A decision of the NPC Standing Committee (NPCSC) suspending certain statutory provisions in China’s free trade zones as part of a regulatory reform pilot (briefly discussed here) takes effect on July 1. The revised Administrative Penalties Law [行政处罚法] takes effect on July 15.
The NPCSC is soliciting public comments on the following bills through July 9:
The NPC Standing Committee (NPCSC) concluded another busy session on Thursday, June 10 with the adoption of eight bills. Two of them—the Anti–Foreign Sanctions Law [反外国制裁法] and the Data Security Law [数据安全法]—have already received worldwide attention and are sure to generate additional commentary in the days and weeks to come. Rather than adding duplicative coverage (beyond our Twitter thread on the sanctions law), we will try something new in this post-session recap. We will steer clear of the two blockbuster bills and will instead focus on two themes found in last week’s other legislation that may have escaped your attention.
China’s former one-child policy was “one of the most draconian examples of government social engineering ever seen.” The policy was formally launched nationwide in 1980. In just a few years, however, central authorities decided to “open small holes” by allowing more couples to have a second child, after encountering difficulties in enforcing a uniform birth-control policy nationwide and a backlash against abusive enforcement measures, such as forced sterilizations.
The provinces were tasked with implementing that partial relaxation of the one-child policy. All provincial legislatures (except those of Xinjiang and Tibet) had adopted provincial birth-control legislation by the early 1990s. (Xinjiang eventually did so in 2002; Tibet still has not acted.) Such legislation translates the policy into concrete terms, specifying, among other things, exceptions to the one-child-per-couple rule and the penalties for above-quota births. Couples who exceed birth limits would face not only hefty fines called “social upbringing fees” [社会抚养费], but also discipline at work—including mandatory termination in a number of provinces.