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China Daily Website

Foreigners OK to handle state secrets

Updated: 2012-05-16 22:11
By Wang Huazhong (

Foreigners can work legally in posts that involve China's state secrets once they are approved by central government agencies or local governments, according to a draft guideline by the State Council.

According to the implementation guideline of China's Law on Guarding State Secrets, agencies seeking to employ foreigners in posts involving second- or third-level state secrets should seek approval from the central government or provincial and municipal governments.

The law divides the types of state secrets into three levels according to the importance of the information. The draft did not mention if foreigners could get approval to work on jobs regarding top-secret projects.

The legislative affairs office of the State Council issued the draft on Tuesday to guide implementation of the law, which was last revised in 2010.

The draft is now open for public opinion.

It specifies that people who use illicit drugs or are addicted to alcohol or gambling should not be employed in posts involving state secrets.

Besides outlining the qualifications and requirements of people working on such posts, the draft also goes into detail about what situations "damage safety and the interests of state politics, economy, national defense and foreign affairs after leakage" in the law.

Moreover, it explains the procedures and requirements when handling cases of leaked information.

Investigation of cases should be completed in three days, according to the draft. In complicated situations, the investigation period can be extended to three months with administrator approval.

Experts have said the guideline would make it more "feasible in practice" to define the levels of secrecy and implement the law.