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.
Nine bills return for further review.
First, the draft Rural Revitalization Promotion Law [乡村振兴促进法] returns for a third—and most likely final—review.
Second, the draft Anti–Food Waste Law [反食品浪费法] and the draft amendment to the Education Law [教育法] return for their second review, which we also expect to be their last.
Third, the draft Hainan Free Trade Port Law [海南自由贸易港法] and the draft Law on the Protection of the Status, Rights, and Interests of Military Personnel [军人地位和权益保障法] also return for their second review. They may pass at the upcoming session, but we would not rule out the possibility of a third and final review.
Finally, the draft revision to the Maritime Traffic Safety Law [海上交通安全法], draft Data Security Law [数据安全法], draft Personal Information Protection Law [个人信息保护法], and draft Supervisors Law [监察官法] all return for their second review as well. We expect them to undergo at least another round of deliberations, likely later this year.
We will briefly summarize any approved bills in our post-session recap.
Five new bills have been submitted for review.
First, the NPC Financial and Economic Affairs Committee submitted a draft Futures Law [期货法]. This project (or as it was once titled, Futures Trading Law) has been included in the NPCSC’s five-year legislative plans as early as 1993. Once enacted, the Law will likely replace the State Council’s Regulations on the Administration of Futures Trading [期货交易管理条例], first issued in 2007.
Second, the State Council submitted two bills for review. The first is a set of (presumably minor) draft amendments to the Road Traffic Safety Law [道路交通安全法] and eight other as-yet unidentified laws. It is unclear what provisions these amendments would change. The second bill is a request to suspend the operation of certain statutory provisions in China’s free trade zones. The NPCSC has previously approved similar requests in August 2013, December 2014, and October 2019 to reduce administrative licenses and ease the compliance burden on businesses. The State Council’s new request likely seeks to cut red tapes as well. We expect the NPCSC to approve both bills at the upcoming session.
Third, the Central Military Commission submitted a 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 [中国人民解放军选举全国人民代表大会和县级以上地方各级人民代表大会代表的办法] (which have the status of a national law). The contents of the amendment are not immediately clear. Depending on its scope, the amendment may pass after one or two reviews.
Finally, the Council of Chairpersons submitted a draft revision to the Decision on Strengthening the Review and Oversight of the Central Budget [关于加强中央预算审查监督的决定], a quasi-legislative decision adopted by the NPCSC in 1999. It will likely be updated consistent with the 2014 amendment to the Budget Law [预算法] and with a 2018 Communist Party policy document directing the people’s congresses to focus on government spending plan and policy in reviewing and overseeing government budgets. The revision will likely undergo two reviews.
The readout of the Council of Chairpersons’ meeting ends the list of submitted bills with the character “等,” signaling the session will consider at least one other bill. The as-yet unannounced bill could a draft revision to the Vocational Education Law [职业教育法], which the State Council submitted to the NPCSC on March 24.