management and other relevant departments and relevant military departments cooperate closely, and strengthen their coordination to do their work well in accordance with the law according to their division of labor.
Article 4. Citizens of the People’s Republic of China have a duty to preserve the security, honor and interest of the nation. They must not enact conducts that endanger the security, interest and honor of the nation.
All state organs and armed forces, all parties and public groups, all enterprises and organizations have the duties to prevent, stop acts of espionage, maintain national security.
State security organs must rely on the support of the People in anti-espionage efforts, mobilize and organize the People to prevent and stop acts of espionage that threaten national security.
Article 5. Anti-espionage work shall be conducted in accordance with the law, respect and protect human rights, protect the lawful rights and interests of citizens and organizations.
Article 6. Institutions, organizations, individuals outside the territory that carry out, instigate, financially support others to carry out acts of espionage endangering state security, or [acts of espionage that endanger state security and are] carried out by an institution, organization, individual within the national territory colluding with an institution, organization or individual outside the national territory must be subject to legal liability.
Article 7. The state provides protection for organizations and individuals who support and assist anti-espionage work, and gives rewards to those who make major contributions.
Functions and powers of State Security Organs in anti-espionage work.
Article 8. In anti-espionage work, state security organs carry out investigations, detention, preliminary examination and enforcement of arrest as well as other powers granted by law.
Article 9. Personnel of State security organs while performing their tasks in accordance with law, upon presenting appropriate identification in accordance with the regulations, has the right to examine Chinese citizens’ or foreigners’ proofs of identifications; and make inquiries into relevant circumstances to relevant organizations and individuals.
Article 10. Personnel of State security organs while performing their tasks in accordance with the law may, upon presentation of appropriate documents in accordance with the regulations, access relevant venues and units. In accordance with relevant national regulations, upon approval and presentation of appropriate documents, they may access relevant restricted-access areas, venues, units to consult or acquire relevant dossiers, documents, objects.
Article 11. Personnel of State security organs carrying out their tasks in urgent circumstances may, upon presentation of appropriate documents, have priority access to public transportation, and enjoy priority transit when encountering traffic obstructions.
As needed for anti-espionage work, State security organs may, in accordance with relevant national regulations, have priority use of or lawfully requisite means of transportation, means of communications, locations and buildings belonging to state organs, groups, enterprises, institutions and individuals. When necessary, [State security organs] may set up relevant work sites and equipment, facilities. After performing their task they shall be promptly returned or returned to their original condition and an adequate fee shall be paid in accordance with regulations. Compensation shall be made whenever damage has been caused
Article 12. As needed for investigation of acts of espionage, and on the basis of relevant national regulations, State security organs may employ technical investigative measures upon a strict approval procedure.
Article 13. State security organs may in accordance with relevant regulations inspect organizations’ and individuals’ electronic communications tools, instruments and other equipment and facilities, as needed for anti-espionage work. Where possible threats to national security are found during an inspection, the State security organ shall order a rectification; where rectification is refused or where after rectification, requirements are still not met, [the abovementioned tool, instruments, equipment and facilities] may be sealed or seized.
Article 14. As needed for anti-espionage work, according to relevant national regulations, State security organs may petition customs, border patrol or other inspection organs to avoid the inspection of certain individuals, documents or equipment. The relevant inspection organs shall provide assistance.
Article 15. The tools and other property used in espionage, as well as the funds, venues, provisions used to financially assist espionage may be sealed, seized or frozen by State security organs upon approval by the person responsible for State security organs above the level of city divided into administrative districts.
Article 16.To prevent and stop acts of espionage, State security organs, together with relevant departments, draft technical protection standards for anti-espionage, and guide the relevant departments in implementing anti-espionage technical protective measures, and in departments with hidden danger, upon strict approval procedures, anti-espionage technical protection reviews and tests may be carried out.
Article 17. In their work, State security organs and their personnel shall strictly handle matters in accordance with the law, must not exceed or abuse their authority, and must not infringe upon the lawful rights and interests of organizations or individuals.
Information and documents about organizations and individuals that has been acquired by State security organs and their personnel during their lawful anti-espionage duties shall be only used for anti-espionage work. Information classified as state secret, commercial secret and individual privacy shall be maintained secret.
Article 18. The personnel of State security organs lawfully performing their duties shall enjoy the protection of the law.
Chapter 3. Rights and Duties of Citizens and Organizations.
Article 19. State organs, groups and other institutions shall educate their units’ personnel on the protection of State security, and mobilize and organize them to prevent and stop acts of espionage
Article 20.Citizens and organizations shall provide conditions to facilitate state security work or other assistance.
Individuals whose personal security, or the personal security or their relatives, is endangered because of the assistance [they have provided] to anti-espionage work may apply for protection at State security organs. State security organs shall, together with other relevant departments, adopt protective measures in accordance with the law.
Article 21. Citizens and organizations discovering acts of espionage shall promptly report them to State security organs. Where [such activities] are reported to public security organs and other state organs or organizations, the relevant state organ or organization shall promptly liaise with State security organs.
Article 22. Where State security organs perform an investigation to understand relevant acts of espionage, gather relevant evidence, relevant organizations and individual shall truthfully provide information, and they must not refuse.
Article 23. Any citizen and organization shall protect state secrets about the anti-espionage work they know.
Article 24. Any individual and organization must not unlawfully possess any documents, materials or items that are State secrets.
Article 25. Any individual and organization must not unlawfully possess, use any specialized espionage equipment. Specialized espionage equipment is verified by State Council departments responsible for State Security according to national regulations.
Article 26. Any individual and organization has the right to file a report to or make accusations before a higher level State security organ against State security organs or their personnel [who have] exceeded the scope of their authority or abused their authority or [committed other] acts against the law. The State security organ or the relevant department that receives the report or accusation shall promptly investigate the facts, be responsible for handling [the report or accusation], and shall promptly notify the outcome to the person who filed the report or made the accusation.
No individual or organization shall repress or take revenge against an individual or organization that assists State security organs in their work, or reports or makes accusations [against them].
Chapter 4. Legal liability
Article 27. Institutions, organizations and individuals outside the national territory [that] carry out, or instigate or financially support others in carrying out espionage activities, or domestic institutions, organizations or individuals [that] collude with foreign institutions, organizations or individuals to perform acts of espionage, [where such acts] constitute a crime, shall be criminally prosecuted.
Where those who have committed acts of espionage turn themselves in or have meritorious contribution they may be punished leniently, have their sentence commuted or be exempted from punishment. Those who make major contributions shall receive a reward.
Article 28. Those who are coerced or induced to participate in hostile organizations, or espionage organizations while outside the national territory, and who engage in activities that endanger the national security of the People’s Republic of China, but promptly and truthfully explain the circumstances to an organization of the People’s Republic of China based overseas or upon re-entering the national territory either directly or through their organization promptly and truthfully explain the circumstances to State security organs or public security organs and show repentance may not be prosecuted.
Article 29. A person who clearly knows another person has committed an act of espionage, but when state security organs investigate relevant circumstance or gather relevant evidence refuses to provide it, shall receive a sanction by work unit or the competent departments at the next higher level; or State security organs may give administrative detention of less than 15 days. Where a crime is constituted, it shall be criminally prosecuted in accordance with the law.
Article 30.Any obstruction of State security organs’ lawful performance of their tasks by means of violence, threats, shall be criminally prosecuted in accordance with the law.
Any intentional obstruction of State security organs lawful performance of their tasks that does not employ violent or threatening methods, but causes serious consequences shall be criminally prosecuted in accordance with the law; where the circumstances are minor, State security organs may give administrative detention of less than 15 days.
Article 31. Intentional or negligent disclosure of state secrets related to anti-espionage work is punished by State security organs by administrative detention of less than 15 days; where a crime is constituted, it shall be criminally prosecuted in accordance with the law.
Article 32. Those who unlawfully detain state secret documents, materials and other items, as well as those who unlawfully possess or use specialized spying equipment, may – in accordance with the law – be lawfully subject to a search of their person, items, residence and other relevant locations by state security organs. State secrets documents, materials and other items unlawfully detained, as well as the specialized spying equipment possessed or used shall be confiscated in accordance with the law.
Where unlawful possession of State secret documents, materials and other items constitutes a crime, it shall be criminally prosecuted in accordance with the law.
Those with unlawful possession of state secret documents, materials or other items involving acts of espionage, are given a warning or up to 15 days administrative detention by the state security organ; where it constitutes a crime, criminal responsibility is pursued in accordance with law. Where a crime is not constituted, State security organs shall give a warning or administrative detention of less than 15 days.
Article 33. Property that is lawfully sealed, seized or frozen by State security organs, or property that one clearly knows to be relevant to espionage activity that has been concealed, transferred, purchased or sold on behalf of others, or hidden or concealed is recovered by State security organs. Where a crime is constituted, it shall be criminally prosecuted in accordance with the law.
Article 34. Where foreign personnel violate this Law they may be given a deadline to leave the country or be deported.
Article 35. Parties that do not accept an administrative punishment decision may, within 60 days from the day when the decision has been received, apply for reconsideration to the organ at the level above the organ that has made the decision. [Those who] do not accept the reconsideration decision may file a lawsuit at the people’s courts within 15 days from the day when the reconsideration decision has been received.
Article 36. According to this Law, property sealed, seized or frozen by State security organs shall be carefully kept, and it is to be disposed of according to the following circumstances:
(1) where [such property] is relevant to a crime, it shall be handled according to Criminal Procedure Law regulations:
(2) where a crime is not constituted, but a misdemeanor has occurred, [property that] according to the law shall be confiscated it is to be confiscated, [property that] according to the law shall be destroyed it is to be destroyed;
(3) where no misdemeanor has occurred, or where [such property] bears no relation to a case, it is no longer to be sealed, seized or frozen and it is to be promptly returned. Any losses that have been caused shall be compensated in accordance with the law.
Property that has been confiscated by State security organs shall be placed in the National treasury.
Article 37. State security organs personnel who abuse their power, neglect their duties or misuse their power to benefit friends and family, and thereby constitute a crime or who illegally detain others, extract a confession by means of torture, obtain testimony by means of violence, disclose state secrets, commercial secrets or individual private information in violation of the regulations shall, if a crime is constituted, be criminally prosecuted in accordance with the law.
Chapter 5. Supplementary provisions.
Article 38. The acts of espionage in this Law refer to the following conducts:
(1) the carrying out of activities that endanger the national security of the People’s Republic of China by espionage organization or by their delegates, as well as the [acts] of instigating or financially supporting others to carry out [such activities], the collusion between institutions, organizations or individuals inside or outside the national territory carry out [such activities];
(2) Joining an espionage organization or receiving tasks from an espionage organization or its delegates;
(3) The instigation, financial support of theft, secret inquiries, sale or unlawful provision of state secrets or confidential information from institutions, organizations, individuals within the national territory who act in collusion with overseas institutions, organizations, individuals other than espionage organizations and their delegates, or the instigation, luring, offer of material inducements to state personnel to turn traitor;
(4) Pointing bombing or shelling targets to the enemy;
(5) Conducting other espionage activities.
Article 39. The relevant provisions in this Law apply to State security organs and public security organs that in accordance with the law, administrative regulations and relevant State regulations perform their duty to prevent, stop and combat acts of espionage and other acts that endanger State security.
Article 40. This Law shall come into force on the day of its promulgation. The People’s Republic of China State Security Law, promulgated by the 13th Plenary Session of the 7th National People’s Congress on 22 February 1993 shall at the same time be vacated.
[This translation is based on the August 2014 Draft Anti-espionage Law provided by China Law Translate]