NPC Calendar: April 2020

Even as China now officially reports few domestic COVID-19 cases everyday, the situation is still fluid in light of the steady influx of imported cases and over a thousand cases of asymptomatic infections. It is therefore hard, if not impossible, to predict the NPC’s legislative activities this month.

Reuters reported in mid-March that the NPC’s delayed annual session had been “tentatively” scheduled for “late April or early May.” If that is still the official plan, we expect the NPC Standing Committee (NPCSC) to meet by mid-April to set a date for the NPC’s meeting and to also discuss a draft of its annual work report and other documents to prepare for the NPC’s annual gathering. The Council of Chairpersons could meet as soon as this week to decide on the agenda and dates of the NPCSC’s pre-NPC session.

The NPCSC was scheduled to convene for a regular bimonthly session in late April, but that is now unlikely to take place given the reported schedule of the NPC session. The NPCSC may choose to combine this scheduled “full” session (where multiple bills are usually considered) with the shorter, pre-NPC session (where, as noted above, only preparatory work for the NPC session is usually done) for a longer pre-NPC session. If so, some of the following bills may return for further review:

This post will be updated if the NPC’s 2020 session is scheduled to start this month.


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NPC Calendar: March 2020

The revised Securities Law [证券法] takes effect on March 1.

The 13th NPC Standing Committee (NPCSC) is expected to convene for a special session by mid-March to discuss a draft of its annual work report and other documents to prepare for the NPC’s 2020 annual session. It is also expected to set a new start date for the NPC session.

The 13th NPC is likely to convene for its third annual session in late March. We expect the session’s agenda to include the following:

  • Hear and deliberate the Government Work Report;
  • Hear and deliberate work reports by the NPCSC, the Supreme People’s Court, and the Supreme People’s Procuratorate;
  • Review and approve a report on the execution of the 2019 National Economic and Social Development Plan and on the draft 2020 National Economic and Social Development Plan;
  • Approve the 2020 National Economic and Social Development Plan;
  • Review and approve a report on the execution of the 2019 Central and Local Budgets and on the draft 2020 Central and Local Budgets;
  • Approve the 2020 Central Budget;
  • Deliberate the draft Civil Code  [民法典].

We also expect the session to retroactively approve the resignation of Feng Zhonghua [冯忠华] as an NPCSC member in June 2019. He has since been appointed a Vice Governor of Hainan. Under Chinese law, an NPCSC member must resign if he is to serve in an administrative organ.

On the day before it opens, the NPC session will convene for a preparatory meeting to select members of the Presidium (which will preside over the session) and to finalize the session’s agenda. The Presidium will then immediately meet to decide on (among other matters) the session’s daily schedule. Shortly thereafter the session is expected to hold its first press conference.

We expect the NPC’s 2020 annual session to last around (maybe slightly longer than) ten days. On the last day, we expect it to approve the Civil Code.

Should the authorities decide not to convene the NPC by the end of March, however, we expect all the preparatory events mentioned above, including the NPCSC’s special session, to be accordingly postponed.


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China Postpones 2020 NPC Session “As Appropriate” & Imposes Near-Total Ban on Consuming Wild Animals

The NPC Standing Committee (NPCSC) held a one-day session on Monday, February 24 and adopted two decisions that we will discuss below. It is worth mentioning that 57 legislators “attended” the session via videoconferencing (113 others showed up in person), and they voted by a show of hands in lieu of the usual electronic voting system.

Continue reading “China Postpones 2020 NPC Session “As Appropriate” & Imposes Near-Total Ban on Consuming Wild Animals”

China to Postpone Annual NPC Session and Restrict Wide Animals Trade & Consumption (Updated)

UPDATE (Feb. 18, 2019): We have updated our earlier analysis of the possible new start date of this year’s NPC session.


Editor’s Note: Some wording in this blogpost has been changed since its original publication.

The Council of Chairpersons decided on Monday, February 17 to convene the NPC Standing Committee (NPCSC) for a one-day session on February 24. Two main items would be on the session’s agenda and both relate to the still-ongoing novel coronavirus outbreak.

Continue reading “China to Postpone Annual NPC Session and Restrict Wide Animals Trade & Consumption (Updated)”

NPC Calendar: February 2020

The 13th NPC Standing Committee (NPCSC) will convene for its 16th session late this month. The Council of Chairpersons is expected to meet in mid-February to decide on the agenda and dates of the session.

The NPCSC will mainly prepare for the 2020 NPC session at its upcoming meeting, including by discussing a draft of its annual work report, but may still review one or two legislative bills. Possible candidates include:

The NPCSC may also hear the State Council’s report on its handling of the raging novel coronavirus epidemic that originated in Wuhan.

Were the NPCSC to decide to postpone this year’s NPC session (scheduled to begin on March 5), we expect it to do so at a special session at the beginning of February rather than at the regular session in late February.


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Year in Review: The NPC and the Observer in 2019

As we bid farewell to first decade of the 21st century, we look back today at the National People’s Congress’s and this Observer’s work in 2019.

Continue reading “Year in Review: The NPC and the Observer in 2019”

NPC Calendar: January 2020

The following laws take effect on January 1:

The NPC Standing Committee (NPCSC) is seeking public comments on the following bills through January 26:

The NPCSC will meet for its next regularly scheduled session in late February 2020.


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NPCSC Abolishes “Custody & Education” Detention System, Revises Securities Law & Approves Community Corrections Law, Civil Litigation Reform Pilot

The 13th NPC Standing Committee (NPCSC) concluded its fifteenth session on Saturday, December 28. It approved a batch of bills, most prominently a decision abolishing China’s decades-old extrajudicial detention system against prostitution. We will focus on this decision below, while briefly noting other bills it approved. Because the NPCSC (quite unusually) has yet to release the relevant legislative records, we had limited primary sources to rely upon when writing this post. We intend to update the discussion below when more sources become available.

Continue reading “NPCSC Abolishes “Custody & Education” Detention System, Revises Securities Law & Approves Community Corrections Law, Civil Litigation Reform Pilot”

NPCSC Solicits Public Comments on Draft Civil Code, Export Control Law, Yangtze River Protection Law, Solid Waste Law Revisions & Two Tax Laws

The NPC Standing Committee (NPCSC) is soliciting public comments on the following six bills through January 26, 2020:

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

To submit comments online, please refer to this guide. The “Occupations” [职业] dropdown menu for the draft revision to the Yangtze River Protection Law includes the following options: “state organs and their employees” [国家机关及其工作人员], “public institutions, social groups, and their employees” [事业机关、社会团体及其工作人员], “persons living in the Yangtze River basin” [长江流域所在地人员]; and “other” [其他].

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 “[BILL NAME IN CHINESE]征求意见” on the envelope.


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NPCSC Session Watch: Civil Code, Securities Law, Yangtze River Protection, Taiwanese Investments & Export Control (Updated)

UPDATE (Dec. 17, 2019): It appears that a complete Civil Code has indeed been submitted for review at the NPCSC’s upcoming session. Here is an unofficial but authentic draft (PDF).


The Council of Chairpersons decided on Monday, December 16 to convene the 15th session of the 13th NPC Standing Committee (NPCSC) from December 23 to 28. The NPCSC will review at least 11 legislative bills at its upcoming six-day session. A quick rundown follows.

Continue reading “NPCSC Session Watch: Civil Code, Securities Law, Yangtze River Protection, Taiwanese Investments & Export Control (Updated)”