NPCSC Adds Special Session for Second Review of Foreign Investment Law

The NPC Standing Committee (NPCSC) conducted an initial review of the draft Foreign Investment Law [外商投资法] last December but took no further action. Readers may recall that we then explained what we saw as the (only) two potential legislative timetables for the Law: It will be adopted by the NPC either this March (after another NPCSC review in late February) or in March 2020 (after a few more readings in 2019). The longer process would not help show China’s willingness to comply with certain demands the United States made during trade negotiations, while the shorter one faces procedural hurdles under Chinese law.

Faced with two imperfect choices, the NPCSC has decided to take an unexpected third approach. It will convene for a special session from January 29 to 30 to conduct a second review of the draft Foreign Investment Law, the Council of Chairmen announced on Wednesday. At the end of the two-day session, the NPCSC will most certainly submit the Law to the NPC, which will then most certainly approve it at its annual session in March.

Continue reading “NPCSC Adds Special Session for Second Review of Foreign Investment Law”

NPCSC Seeks Public Comments on Draft Patent Law Amendment, Two Civil Code Parts, Vaccine Administration Law & Four Other Bills

The NPC Standing Committee is soliciting public comments on the following eight bills through February 3, 2019:

All linked files are PDF documents in Chinese. English translations will be linked to if and when available. The accompanying explanations of these drafts can be read here (PDF).

Continue reading “NPCSC Seeks Public Comments on Draft Patent Law Amendment, Two Civil Code Parts, Vaccine Administration Law & Four Other Bills”

Year in Review: The NPC and the Observer in 2018

On the last day of 2018, we take a look at the National People’s Congress’s and this Observer’s work in the past year.

Continue reading “Year in Review: The NPC and the Observer in 2018”

NPC Calendar: January 2019

The following laws and decisions take effect on January 1, 2019:

The NPC Standing Committee (NPCSC) is soliciting public comments on the draft Foreign Investment Law [外商投资法] through February 24, 2019. We also expect it to seek public comments on the following draft bills in early January:

It may also release the Part on Contracts [合同编] and Part on Tort Liability [侵权责任编] of the draft Civil Code for public comments.

The NPCSC will meet for its next regularly scheduled session in late February 2019.


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NPCSC Takes No Further Action on Foreign Investment Law (for Now), Adopts Two Tax Laws & Codifies Civil Service Reform

The 13th NPC Standing Committee (NPCSC) concluded its seventh session on Saturday with the adoption of a series of laws and decisions. Below we will take a brief look at each.

Continue reading “NPCSC Takes No Further Action on Foreign Investment Law (for Now), Adopts Two Tax Laws & Codifies Civil Service Reform”

NPCSC Solicits Public Comments on Draft Foreign Investment Law (FURTHER UPDATED)

UPDATE 4 (Jan. 2, 2019): For our latest thoughts on the next steps for the Foreign Investment Law, please see this post.

UPDATE 3 (Dec. 27, 2018): We have translated the draft in full on China Law Translate.

UPDATE 2 (Dec. 27, 2018): We revised our prediction about the legislative timetable for the Foreign Investment Law in light of recent state media reports. [superseded by UPDATE 4]

UPDATE 1 (Dec. 27, 2018): We have updated this post with a summary of the latest draft Foreign Investment Law.


The NPC Standing Committee (NPCSC) unexpectedly released the draft Foreign Investment Law [外商投资法] on Wednesday for public comments for an unexpectedly long period—61 days—until February 24, 2019.

The original Chinese PDF of the draft can be accessed here. Our English translation is available here. The accompanying explanation of the draft (in Chinese) can be read here.

To submit comments online, please refer to these instructions. 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:

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

Please clearly write “外商投资法草案征求意见” on the envelope.

Continue reading “NPCSC Solicits Public Comments on Draft Foreign Investment Law (FURTHER UPDATED)”

Recording & Review Pt. 4: The Last Days of “Custody & Education”

Recording & Review is a series that discusses cases where the Legislative Affairs Commission of the NPC Standing Committee decides on citizen requests to review the legality and/or constitutionality of various types of normative documents, including local regulations and judicial interpretations. Past installments can be found here.


Five years after the NPC Standing Committee (NPCSC) abolished the reeducation-through-labor [劳动教养] system, another form of extrajudicial administrative detention is now on the chopping block. On Monday, the NPCSC Legislative Affairs Commission [法制工作委员会] recommended the abolition of the “custody and education” (C&E) [收容教育] system—a form of administrative punishment for prostitution. Finally.

Continue reading “Recording & Review Pt. 4: The Last Days of “Custody & Education””

NPCSC Session Watch: Foreign Investment, Patent, Resource Tax, Local Government Debt & More

The 13th NPC Standing Committee (NPCSC) will convene for its last session in 2018 from December 23 to 29, the Council of Chairmen decided on Friday. This session is another of those end-of-year, week-long NPCSC sessions that we have come to love (and definitely not hate). We counted 14 legislative bills plus several more decisions and reports on the agenda. And there is absolutely no festivity-related reason why we would rather not work around that period. Because we expect six of those bills to pass on December 29, we will publish summaries of them after the session concludes rather than in this session preview. Here is our rundown on the agenda.

Continue reading “NPCSC Session Watch: Foreign Investment, Patent, Resource Tax, Local Government Debt & More”

NPC Calendar: December 2018 (UPDATED)

UPDATE (Dec. 5, 2018): The State Council’s executive meeting, its top decision-making body, approved a draft amendment to the Patent Law [专利法] on Wednesday (December 5). The draft amendment may have replaced a draft revision to the Law that was released for public comments in 2015 for it seems to make similar changes as the draft revision (based on the brief press release of the State Council’s meeting). The NPCSC will likely review the draft amendment at its upcoming session.


The 13th NPC Standing Committee (NPCSC) is expected to convene for its seventh session late this month. The Council of Chairmen is expected to meet in mid-December to decide on the dates and agenda of the session.

According to the NPCSC’s 2018 legislative plan, the following bills have been tentatively scheduled for the upcoming session:

The draft Farmland Occupancy Tax Law [耕地占用税法] and Vehicle Acquisition Tax Law [车辆购置税法] will likely return for their second (and likely final) round of deliberations.

The State Council may also submit for review a draft Vaccine Administration Law [疫苗管理法] (on which it solicited public comments for two weeks in November).

The pilot reform to combine the maternity insurance fund and the basic medical insurance fund will expire on December 31. We expect the State Council to either request an extension of the pilot or submit an amendment to the Social Insurance Law [社会保险法].

The pilot reform that allows the rights to use cultivated land and house sites [宅基地] to be mortgaged will also expire on December 31. The State Council may submit amendments to the Property Law [物权法] and the Guaranty Law [担保法] to codify the reform. Alternatively, it may request yet another extension—the pilot was already extended once for one year in late 2017—until the Civil Code (which will replace those two laws) is enacted.

Another land reform pilot—which allows the transfer of the right to use collectively owned land for construction [集体建设用地使用权]; adjusts the approval authority over house sites; and revises the standards for compensating the expropriation of collectively owned land—will expire, again, on December 31. The State Council will likely submit an amendment to the Land Management Law [土地管理法] and possibly also an amendment to the Urban Real Estate Administration Law [城市房地产管理法] (certain provisions of these two laws are being suspended during the pilot).

Lastly, a pilot reform of the civil service system will expire on January 1, 2019. As the NPCSC is already reviewing a draft revision to the Civil Servants Law [公务员法] that codifies the reform, we expect it to extend the pilot until the revision is adopted.

The NPCSC is also expected to adopt a decision to convene the 2019 NPC session (the 2nd Session of the 13th NPC) at its upcoming meeting.


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NPCSC Solicits Public Comments on Draft Revision to Civil Servants Law and Three Other Bills

The NPC Standing Committee is now soliciting public comments on the following draft laws until December 1, 2018:

All linked files are PDF documents in Chinese. English translations will be linked to if and when available. The accompanying explanations of these drafts can be read here (PDF).

Most notably, the draft revision to the Civil Servants Law seeks to strengthen the Communist Party’s control (or rather codify the Party’s already strengthened control) over China’s civil servants—a broad category that encompasses both those working in governmental bodies and also those working for political parties and other quasi-governmental entities (e.g., the CPPCC). Continue reading “NPCSC Solicits Public Comments on Draft Revision to Civil Servants Law and Three Other Bills”