NPCSC Passes Legislation to Support Rural Revitalization Campaign, Curb Food Waste & Combat Identity Thefts in School Admissions

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The 13th NPC Standing Committee (NPCSC) concluded its 28th session on Thursday, April 29. It approved the Rural Revitalization Promotion Law [乡村振兴促进法] and the Anti–Food Waste Law [反食品浪费法], revised the Maritime Traffic Safety Law [海上交通安全法] and a quasi-legislative decision on budget oversight, amended another ten laws, and authorized a set of regulatory pilot programs in China’s free trade zones. Below we take a closer look at some of these bills.

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NPC Calendar: May 2021

The revised Animal Epidemic Prevention Law [动物防疫法] takes effect on May 1.

The NPC Standing Committee (NPCSC) is seeking public comments on the following bills through May 28:

The NPCSC will convene for its next regularly scheduled session in late June.

NPCSC Seeks Public Comments on Bills on Data Security, Personal Information Protection, Hainan Free Trade Port, Military Personnel Protection & Futures

The NPC Standing Committee (NPCSC) is soliciting public comments on the following six bills through May 28, 2021:

Draft NameChinese TextExplanatory Document
Data Security Law (2nd Draft)
Personal Information Protection Law (2nd Draft)
(English: China Law Translate; DigiChina)
Hainan Free Trade Port Law (2nd Draft)
Supervision Officials Law (2nd Draft)
Law on the Protection of the Status, Rights, and Interests of Military Personnel (2nd Draft Amendment)
Futures Law (Draft)

English translations will be provided if and when available. All explanatory documents are in Chinese. The NPCSC also reviewed a draft Land Borders Law [陆地国界法], but did not also release it for public comments today.

To submit comments online, please refer to this guide. 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:

北京市西城区前门西大街1号 邮编: 100805
No. 1 West Qianmen Avenue, Xicheng District, Beijing 100805

Please clearly write “<Draft Name in Chinese>征求意见” on the envelope.

NPC Standing Committee Releases 2021 Legislative Plan

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On Wednesday, April 21, the NPC Standing Committee (NPCSC) released its legislative plan for 2021 (Plan). The Plan was preliminarily approved in November 2020 and finalized by the Council of Chairpersons on April 16. The NPCSC’s annual legislative plans serve two primary purposes: listing bills that are scheduled for review or research each year, and laying down guiding principles for all facets of the NPCSC’s annual legislative work. As usual, we will focus on the NPCSC’s 2021 legislative agenda below.

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NPCSC Session Watch: Rural Revitalization, Data Protection, Food Waste, Futures & More (Updated)

Photo by Markus Spiske from Unsplash.

UPDATE (Apr. 28, 2021): According the readout of a Council of Chairpersons meeting on Wednesday morning, the NPCSC is scheduled to also approve the draft amendment to the Measures for Electing Delegates from the Chinese People’s Liberation Army to the NPC and Local People’s Congresses at or Above the County Level and the draft revision to the Decision on Strengthening the Review and Oversight of the Central Budget on Thursday.

UPDATE (Apr. 26, 2021): According to the readout of the session’s first plenary meeting on Monday morning, the NPC Constitution and Law Committee recommended that the NPCSC approve the following bills at this session: the draft Rural Revitalization Promotion Law, the draft Anti–Food Waste Law, the draft amendment to the Education Law, and the draft revision to the Maritime Traffic Safety Law. The readout also disclosed that the NPC Foreign Affairs Committee had submitted a draft Land Borders Law [陆地国界法] for review.

On Friday, April 16, the Council of Chairpersons decided to convene the 28th session of the 13th NPC Standing Committee (NPCSC) from April 26 to 29. The NPCSC will review at least fourteen bills at its upcoming four-day session. A quick rundown follows.

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Recording & Review Pt. 8: “Same Life, Different Values”

Editor’s Note: In April 2022, the Supreme People’s Court amended the 2003 Interpretation to treat all victims in personal injury cases as urban residents, thereby eliminating the residency-based compensation standards discussed in this post.

Written by Dongyu Sun. Edited by Susan Finder and Changhao Wei.
This post also appears on the Supreme People’s Court Monitor.

Photo by ImagineChina, via Bloomberg News.

On December 15, 2005, a loaded truck rolled over on a mountain road in Chongqing, crushing a trishaw carrying He Yuan and her two friends to school. All three perished in the accident. What thrust this tragedy into the national spotlight, however, was the drastically different amounts of compensation their families received. The trucker’s employer settled with the families of Yuan’s friends for over 200,000 RMB each, but was willing to pay hers only 80,000 RMB—because she, unlike her classmates, had a rural hukou (or household registration).[1] The company cited a 2003 Supreme People’s Court (SPC) interpretation on the application of law in personal injury cases (2003 Interpretation), which created two separate standards for compensating the deaths of urban and rural residents.

As a result of this effectively hukou-based rule, countless victims’ families have found themselves in the same position as Yuan’s. The Chinese public has dubbed this phenomenon “same life, different values” [同命不同价] and has persistently criticized the 2003 Interpretation. Some citizens have requested that the NPC Standing Committee (NPCSC) conduct a constitutional review of the Interpretation.

It was not until 2020 that the NPCSC’s Legislative Affairs Commission publicly addressed these requests in its annual report on “recording and review” (R&R) [备案审查]. This report’s timing and content are significant. Below, we will first take a closer look at the 2003 Interpretation and the controversy surrounding hukou-based compensation standards, before returning to the Commission’s report.

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2020 Legal Inquiry Responses: Marriage Age for Ethnic Minorities, Rescheduling Local People’s Congress Elections & More

Photo by Andy Wong (Associated Press), via NYT

On April 1, the NPC Standing Committee’s Legislative Affairs Commission (Commission) made public six of its “responses to legal inquiries” [法律询问答复] from 2020. It last released a batch of such responses from 2018 and 2019 in September 2020, after a thirteen-year hiatus. As we wrote then, these responses to legal inquiries can be considered a form of “soft law”: they answer other governmental bodies’ requests to clarify the applicable law in real-world scenarios and can function like the NPC Standing Committee’s legislative interpretations. The inquiring governmental bodies tend to follow the responses, but they do not bind anyone else. Still, they are considered highly persuasive because of the Commission’s pivotal role in lawmaking. The responses released on Thursday touched on a few different subjects: postponing local legislative sessions due to Covid-19, governance of for-profit private schools, ethnic autonomous regions’ legislative authority, terms of supervision commissions, and rescheduling elections for local people’s congresses. We will summarize and explain these Q&As below.

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