2018 NPC Session: Agenda and Daily Schedule (with Explanations)

The 2018 NPC session released its agenda and daily schedule on Sunday, after they were approved by the Session’s preparatory meeting and Presidium, respectively. This year’s NPC session will open on the morning of March 5 and close on the morning of March 20, lasting a total of 15½ days (consistent with our earlier prediction). All times in this post are in Beijing Time (UTC +8:00).

The agenda contains the following ten items (note that item 10 in fact encompasses a series of personnel decisions):

  1. Deliberate the Government Work Report;
  2. Review the report on the execution of the 2017 National Economic and Social Development Plan and on the draft 2018 National Economic and Social Development Plan (collectively “Development Plans”);
  3. Review the report on the execution of the 2017 Central and Local Budgets and on the draft 2018 Central and Local Budgets (collectively “Budgets”);
  4. Deliberate the draft Amendment to the P.R.C. Constitution;
  5. Deliberate the draft P.R.C. Supervision Law;
  6. Deliberate the Work Report of the NPC Standing Committee (NPCSC);
  7. Deliberate the Work Report of the Supreme People’s Court (SPC);
  8. Deliberate the Work Report of the Supreme People’s Procuratorate (SPP);
  9. Deliberate the State Council Institutional Reform Plan (“Reorganization Plan”);
  10. Elect and appoint component members of State institutions.

According to the daily schedule, the Session will hear and vote on these items at eight plenary meetings throughout the two-week period. In particular:

  • The draft Constitutional Amendment will be explained to the Session on March 5 (a.m.) and voted on March 11 (p.m.);
  • The draft Supervision Law will be explained to the Session on March 13 (a.m.) and voted on March 20 (a.m.);
  • The Reorganization Plan will be explained to the Session on March 13 (a.m.) and voted on March 17 (a.m.).

Personnel votes will take place at the following four plenary meetings:

  • March 13 (a.m.): chairpersons, vice chairpersons, and members of the NPC Law Committee and the NPC Financial and Economic Affairs Committee;
  • March 17 (a.m.): P.R.C. President and Vice President; Chairman of the Central Military Commission (CMC); and Chairman, Vice Chairpersons, and Secretary General of the 13th NPCSC;
  • March 18 (a.m.): Premier of the State Council; Vice Chairmen and members of the CMC; Chairman of the State Supervision Commission (SSC); President of the SPC; Chief Procurator of the SPP; and members of the 13th NPCSC;
  • March 19 (a.m.): Vice Premiers, State Councilors, ministers of the various ministries, directors of the various commissions, governor of the People’s Bank of China, Auditor General, and Secretary General of the State Council; and the chairpersons, vice chairpersons, and members of the other NPC special committees.

The Session’s spokesman announced at the press conference on Sunday that constitutional oath-taking ceremonies will follow the votes each day.

A more detailed description (not translation) of the daily schedule follows, along with our explanations in brackets. Morning sessions run from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and afternoon sessions from 3 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Monday, March 5
9 a.m. (1ST PLENARY MEETING): (1) Hear Government Work Report by Li Keqiang (Premier); (2) review report on Development Plans; (3) review report on Budgets; and (4) hear explanation of the draft Constitutional Amendment by Wang Chen (12th NPCSC Vice Chairman and Secretary General)

[Xinhua will likely publish the explanation later this day.]

3 p.m.: Delegations deliberate the Government Work Report at general meetings (i.e., each delegation conducts deliberations as a whole)

Tuesday, March 6
All day: Delegates deliberate the Government Work Report at small group meetings (i.e., the delegates of each delegation break into groups to conduct deliberations)

Wednesday, March 7
9 a.m.: Delegations deliberate the draft Constitutional Amendment at general meetings

3 p.m.: Delegates deliberate the draft Constitutional Amendment at small group meetings

Thursday, March 8
9 a.m.: Delegations review reports on Development Plans and Budgets and choose scrutineers (监票人) at general meetings

3 p.m.: Delegates review reports on Development Plans and Budgets at small group meetings

Friday, March 9
9 a.m.: Delegates deliberate revised version (修改稿) of the draft Constitutional Amendment and review reports on Development Plans and Budgets at small group meetings

[“Revised version” seems to leave open the possibility that the draft Constitutional Amendment is subject to change. But, based on past amendments, do not expect anything substantial—even substantive. (The daily schedule of the 2004 NPC session, which adopted the previous constitutional amendment, is so lacking in detail as to afford no meaningful basis for comparison.)]

3 p.m. (2ND PLENARY MEETING): Hear (1) SPC Work Report by Zhou Qiang (SPC President) and (2) SPP Work Report by Cao Jianming (SPP Chief Procurator)

Saturday, March 10
9 a.m.: Delegations deliberate SPC and SPP Work Reports at general meetings

3 p.m.: Delegates deliberate SPC and SPP Work Reports at small group meetings

Sunday, March 11
9 a.m.: Delegations deliberate voting version (建议表决稿) of the draft Constitutional Amendment, draft Decision on Establishing Special Committees of the 13th NPC (“Special Committee Decision”), draft Measures on Voting on the Choice of the Chairpersons, Vice Chairpersons, and Members of the Special Committees of the 13th NPC (“Special Committee Voting Measures”); and deliberate the choice of the chairpersons, vice chairpersons, and members of the 13th NPC Law Committee (法律委员会) and Financial and Economic Affairs Committee (财政经济委员会) at general meetings

[By convention, each NPC establishes its own special committees at its first session. Article 70 of the Constitution requires the establishment of six special committees: Ethnic Affairs; Law; Financial and Economic Affairs; Education, Science, Culture and Public Health; Foreign Affairs; and Overseas Chinese Affairs Committees. Also by convention, the NPC votes on the name list for each committee separately; no write-in is allowed. The Law Committee and the Financial Economic Affairs Committee must be established before others because the former plays a central role in the legislative process while the latter is charged with reviewing the Development Plans and the Budgets.]

3 p.m. (3RD PLENARY MEETING): (1) Vote on the list of chief scrutineer and scrutineers; (2) vote on the draft Constitutional Amendment by ballot; and (3) hear NPCSC Work Report by Zhang Dejiang (12th NPCSC Chairman)

[The Constitutional Amendment must be adopted by a two-thirds majority of all incumbent delegates—or 1,987 affirmative votes. It is voted on relatively early during the Session because without its adoption, the NPC cannot constitutionally adopt the Supervision Law and elect the SSC Chairman. The Session’s spokesman announced that a special press conference will follow after the vote.]

Monday, March 12
9 a.m.: Delegations deliberate the NPCSC Work Report at general meetings

3 p.m.: Delegates deliberate the NPCSC Work Report at small group meetings

Tuesday, March 13
9 a.m. (4TH PLENARY MEETING): (1) Hear explanation of the draft Supervision Law by Li Jianguo (12th NPCSC Vice Chairman); (2) hear explanation of the Reorganization Plan by Wang Yong (State Council Councilor); (3) vote on the draft Special Committee Decision; (4) vote on the draft Special Committee Voting Measures; (5) vote on the list of component members of the 13th NPC Law Committee; and (6) vote on the list of component members of the 13th NPC Financial and Economic Affairs Committee

[Xinhua will likely publish the explanation of the Supervision Law later this day, and perhaps also the explanation of the Reorganization Plan.]

3 p.m.: Delegations deliberate the draft Supervision Law at general meetings

Wednesday, March 14
9 a.m.: Delegates deliberate the draft Supervision Law at small group meetings

3 p.m.: Delegations deliberate the Reorganization Plan at general meetings

Thursday, March 15
Recess

[The purpose of this one-day recess is for the Law Committee to revise the draft Supervision Law based on the opinions of the delegates expressed at the meetings.]

Friday, March 16
9 a.m.: Delegations deliberate (1) revised version of the draft Supervision Law, (2) draft Decision on Approving the Reorganization Plan, and (3) draft Measures on Elections and Appointments at general meetings

[Such Measures typically prescribe matters including whether the election of a position is competitive and the number of ballots to be distributed to each delegate. By convention, the President, Vice President, Chairman, Vice Chairmen, and Secretary General of the NPCSC, SPC President, SPP Chief Procurator (and likely the SSC Chairman) are selected through single-candidate elections (等额选举)—which resemble appointments in all respects except that write-ins are allowed. And NPCSC members (委员) are selected through competitive elections (差额选举). All other positions are appointed—that is, subject only to up-or-down votes and no write-in is permitted. All votes are cast through written, anonymous ballots.]

3 p.m.: Delegations deliberate and negotiate (酝酿协商) the choice of the President and Vice President, CMC Chairman, and 13th NPCSC Chairman, Vice Chairpersons, and Secretary General at general meetings

[These and several other positions below are theoretically subject to “negotiation” because they are selected through elections, not appointments.]

Saturday, March 17
9 a.m. (5TH PLENARY MEETING): Vote on the draft Decision on Approving the Reorganization Plan; vote on the draft Measures on Elections and Appointments; Elect the President and Vice President, CMC Chairman, and 13th NPCSC Chairman, Vice Chairpersons, and Secretary General

[Because the Reorganization Plan reforms the State Council’s organizational structure, it must be approved before the Premier selects members of his or her (but we all know it is “his”) new cabinet.]

3 p.m.: Delegations deliberate the choice of the Premier, and CMC Vice Chairmen and members; deliberate and negotiate the choice of the SSC Chairman, SPC President, SPP Chief Procurator, and 13th NPCSC members at general meetings

[The Premier is nominated by the President. And the CMC Vice Chairmen and members are nominated by the CMC Chairman.]

Sunday, March 18
9 a.m. (6TH PLENARY MEETING): Decide to appoint the Premier; appoint the CMC Vice Chairmen and members; and elect the SSC Chairman, SPC President, SPP Chief Procurator, and 13th NPCSC members

[The Premier is subject to formal appointment by the President.]

3 p.m.: Delegations deliberate the choice of other high-ranking officials of the State Council and component members of other 13th NPC special committees at general meetings

[Other high-ranking officials of the State Council are nominated by the Premier. The daily schedule lists seven additional special committees—the same as the 12th NPC’s—but ends the list with the character “等,” suggesting that the list might not be exhaustive. Given the Party’s decision to “improve the establishment of the special committees of the people’s congresses” (完善人大专门委员会设置) in both its 19th Congress Report and Decision to Deepen Reform of Party and State Institutions (中共中央关于深化党和国家机构改革的决定) released on Sunday, it would be interesting to see whether additional committees will be established under the 13th NPC. (Maybe a Constitutional Supervision Committee?)]

Monday, March 19
9 a.m. (7TH PLENARY MEETING): Decide to appoint other high-ranking officials of the State Council and vote on list of component members of other 13th NPC special committees

[High-ranking State Council officials are subject to formal appointment by the President.]

3 p.m.: Delegations deliberate draft resolutions on the Government Work Report, Development Plans, Budgets, NPCSC Work Report, SPC Work Report, and SPP Work Report; and voting version of the draft Supervision Law at general meetings

Tuesday, March 20
9 a.m. (8TH PLENARY MEETING): (1) Vote on draft resolutions on the Government Work Report, Development Plans, Budgets, NPCSC Work Report, SPC Work Report, and SPP Work Report; (2) vote on the draft Supervision Law; (3) speech by the P.R.C. President; and (4) speech by the 13th NPCSC Chairman


If you like this Blog, please consider subscribing to our blog posts via email, following us on Twitter, or liking us on Facebook!

9 thoughts on “2018 NPC Session: Agenda and Daily Schedule (with Explanations)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s