Beijing : China has introduced a new law on safeguarding state secrets that defines levels of secrecy in official documents and restricts government departments from classifying public information as confidential. Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on Monday signed a regulation – that comes into force from March 1 – on the state secrecy law in an effort to boost government transparency, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.       The regulation defines secrecy levels and authority limits, and clarifies time limits for differing levels of confidentiality and conditions for declassification, the report said.

State organs and units have been told not to label items that should be made public as “state secrets”, and they should not publicise those related to state secrets, the regulation said. Signs of “state secrets” should be labelled at prominent areas of state secret carriers and state secret equipment, it said.

The regulation that consists of 45 articles, includes specific rules on state secret carriers such as facilities used to revive and transmit state secrets.

It also asked authorities to destroy state secret carriers in accordance with state secrecy standards and ensure such facilities cannot be restored any more. Organs and units are asked to report possible state secret leakage to secrecy department at the same level or superior department which is in charge of state secrecy with 24 hours, it said.

Administrative departments which are in charge of state secret work should regularly carry out education on confidentiality and officials who failed to perform their duties will be punished.

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