Towards a More Open China
Working Paper #70
The People’s Republic of China has joined the international movement toward greater government transparency, including making government records and decision-making more accessible to its citizens. While China is very much aware of and indeed has drawn lessons from this international trend, the primary force nudging China to adopt a more open form of governance is domestic dynamics.
China is planning for but does not yet have an information access law. General goals of greater governmental openness have been enunciated in national policy over more than a decade, but have been carried out in a piecemeal fashion throughout the country. However, concepts such as the government’s obligation to disclose information and the people’s “right to know” are beginning to be translated into legal rights and obligations in experimental local legislation that should help institutionalize what the Chinese refer to as “open government information.”
This paper discusses the development of open government information in China, as well as the prospects for China’s further opening.
About the Author
Jamie P. Horsley
Professor, Senior Research Scholar
Yale University Law School