UPDATE (Nov. 22, 2017): This post has been updated with the explanations of two decisions passed by the 30th Session of the 12th NPCSC. See details below.
The 12th NPC Standing Committee (NPCSC) concluded its 30th Session last Saturday with the passage of various laws and decisions. This post is a quick rundown of the actions taken by the the NPCSC at the close of the session. Unfortunately, due to other things requiring much of our attention, this time we aren’t able to include the usual level of details as we did before. Apologies. Also, please let us know if any of the links below directs to the wrong webpage—we wrote this blog post in a hurry.
The NPCSC adopted the following legislations on Saturday. Relevant legislative records, where available, are listed below each piece of legislation passed; the NPC Law Committee Reports describe the main changes it made to each draft law at various stages during the legislative process.
- Public Libraries Law (effective January 1, 2018)
- Revised Standardization Law (effective January 1, 2018)
- Revised Law Against Unfair Competition (effective January 1, 2018). An English translation is available at China Law Translate.
- Criminal Law Amendment X (effective immediately). As expected, this amendment criminalizes national anthem disrespect. An English translation is at available at China Law Translate.
- Amendments to the Accounting Law and other Ten Laws (effective immediately). Most notably, these amendments eliminate the requirements that accountants obtain a certificate of qualification and that polluters obtain government approval before setting the location of outlets discharging pollution into the sea.
The NPCSC adopted the following decisions concerning legal issues on Saturday. Relevant legislative records, where available, are listed below each decision passed; the NPC Law Committee Reports describe the main changes it made to each draft decision.
- Decision to list the National Anthem Law in Annex III to the Hong Kong Basic Law
- Explanation (The explanation specifically points out that “Hong Kong has seen some events that disrespected the national anthem in recent years.”)
- Decision to list the National Anthem Law in Annex III to the Macau Basic Law
- Decision to expand reforms of the supervision system nationwide. The content of the decision is described here. A draft Supervision Law has been released for public comments.
- Decision to authorize reform of the People’s Armed Police (PAP). This decision authorizes the suspension of provisions in the National Defense Law and the People’s Armed Police Law that relate to the PAP’s “leadership and command structure, functions and missions, rank system, safeguard system, and troop deployment and mobilization” (领导指挥体制、职能任务、警衔制度、保障体制、部队部署和兵力调动). According to previous media reports (now censored), the reform seeks to eliminate the existing dual-leadership structure—that is, the PAP now answers to both the Central Military Commission and the State Council—by removing the latter from the chain of command.
- Explanation [UPDATE (Nov. 22, 2017): The Explanation confirms the media reports mentioned above regarding the new leadership structure. It additionally states that the PAP’s duties and functions will be adjusted to include “guard duty, emergency handling, counter-terrorism, maritime rights protection, emergency rescue, and defensive combat.” (执勤、处[制]突[发事件]、反恐怖、海上维权、抢险救援、防卫作战)]
- NPC Law Committee Report
- Decision to extend the pilot reforms of rural land use. The reform has been extended by one year to expire on December 31, 2018. As we previously explained:
That reform has made threefold changes to the statutory scheme by allowing the transfer of the right to use collectively owned land for construction (集体建设用地使用权); by adjusting the approval authority over land for building houses (宅基地); and by revising the standards for compensating the expropriation of collectively owned land.
Reports & Personnel Decision
During the session ending last Saturday the NPCSC also heard the following reports:
- Supreme People’s Court’s report on comprehensively deepening judicial reform
- Supreme People’s Procuratorate’s report on comprehensively deepening judicial reform
- State Council’s report on protecting the ecology and environment of grasslands
- NPCSC Law Enforcement Inspection Team’s report on the enforcement of the Law on Prevention and Control of Environmental Pollution by Solid Waste (The Inspection Team recommends the Law be revised as soon as possible.)
Lastly, the NPCSC confirmed Zhao Kezhi (赵克志; formerly the Communist Party chief of Hebei Province) to become the Minister of Public Security.
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The NPCSC is now soliciting public comments on three other laws it considered during its last session. Details will come in another blog post.