NPCSC to Prepare for Upcoming NPC Session & Revise Oath-taking Provisions

The 12th NPC Standing Committee (NPCSC) will convene its 33rd—and also the last—session from February 23 to 24, the Council of Chairmen decided on Saturday. Most items on the agenda concern the upcoming 1st Session of the 13th NPC starting on March 5—for example, a list of people invited to observe this NPC session. The 33rd session will also certify results of the elections of delegates to the 13th NPC. The full list of delegates, expected to include around 2,970 names (along with their genders and ethnicities), will be released on February 24. But the delegates’ other information, including political affiliation and educational background, most likely won’t be released until after this year’s NPC session.

This upcoming NPCSC session will consider a single legislative bill: a draft revision to the Decision on Implementing the System of Pledging Allegiance to the Constitution (关于实行宪法宣誓制度的决定), in effect since January 1, 2016. This Decision requires all officials elected or appointed by the NPC or the NPCSC to pledge allegiance to the Constitution before taking office. It also requires local legislatures to adopt rules on constitutional oath-taking by local officials. The draft revision is most likely intended to accommodate the oath-taking by members of the P.R.C. Supervision Commission, to be established during this year’s NPC session. We expect the NPCSC to approve the draft revision on February 24.

Adopting this draft revision will also be the 12th NPCSC’s last legislative act. (Its first was the enactment of the Tourism Law (旅游法) on April 25, 2013.) Now is thus the time to evaluate the 12th NPCSC’s progress of completing its five-year legislative plan (we updated both the Chinese and English versions of the plan today). Here are some preliminary results (more detailed analysis to come in the coming weeks):

  • 73.7% (56 of 76) Category I projects have been submitted, of which 46 have been passed;
  • 23.1% (6 of 26) Category II projects have been submitted, of which 5 have been passed;
  • Altogether, 60.8% of numbered projects (i.e., those in Categories I and II), have been submitted—the second highest completion rate since the 8th NPCSC adopted the first ever five-year legislative plan (see chart below).
FYLP Completion Rates
Note: Projects that have been submitted for deliberation—whether adopted or not at this point—are considered completed.

Of the 40 unsubmitted projects, 13 have been released for public comments by the State Council (drafts available here), which indicates there is a high probability that they will be submitted to the 13th NPCSC for deliberation. The rest 27 projects are:

(Unless otherwise noted, the State Council is responsible for drafting all of the following projects. “*” denotes projects for which the Central Military Commission and the State Council share drafting responsibilities.)

  • Category I: Top priority projects
    1. Land Borders Law 陆地国界法—NPC Foreign Affairs Committee
    2. Administrative Reconsideration Law (Modification) 行政复议法(修改)
    3. Vocational Education Law (Modification) 职业教育法(修改)
    4. Cultural Industry Promotion Law 文化产业促进法
    5. Civil Air Defense Law (Modification) 人民防空法(修改)*
    6. Value-Added Tax Law 增值税法
    7. Real Estate Tax Law 房地产税法—NPCSC Budgetary Affairs Commission & Ministry of Finance
    8. Tariff Law 关税法
    9. Atomic Energy Law 原子能法
    10. Telecommunications Law 电信法
    11. Railway Law (Modification) 铁路法(修改)
    12. Mine Safety Law (Modification) 矿山安全法(修改)
  • Category II: Second-tier priority projects
    1. Basic Ocean Law 海洋基本法
    2. Urban Residents’ Committee Organic Law (Modification) 城市居民委员会组织法(修改)
    3. Commercial Banks Law (Modification) 商业银行法(修改)
    4. Futures Law 期货法—NPC Financial and Economic Affairs Committee
    5. Officers in Active Service Law (Modification) 现役军官法(修改)*
    6. Drug Administration Law (Modification) 药品管理法(修改)
    7. Development Planning Law 发展规划法
    8. People’s Bank of China Law (Modification) 中国人民银行法(修改)
    9. Mineral Resources Law (Modification) 矿产资源法(修改)
    10. Energy Law 能源法
    11. Circular Economy Promotion Law (Modification) 循环经济促进法(修改)—NPC Environmental Protection and Resources Conservation Committee
    12. Infrastructure and Public Utilities Franchises Law 基础设施和公用事业特许经营法
    13. Grassland Law (Modification) 草原法(修改)
    14. Aviation Law 航空法*
    15. Criminal Victim Relief Law 刑事被害人救助法—Council of Chairmen

More assessment of the 12th NPC’s work will come in the coming weeks. The 13th NPCSC is expected to release its own five-year legislative plan during the fourth quarter of 2018.


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