NPC (Observer) Year-End Review: 2017 Edition

As 2017 is about to come to an end, we took some time to review the NPC’s and this Blog’s work in this past year.

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NPC Calendar: January 2018

The following legislations and decisions take effect on January 1, 2018:

The 19th Central Committee of the Communist Party will convene for its Second Plenum this month to discuss proposals for amending China’s Constitution. We expect the NPCSC to hold a non-regularly scheduled session shortly thereafter to draft a constitutional amendment based on the Party’s proposals. We also expect this NPCSC session to adopt a decision to convene the 1st Session of the 13th NPC on March 5, 2018.

Pursuant to a March 2017 decision of the NPC (discussed here), the roughly 3,000 delegates to the 13th NPC will be elected by the end of this month. The 12th NPCSC will certify the results of the elections at its next regularly scheduled session in late February.


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NPCSC Releases Seven Draft Laws for Public Comments: December 29, 2017 (UPDATED)

UPDATE (Jan. 19, 2018): This post has been updated with links to an English translation of the draft Heroes and Martyrs Protection Law.

UPDATE (Jan. 4, 2018): This post has been updated with links to English translations of the draft revisions to the Procurators Law and Judges Law, and to the draft People’s Assessors Law.


The NPC Standing Committee (NPCSC) on December 29 released the following draft laws for public comments until January 27, 2018:

  1. Procurators Law (Draft Revision) 检察官法修订草案 (ENGLISH)
  2. Judges Law (Draft Revision) 法官法修订草案 (ENGLISH)
  3. People’s Assessors Law (Draft) 人民陪审员法草案 (ENGLISH)
  4. International Criminal Justice Assistance Law (Draft) 国际刑事司法协助法草案
  5. Basic Healthcare and Health Promotion Law (Draft) 基本医疗卫生与健康促进法草案
  6. Heroes and Martyrs Protection Law (Draft) 英雄烈士保护法草案 (ENGLISH)
  7. Soil Pollution Prevention and Control Law (Draft for 2nd Deliberation) 土壤污染防治法草案二次审议稿

All linked files are PDF documents in Chinese. English translations will be posted here when they become available. The NPCSC has also released explanations of these draft laws, which can be viewed at this link.

To submit comments online, please refer to these instructions. The “Occupations” dropdown list for the draft revisions to the Judges Law and the Procurators Law includes a new top item: “Judges, procurators, lawyers, or other legal practitioners” (法官检察官律师等法律从业人员).

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 Passes Two Tax Laws and “Confirms” Constitutionality of Hong Kong-Mainland Joint Checkpoint Plan

The NPC Standing Committee (NPCSC) concluded its last session in 2017 on December 27, with the passage of three legislative bills and two decisions. As usual, in this blog post we will summarize and explain the actions taken by the NPCSC yesterday, with a focus on the approved Hong Kong-Mainland Cooperation Agreement regarding the joint checkpoint plan for a cross-border high-speed rail.

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Explainer: China to Amend the Constitution for the Fifth Time (UPDATED)

UPDATE (Jan. 25, 2018): This post has been updated to reflect recent developments.


The official Xinhua News Agency reported on December 27 that the Politburo decided to convene the Second Plenum of the 19th Central Committee of the Communist Party in January 2018. The main agenda of the Plenum is to “discuss and study proposals for amending part of [China’s current] Constitution,” which was adopted in 1982 and later amended four times in 1988, 1993, 1999, and 2004. Under Chinese law (and a key CPC policy document), the constitutional amendment process essentially includes three steps. In this post, we will explain each step in turn and point out the key events to watch during the next several months.

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