Three Gorges Probe

Chronology of Ren Xinghui’s case: Prepared by Probe International


1.    In October 2009, to access information on the expenditures for the Three Gorges project, Ren Xinghui, submitted applications to the Ministry of Finance, Three Gorges Project Construction Committee (TGCC) of the State Council, and to the China Three Gorges Corporation (CTGC) respectively under The Regulations on the Disclosure of Government Information.

2.    The Ministry of Finance responded by saying Mr. Ren could find the 2008 data on the Ministry’s website. As for the other information, the Ministry said, “since the information Ren requested did not directly affect his special needs for production, living or scientific research, the Ministry would not provide it.” The Ministry based this rejection on Article 14 of “The State Council’s Suggestions on the Implementation of ‘The Regulations on the Disclosure of Government Information.’ [PDF]

The Department of the Office of the TGCC within the State Council provided some of the data, except that concerning the issue of the fund-raising for the project and Three Gorges Construction Fund, which, according to the Office, is not their responsibility.

China Yangtze Three Gorges Corporation also rejected his application, claiming that the corporation is not a (government) administrative unit, nor a public enterprise or institution, and is therefore not subject to “The Regulations on the Disclosure of Government Information,” and is therefore under no obligation to provide such information.

3.  On December 28, 2009, Mr. Ren submitted an application for administrative reconsideration to the Ministry of Finance.

4.  Mr. Ren’s application was refused by the Ministry of Finance on January 16th, 2010. The Ministry of Finance made a ruling to reject it based on article 17 of the Administrative Reconsideration Law of the Peoples’ Republic of China, saying that Ren’s application is not in accordance with the requirements under Article 6 of Administrative Reconsideration Law and Article 33 section 2 of Regulations of the People’s Republic of China on Open Government Information.

5.  On January 26, 2010, Mr. Ren sued China’s Ministry of Finance before Beijing’s First Intermediate People’s Court for a more complete accounting concerning the Three Gorges Project.

6.    On April 8, 2010, Mr. Ren made his third trip to the First Intermediate People’s Court to receive the decision (his two earlier trips were made on February 1 and February 5) and was told they had rejected his case and would issue the formal decision in seven days. The court concluded that the case was beyond the court’s jurisdiction and did not give further explanation. Mr. Ren received the court’s judgment on April 19.

7.    On April 21th, 2010, Mr. Ren appealed to the Beijing People’s High Court. He is now awaiting the high court’s decision.

8.  On April 26, 2010, Mr. Ren submitted by fax an application to the SASA (State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration) of the State Council for the disclosure of government information.

9. On May 7, 2010, SASA responded, saying “the enterprise itself is responsible for the management of information on the income and expenditure in accordance with the relevant provisions of the State.”

10. On July 6, 2010, the Beijing People’s High Court ruled and rejected the appeal by Mr. Ren (for more info, please see 7 and above)

11. On July 9, 2010, Mr. Ren submitted an application for administrative reconsideration to SASA. But SASA rejected, saying that the agency is not able to perform an administrative reconsideration, nor is it obligated to provide any information concerning the Three Gorges Group. Ren Xinghui researched SASA’s claim and found that it was true—unlike the Ministry of Finance and other government departments, SASA is not “qualified” to do an administrative reconsideration on the case, nor obligated to disclose government information due to the complexity of China’s government structure.

12. In July, 2010, Mr. Ren also submitted an application to the State Grid for disclosure of government information. The State Grid, however, has not yet responded.

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