Explainer: National Anthem Law, New Criminal Law Amendment, and Their Implications for Hong Kong

Reports on Tuesday that the NPC Standing Committee (NPCSC) is considering an amendment to the Criminal Law to prescribe harsher punishment for disrespecting China’s national anthem seem to have taken many by surprise. (They wouldn’t have been if they had been reading our Blog!) Some question the necessity of such a move if the conduct was already criminalized by the National Anthem Law (it was not). Some wonder whether the amendment will be applied to Hong Kong and Macau (it won’t be). Here in this post, we answer a few of such questions on the National Anthem Law, the newest Criminal Law amendment, and their implications for Hong Kong.

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NPCSC to Consider New Criminal Law Amendment, Apply National Anthem Law to SARs & Hear Judicial Reform Reports

The NPC Observer turns one today! Many thanks to our readers, subscribers, and Twitter followers for the amazing past year. By the way, we are now on Facebookbecause. . . why not?


UPDATE (Oct. 30, 2017): The finalized agenda and daily schedule of the session are released. One new item—a draft decision to carry out pilots to reform the state supervision system in an additional 28 provinces*—was added to the agenda just a day after the Communist Party announced that it had made such a decision. We will report on the details of the NPCSC decision either tomorrow when the full NPCSC hears an explanation of it or when the NPCSC passes it on November 4.

*The reform will therefore be carried out in 31 of 32 of China’s provincial-level administrative divisions (excluding Hong Kong and Macau).


Buried in the pre-19th Communist Party Congress propaganda frenzy was a bland official report on the Council of Chairmen’s latest meeting on October 16. The Council decided that the 30th—and third last—session of the 12th NPC Standing Committee (NPCSC) would take place from October 30 to November 4, consistent with our earlier predictions. This post is a (fairly detailed) rundown of the items on the Session’s agenda.

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Translation: National Anthem Law of the People’s Republic of China

Order of the President of the People’s Republic of China
No. 75

The National Anthem Law of the People’s Republic of China, having been adopted by the 29th Session of the Standing Committee of the 12th National People’s Congress on September 1, 2017, is hereby promulgated, to take effect on October 1, 2017.

XI Jinping, President of the People’s Republic of China
September 1, 2017

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Supreme People’s Court Reports to NPCSC on the Operation of IP Courts

In August 2014, the NPC Standing Committee (NPCSC) passed a decision establishing three intellectual property courts (IP courts) in Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou—a reform set forth in the 2013 Third Plenum Decision. On the basis of that decision, the Supreme People’s Court (SPC) further delineated the jurisdiction of the three IP courts in October 2014. (The SPC’s provisions are not available in English, but the China IPR blog has analyzed them in detail in this blog post, which links to a helpful chart outlining the IP courts’ jurisdiction.) The three courts started accepting cases at the end of 2014.

Pursuant to the NPCSC’s decision, the SPC reported to the NPCSC on the first three years of operation of the three IP courts in late August. The purpose of this blog post is to highlight some statistics and developments mentioned in the report and also to flag it for other commentators to conduct further parsing.

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