Picking quarrels and provoking trouble

Picking quarrels and provoking trouble (Chinese: 寻衅滋事; pinyin: xúnxìn zīshì) (also translated as picking quarrels and stirring up trouble or picking quarrels and making trouble) is a crime under the law of the People's Republic of China. It comes under article 293 of the 1997 revision of the People's Republic of China's Penal Code, and carries a maximum sentence of five years.[1] The crime is defined as undermining public order by creating a disturbance in a public place.[2] It is a type of criminal disorderly conduct.

As this is an ill-defined crime, it has frequently been used as an excuse to arrest human rights activists, civil rights activists, and lawyers in China, and hold them in detention pending more serious charges such as inciting subversion of state power.[2][3]

Text of the lawEdit

Article 293 of the 1997 Criminal Code of the People's Republic of China:

Article 293. Whoever undermines public order with anyone of the following provocative and disturbing behaviors is to be sentenced to not more than five years of fixed-term imprisonment, criminal detention, or control:

(1) willfully attacking another person and the circumstances are bad; (2) chasing, intercepting, or cursing another person, and the circumstances are bad; (3) forcibly taking away, demanding, or willfully damaging or seizing public or private property; and the circumstances are serious; (4) creating a disturbance in a public place, causing serious disorder.[1]

List of notable people charged with picking quarrels and provoking troubleEdit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b "Criminal Law of the People's Republic of China". Permanent Mission of the People's Republic of China to the United Nations and Other International Organizations in Vienna. Retrieved 20 December 2018.
  2. ^ a b "Report submitted by the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention — Addendum: Visit to the People's Republic of China, 1997" (PDF). United Nations. 22 December 1997. Retrieved 20 December 2018.
  3. ^ Bunin, Gene A. (5 October 2019). "From camps to prisons: Xinjiang's next great human rights catastrophe". Retrieved 5 October 2019.
  4. ^ "China detains Tibetan anti-corruption activist on politicised charge of 'provoking trouble'". 20 December 2018. Retrieved 20 December 2018.
  5. ^ Richardson, Sophie (14 March 2014). "Dispatches: The Death of a Defender in China". Human Rights Watch. Retrieved 16 March 2019.
  6. ^ Hernández, Javier C. (24 October 2019). "China Holds #MeToo Activist Who Wrote About Hong Kong Protests". The New York Times. Retrieved 24 October 2019.
  7. ^ Kuo, Lily (27 September 2019). "Death of Chinese activist in police custody prompts calls for investigation into torture". The Guardian.
  8. ^ Buckley, Chris (2 February 2021). "A Chinese Dissident Tried to Fly to His Sick Wife in the U.S. Then He Vanished". The New York Times. Retrieved 2 February 2021.
  9. ^ "Zhang Zhan: China jails citizen journalist for Wuhan reports". BBC News. 28 December 2020. Retrieved 28 December 2020.
  10. ^ "Wuhan Covid citizen journalist jailed for four years in China's Christmas crackdown". the Guardian. 2020-12-28. Retrieved 2020-12-31.