Archives Law of the People's Republic of China
(Adopted at the 22nd Meeting of the Standing Committee of the Sixth National People's Congress on September 5, 1987; amended for the first time in accordance with the Decision on Amending the Archives Law of the People's Republic of China adopted at the 20th Meeting of the Standing Committee of the Eighth National People's Congress on July 5, 1996; amended for the second time in accordance with the Decision on Amending Twelve Laws including the Foreign Trade Law of the People's Republic of China adopted at the 24th Meeting of the Standing Committee of the Twelfth National People's Congress on November 7, 2016; revised at the 19th Meeting of the Standing Committee of the Thirteenth National People's Congress on June 20, 2020)
Chapter I General Provisions
Chapter II Archival Institutions and Their Responsibilities
Chapter III Management of Archives
Chapter IV Use and Publication of Archives
Chapter V Informatization of Archives
Chapter VI Supervision and Inspection
Chapter VII Legal Liabilities
Chapter VIII Supplementary Provisions
Article 1 This Law is enacted in order to enhance archives administration, regulate the collection and arrangement of archives, effectively preserve and use archives, enhance informatization of archives, and promote modernization of the national system and capacity for governance in the service of the cause of socialism with Chinese characteristics.
Article 2 This Law shall apply to the activities of collection, arrangement, preservation, and use of archives, and supervision of the aforesaid activities.
For the purpose of this Law, the term "archives" means historical records, the preservation of which is of value to the state and society, in the forms and formats such as writings, pictures, diagrams, audios, and videos directly created by state organs, groups, enterprises, public institutions, other organizations or individuals in former or contemporary activities related to economy, politics, culture, society, ecology, military, foreign affairs, and science and technology.
Article 3 The archival work shall adhere to the leadership of the Communist Party of China. The people's governments at all levels shall enhance the archival work, incorporate the cause of archives into national economic and social development plans, finance the cause of archives with government budgets, and ensure that the development of the cause of archives is compatible with the development of national economy and society.
Article 4 The principle shall be applied under which archival work is carried out at administrative levels under unified leadership. The integrity and safety of archives shall be maintained, and access by the society shall be facilitated.
Article 5 All state organs, armed forces, political parties, groups, enterprises, public institutions, and citizens have the obligation to protect archives and the right to access to archives in accordance with the law.
Article 6 The state encourages and supports archives-related scientific research and technological innovation, promotes the transfer and application of scientific and technological achievements in the collection, arrangement, preservation, and use of archives, and advances archives-related scientific and technological progress.
The state shall take measures to enhance publicity and education with regard to archives so as to increase public awareness in this regard.
The state encourages and supports international communication and cooperation in the field of archives.
Article 7 The state encourages various sectors of the society to engage in and render support for the development of the cause of archives.
Entities and individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the collection, arrangement, preservation, and use of archives shall be commended and rewarded pursuant to relevant regulations of the state.
Archive Institutions and Their Responsibilities
Article 8 The national archives administration shall be in charge of the archival work nationwide and responsible for the overall planning, organizing, and coordinating of the national archival work. It shall establish a unified system and exercise supervision and guidance.
Local archives administrations at or above the county level shall be in charge of the archival work within their administrative regions and exercise supervision and guidance over the archival work of state organs, groups, enterprises, public institutions, and other organizations within the said regions.
The people's governments of townships and towns shall designate personnel to manage their archives and to supervise and guide the archival work of the affiliated entities, community-level self-governance organizations, and other institutions subject to their administration.
Article 9 A state organ, group, enterprise, public institution, or any other organization shall designate a division or personnel to manage its archives, and to supervise and guide the archival work of its affiliated entities.
A central state organ shall, within its duties, guide the archival work in its system according to the need for archives management.
Article 10 The national archival repositories and local archival repositories at or above the county level are the cultural institutions for centralized management of archives and shall be responsible for collecting, arranging, preserving, and providing access to archives within the scope of their respective duties.
Article 11 The state enhances talent training and team building for the archival work so as to improve the professionality of archivists.
Archivists shall be devoted to their duties, observe the law and discipline, and possess professional knowledge and skills. Archival professionals may be assessed for professional technical titles pursuant to relevant regulations of the state.