NPC Observer Turns Five

© 2021 NPC Observer. All Rights Reserved.

Today is NPC Observer’s fifth birthday. I formally launched the website in my Los Angeles apartment on October 18, 2016. From the very start, it has been my goal to make China’s national legislature more accessible to English readers around the world and improve their understanding of that important institution. My first post went live at almost 11 p.m. that day, when the NPC Standing Committee (NPCSC) announced an upcoming eight-day session—still the longest one since. (That was the session when the NPCSC controversially interpreted the Hong Kong Basic Law’s oath-taking provision.) The website had just over 500 views by the end of November, and I was both surprised and thrilled. A year later, the first draft of the Supervision Law—I believe we were the first outlet anywhere to post it—drew almost 20,000 views in November 2017 alone.

Our small team—no bigger than three at any given time—is probably the only constant during the past five years. I ran the website myself for the first fourteen months, including my first semester in law school. Over the years, a few people joined the team, made invaluable contributions, and moved on to greater things. Taige Hu, our capable deputy manager, has been with us for over three years and counting. I can’t speak for others, but it is a genuine passion for what we do, a sense of obligation to our growing readership, and of course lots of caffeine—that have kept me going.

In the interim, almost everything else at NPC Observer has changed. We revamped the website’s appearance in late 2018, adopting a livelier header image, new colors, and better fonts for reading. We have also added many new features and functionalities, including some “under the hood” technical upgrades aimed at improving reader experience. In my mind we are no longer just a “blog,” a simple reverse-chronological feed of posts, even though the homepage layout remains the same.

At the same time, more significant changes and events happened at the NPC, many unimaginable five years ago. A new NPC convened in March 2018 and within days voted to approve a historic constitutional amendment. The NPCSC has subtly strengthened oversight of other governmental bodies, including through the invigoration of a mechanism for policing their rogue legislation. The legislature has also increased the volume and pace of legislation, enacting a raft of important laws that attracted global attention, including a series of controversial legislative actions over Hong Kong.

I am immensely grateful for my present and past teammates for helping build NPC Observer into a trusted source on the NPC in less than five years. Our success also owes a great deal to the countless people who read, support, and promote the website, many since the very beginning.

Last week, the Communist Party held its first-ever conference focusing on the people’s congresses. A historic moment for the NPC could be on the horizon, and we are prepared to continue doing our part in covering that increasingly important institution.

Thanks again,
Changhao (in my capacity as the founder of NPC Observer)

P.S. We also posted new “About” pages for the website and the NPC. I hope you will check them out.

NPC Calendar: October 2021

The revised Military Service Law [兵役法] takes effect on October 1.

The 13th NPC Standing Committee will convene for its 31st session from October 19 to 23. It will review the following bills:

For more information, please see this post.

NPCSC Session Watch: Antitrust, Telecom Fraud, Agriculture, Local Governance, Reform Pilots & More (Corrected)

The Council of Chairpersons decided on Tuesday, September 28 to convene the 31st session of the 13th NPC Standing Committee (NPCSC) from October 19 to 23. The session’s tentative agenda includes fourteen bills. A quick rundown follows.

Continue reading “NPCSC Session Watch: Antitrust, Telecom Fraud, Agriculture, Local Governance, Reform Pilots & More (Corrected)”

NPC Calendar: September 2021

The following laws take effect on September 1:

The NPC Standing Committee (NPCSC) is seeking public comments on the following bills through September 18:

The NPCSC will convene for its next regularly scheduled session in late October.

NPCSC Codifies Three-Child Policy, Expands Legal Aid & Updates Military Service Law and Physicians Law

The NPC Standing Committee (NPCSC) concluded its 30th session on Friday, August 20, with the adoption of seven bills. The headline item was, of course, the new Personal Information Protection Law [个人信息保护法], China’s first comprehensive national data privacy legislation. We decided not to add to the already extensive global coverage of that Law—see, for instance, the excellent analysis by the Stanford DigiChina Project—but will focus on the other bills that are no less important.

Continue reading “NPCSC Codifies Three-Child Policy, Expands Legal Aid & Updates Military Service Law and Physicians Law”

NPCSC Seeks Public Comments on Bills on Organized Crime, Family Education, Land Borders, Innovation Policy, Noise Pollution & Plant Variety Protection

The NPC Standing Committee (NPCSC) is soliciting public comments on the following six bills through September 18, 2021:

Draft NameChinese TextExplanatory Document
Anti–Organized Crime Law (2nd Draft)
反有组织犯罪法二次审议稿
PDF
(English)
PDF
Family Education Promotion Law (2nd Draft)
家庭教育促进法二次审议稿
PDFPDF
Land Borders Law (2nd Draft)
陆地国界法二次审议稿
PDFPDF
Scientific and Technological Progress Law (Draft Revision)
科学技术进步法修订草案
PDFPDF
Law on the Prevention and Control of Noise Pollution (Draft)
(i.e., revision to the Law on the Prevention and Control of Environmental Noise Pollution)
噪音污染防治法草案
PDFPDF
Seed Law (Draft Amendment)
种子法修正草案
PDFPDF

English translations will be provided if and when available. All explanatory documents are in Chinese.

To submit comments online, please refer to this guide. Comments can also be mailed to the NPCSC Legislative Affairs Commission [全国人大常委会法制工作委员会] at the following address:

北京市西城区前门西大街1号 邮编: 100805
No. 1 West Qianmen Avenue, Xicheng District, Beijing 100805

Please clearly write “<Draft Name in Chinese>征求意见” on the envelope.

NPC Calendar: August 2021

The revised Military Facilities Protection Law [军事设施保护法] and the Law on the Protection of the Status, Rights, and Interests of Military Personnel [军人地位和权益保障法] take effect on August 1.

The 13th NPC Standing Committee will convene for its 30th session from August 17 to 20. It will review the following bills:

For more information, please see this post.

NPCSC Session Watch: Three-Child Policy, Data Privacy, Innovation Policy, Court Reform & New National Law in Hong Kong & Macau

The Council of Chairpersons decided on Tuesday, July 27 to convene the 30th session of the 13th NPC Standing Committee (NPCSC) from August 17 to 20. The session’s tentative agenda includes fifteen bills. A quick rundown follows.

Continue reading “NPCSC Session Watch: Three-Child Policy, Data Privacy, Innovation Policy, Court Reform & New National Law in Hong Kong & Macau”

NPC Calendar: July 2021

A decision of the NPC Standing Committee (NPCSC) suspending certain statutory provisions in China’s free trade zones as part of a regulatory reform pilot (briefly discussed here) takes effect on July 1. The revised Administrative Penalties Law [行政处罚法] takes effect on July 15.

The NPCSC is soliciting public comments on the following bills through July 9:

The NPCSC will convene for its next regularly scheduled session in late August.

NPCSC Grants Broader Legislative Powers to Shanghai & Hainan, Widens Scope of Public Interest Litigation by Procuratorates

The NPC Standing Committee (NPCSC) concluded another busy session on Thursday, June 10 with the adoption of eight bills. Two of them—the Anti–Foreign Sanctions Law [反外国制裁法] and the Data Security Law [数据安全法]—have already received worldwide attention and are sure to generate additional commentary in the days and weeks to come. Rather than adding duplicative coverage (beyond our Twitter thread on the sanctions law), we will try something new in this post-session recap. We will steer clear of the two blockbuster bills and will instead focus on two themes found in last week’s other legislation that may have escaped your attention.

Continue reading “NPCSC Grants Broader Legislative Powers to Shanghai & Hainan, Widens Scope of Public Interest Litigation by Procuratorates”