Translations: New Legislation on Chengdu-Chongqing Financial Court & Military Ranks for PLA Soldiers

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The 13th NPC Standing Committee (NPCSC) concluded its 33rd session on Monday, February 28 adopted two short decisions that, respectively, established a Chengdu-Chongqing Financial Court and codified a system of ranks for the active-duty soldiers of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA). Below we translated the decisions and offered some brief explanations.

Chengdu-Chongqing Financial Court

The Chengdu-Chongqing Financial Court is China’s third specialized financial court, after ones in Shanghai and Beijing. Its jurisdiction mirrors that of the Beijing court, but the new Chengdu-Chongqing court is unique in that it is the only sub-national court in China that exercises jurisdiction over (parts of) multiple provinces. The Supreme People’s Court (SPC), in proposing the new court, acknowledged that there had been no precedent for such a court in China and described the new court as an experiment.

Of note, the new court’s geographical jurisdiction is broader than the area encompassed by Chengdu-Chongqing Twin City Economic Circle because its jurisdiction extends to the entire Chongqing, but only part of the metropolis sits within the Economic Circle. According to the SPC, this arrangement would help promote the uniform application of law in Chongqing and help “prevent, defuse, and centrally handle” the financial risks associated with the relatively high loan balances of the micro-lending companies in the Chongqing region. This also explains why Chongqing’s, but not Sichuan’s, high court hears appeals from the new financial court.

The SPC will issue a judicial interpretation to further delineate the new court’s jurisdiction.

全国人民代表大会常务委员会关于设立成渝金融法院的决定Decision of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress on Establishing a Chengdu-Chongqing Financial Court
(2022年2月28日第十三届全国人民代表大会常务委员会第三十三次会议通过)(Adopted at the 33rd Session of the Standing Committee of the 13th National People’s Congress on February 28, 2022)
为了加大金融司法保护力度,营造良好金融法治环境,维护金融安全,根据宪法和人民法院组织法,现作如下决定:To strengthen judicial protection for finance, create a favorable rule-of-law environment for finance, and safeguard financial security, it is hereby decided as follows on the basis of the Constitution and the People’s Courts Organic Law:
一、设立成渝金融法院。
成渝金融法院审判庭的设置,由最高人民法院根据金融案件的类型和数量决定。
I.  There is established a Chengdu-Chongqing Financial Court.
The setup of the adjudicatory divisions of the Chengdu-Chongqing Financial Court is to be determined by the Supreme People’s Court on the basis of the type and quantity of financial cases.
二、成渝金融法院专门管辖以下案件:
(一)重庆市以及四川省属于成渝地区双城经济圈范围内的应由中级人民法院管辖的第一审金融民商事案件;
(二)重庆市以及四川省属于成渝地区双城经济圈范围内的应由中级人民法院管辖的以金融监管机构为被告的第一审涉金融行政案件;
(三)以住所地在重庆市以及四川省属于成渝地区双城经济圈范围内的金融基础设施机构为被告或者第三人,与其履行职责相关的第一审金融民商事案件和涉金融行政案件;
(四)重庆市以及四川省属于成渝地区双城经济圈范围内的基层人民法院第一审金融民商事案件和涉金融行政案件判决、裁定的上诉、抗诉案件以及再审案件;
(五)依照法律规定应由其执行的案件;
(六)最高人民法院确定由其管辖的其他金融案件。
成渝金融法院第一审判决、裁定的上诉案件,由重庆市高级人民法院审理。
II.  The Chengdu-Chongqing Financial Court is to exercise exclusive jurisdiction over the following cases:
(1) first-instance civil and commercial cases on finance from Chongqing Municipality and the part of Sichuan Province within the Chengdu-Chongqing Twin City Economic Circle that should be within the jurisdiction of intermediate people’s courts;
(2) first-instance finance-related administrative cases from Chongqing Municipality and the part of Sichuan Province within the Chengdu-Chongqing Twin City Economic Circle in which a financial regulatory agency is the defendant, and that should be within the jurisdiction of intermediate people’s courts;
(3) first-instance civil and commercial cases on finance as well as finance-related administrative cases in which a financial infrastructure institution domiciled in Chongqing Municipality and the part of Sichuan Province within the Chengdu-Chongqing Twin City Economic Circle is the defendant or a third party and that relate to the latter’s performance of duties;
(4) cases of appeals or procuratorial protests from, or retrials of, the verdicts or judgments of basic-level people’s courts in Chongqing Municipality and the part of Sichuan Province within the Chengdu-Chongqing Twin City Economic Circle in first-instance civil and commercial cases on finance as well as finance-related administrative cases;
(5) cases that it should enforce according to the provisions of law;
(6) other financial cases that the Supreme People’s Court determines should be within its jurisdiction.
Cases of appeals from the first-instance verdicts or judgments of the Chengdu-Chongqing Financial Court are to be heard by the Chongqing High People’s Court.
三、成渝金融法院对重庆市人民代表大会常务委员会负责并报告工作。
成渝金融法院审判工作受最高人民法院和重庆市高级人民法院监督。成渝金融法院依法接受人民检察院法律监督。
III.  The Chengdu-Chongqing Financial Court is responsible and report on its work to the Standing Committee of the Chongqing Municipal People’s Congress.
The Chengdu-Chongqing Financial Court’s adjudicatory work is supervised by the Supreme People’s Court and the Chongqing High People’s Court. The Chengdu-Chongqing Financial Court is to accept legal supervision by the people’s procuratorates in accordance with law.
四、成渝金融法院院长由重庆市人民代表大会常务委员会主任会议提请重庆市人民代表大会常务委员会任免。
成渝金融法院副院长、审判委员会委员、庭长、副庭长、审判员由成渝金融法院院长提请重庆市人民代表大会常务委员会任免。  
IV.  The President of the Chengdu-Chongqing Financial Court is appointed or removed by the Standing Committee of the Chongqing Municipal People’s Congress, as proposed by the Chairpersons’ Meeting of the Standing Committee of the Chongqing Municipal People’s Congress.
The Vice Presidents, members of the Adjudication Committee, Division Chiefs, Deputy Division Chiefs, and adjudicators of the Chengdu-Chongqing Financial Court are appointed or removed by the Standing Committee of the Chongqing Municipal People’s Congress, as proposed by the President of the Chengdu-Chongqing Financial Court.
五、本决定自2022年3月1日起施行。V.  This Decision takes effect on March 1, 2022.

Ranks for Active-Duty PLA Soldiers

As we mentioned in our session preview, the system of ranks for PLA soldiers is currently governed by regulations jointly promulgated by the State Council and the Central Military Commission (CMC) in 1988 (last revised in 2010) as authorized by the NPCSC. One of the CMC’s goals in proposing this decision is to comply with the constitutional requirement that military ranks be prescribed by the NPCSC itself. This decision also provides the CMC with the necessary legal authority to “adjust the fundamental systems for managing the military service of non-commissioned officers and conscripts” (see art. 8), which it said would involve “complex and sensitive” changes. Beyond renaming the two ranks for intermediate non-commissioned officers, the decision is otherwise consistent the joint regulations.

On a more wonky note, because this “decision” (like the legislation prescribing other systems of ranks) was promulgated by the President, it qualifies as a (mini) national law, not just a quasi-legislative decision. It is thus the first such “mini statute” adopted by the NPCSC since 1998.

全国人民代表大会常务委员会关于中国人民解放军现役士兵衔级制度的决定Decision of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress on the System of Ranks for the Active-Duty Soldiers of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army
(2022年2月28日第十三届全国人民代表大会常务委员会第三十三次会议通过)(Adopted at the 33rd Session of the Standing Committee of the 13th National People’s Congress on February 28, 2022)
为了深化国防和军队改革,加强军队的指挥和管理,推进国防和军队现代化,根据宪法,现就中国人民解放军现役士兵衔级制度作如下决定:To deepen the reform of national defense and the military, strengthen the command and management of the military, and promote the modernization of national defense and the military, it is hereby decided as follows in accordance with the Constitution on the system of ranks for the active-duty soldiers of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army:
一、士兵军衔是表明士兵身份、区分士兵等级的称号和标志,是党和国家给予士兵的地位和荣誉。
士兵军衔分为军士军衔、义务兵军衔。
I.  A soldier’s rank is a title and symbol that indicates a soldier’s identity and distinguishes between the grades of soldiers, and is a status and honor given to a soldier by the Party and the State.
The ranks for soldiers are divided into ranks for non-commissioned officers and ranks for conscripts.
二、军士军衔设三等七衔:
(一)高级军士:一级军士长、二级军士长、三级军士长;
(二)中级军士:一级上士、二级上士;
(三)初级军士:中士、下士。
军士军衔中,一级军士长为最高军衔,下士为最低军衔。
II.  The ranks for non-commissioned officers have the following seven ranks in three categories:
(1) Senior non-commissioned officers: Master sergeant first class, Master sergeant second class, and Master sergeant third class[*];
(2) Intermediate non-commissioned officers: Senior sergeant first class and Senior sergeant second class;
(3) Junior non-commissioned officers: Sergeant and Junior Sergeant.
Among the ranks for non-commissioned officers, Master sergeant first class is the highest rank, and Junior sergeant is the lowest rank.
三、义务兵军衔由高至低分为上等兵、列兵。III.  The ranks for conscripts are divided into, from high to low, Private class one and Private.
四、士兵军衔按照军种划分种类,在军衔前冠以军种名称。IV.  The ranks for soldiers are classified according to the service branches, and the ranks are prefixed with the name of the corresponding service branch.
五、军衔高的士兵与军衔低的士兵,军衔高的为上级。军衔高的士兵在职务上隶属于军衔低的士兵的,职务高的为上级。V.  A soldier with a higher rank is the superior of a soldier with a lower rank. Where a soldier with a higher rank is subordinate to a soldier with a lower rank in terms of position, the soldier holding a higher position is the superior.
六、士兵军衔的授予、晋升,以本人任职岗位、德才表现和服役贡献为依据。VI.  The conferral and promotion of a soldier’s rank is to be based on the soldier’s post, demonstration of moral integrity and talent, and contribution during military service.
七、士兵军衔的标志式样和佩带办法,由中央军事委员会规定。
士兵必须按照规定佩带与其军衔相符的军衔标志。
VII.  The insignia of the ranks for soldiers and the method for wearing them are to be prescribed by the Central Military Commission.
Soldiers must wear the insignia that match their ranks in accordance with regulations.
八、士兵服现役的衔级年限和军衔授予、晋升、降级、剥夺以及培训、考核、任用等管理制度,由中央军事委员会规定。VIII.  The high year of tenure of active-duty soldiers, the conferral, promotion, demotion, and deprivation of ranks, as well as the training, assessments, and appointments [of soldiers], and other such management systems are to be prescribed by the Central Military Commission.
九、中国人民武装警察部队现役警士、义务兵的衔级制度,适用本决定。IX.  This Decision applies to the system of ranks for the active-duty non-commissioned officers and conscripts of the Chinese People’s Armed Police Force.
十、本决定自2022年3月31日起施行。X.  This Decision takes effect on March 31, 2022.

[*] Because the Chinese terms of military ranks are translated differently for different service branches, here we use the English translations of PLA Ground Force ranks for the sake of simplicity.

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