Even as China now officially reports few domestic COVID-19 cases everyday, the situation is still fluid in light of the steady influx of imported cases and over a thousand cases of asymptomatic infections. It is therefore hard, if not impossible, to predict the NPC’s legislative activities this month.
Reuters reported in mid-March that the NPC’s delayed annual session had been “tentatively” scheduled for “late April or early May.” If that is still the official plan, we expect the NPC Standing Committee (NPCSC) to meet by mid-April to set a date for the NPC’s meeting and to also discuss a draft of its annual work report and other documents to prepare for the NPC’s annual gathering. The Council of Chairpersons could meet as soon as this week to decide on the agenda and dates of the NPCSC’s pre-NPC session.
The NPCSC was scheduled to convene for a regular bimonthly session in late April, but that is now unlikely to take place given the reported schedule of the NPC session. The NPCSC may choose to combine this scheduled “full” session (where multiple bills are usually considered) with the shorter, pre-NPC session (where, as noted above, only preparatory work for the NPC session is usually done) for a longer pre-NPC session. If so, some of the following bills may return for further review:
- draft revision to the Law on the Prevention and Control of Environmental Pollution by Solid Waste [固体废物污染环境防治法];
- draft amendment to the Patent Law [专利法];
- draft Law on Governmental Sanctions for Public Employees [公职人员政务处分法];
- draft Biosecurity Law [生物安全法];
- draft revision to the Archives Law [档案法];
- draft revision to the Minors Protection Law [未成年人保护法]; and
- draft revision to the Juvenile Delinquency Prevention Law [预防未成年人犯罪法].
This post will be updated if the NPC’s 2020 session is scheduled to start this month.