Does China have a mechanism for allowing whistleblowers within the government to speak out and protect them?
Over the past few years, the Chinese government has on numerous occasions highlighted the need for public companies to implement an internal whistleblowing system. In September 2019, the State Council issued the Guiding Opinions on Strengthening and Standardizing In-process and Ex-post Regulation (Guiding Opinions), requiring both central government ministries and provincial governments to establish whistleblower protection systems. In May 2020, the Chinese government promulgated the Civil Code of the People’s Republic of China (Civil Code), requiring organizations and enterprises to prevent workplace sexual harassment through carefully investigating complaints of sexual misconduct by employees, implicitly encouraging whistleblowing.
Adding to this one-two punch, China now has an enforceable regulation specifically designed to encourage and reward whistleblowing. In July 2021, China's Ministry of Finance (MOF) and State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR) issued the Interim Measures for Rewards for Whistleblower Reports of Major Violations in the Field of Market Regulation (the "Measures"), which became effective in December 2021. The Measures provide that a whistleblower will be awarded a monetary sum, up to RMB 1 million (approx. US$ 157,000), when certain conditions are satisfied. These conditions are as follows: (1) the whistleblowing report must be related to a major violation of law (e.g., violations leading to substantive punishments such as suspension/shutdown of production and business, revocation/cancellation of licenses, and criminal prosecution), (2) SAMR is not already aware of the contents of the report; and (3) the whistleblower reports are substantiated upon investigation, and the cases have been closed.
The Measures set relatively low thresholds for qualifying as a whistleblower. Generally, a whistleblower must be a natural person rather than a legal person. To qualify for an award, a whistleblower also cannot be a government official, a professional investigator paid by other parties, a participant in the wrongdoing, or an intellectual property owner directly harmed by any wrongdoing involving infringement of such intellectual property. The Measures also discourage fraudulent reporting. For example, the Chinese government may withdraw a reward if it determines that the whistleblower forged materials or concealed material facts. In serious cases, it may also hold the whistleblower criminally liable.
China also now has whistleblower protection mechanisms in place. An employer that retaliates against a whistleblower may be liable for administrative and criminal penalties. The whistleblower may also be entitled to reinstatement of employment (with back pay), or alternatively compensation that is twice the statutory severance pay that the employee would have been entitled to under a lawful dismissal.
It seems there are laws in place to protect people working for companies or organizations, but the information therein doesn't cover protection made available for whistleblowers within the CCP, so is there any law that protect whistleblowers and what kind of information about the CCP can they leak?
I am assuming sexual harassment in the government by a government official is fair game, but it doesn't seem to cover things like government officials withholding information from the people, or things of that nature.