On Friday, May 6, the NPC Standing Committee (NPCSC) released its legislative plan for 2022 (Plan). The Plan was preliminarily approved in November 2021 and finalized by the Council of Chairpersons on April 11. It lists bills that are scheduled for review or research this year, and also sets forth priorities for all aspects of the NPCSC’s legislative work in 2022. As usual, we will focus on the legislative projects listed in the Plan below.
The Plan schedules 39 projects for review in 2022, the second largest batch ever included in a publicly available annual legislative plan. The main themes this year continue to include government institutional reforms, economic reforms, public health, environmental protection, education, and national and public security. Like its previous two iterations, the Plan does not assign bills to be submitted for an initial review to particular NPCSC sessions to allow for greater flexibility.
As the Plan was first adopted in late 2021, it includes three bills that have since been enacted:
- amendment to the Organic Law of Local People’s Congresses at All Levels and Local People’s Governments at All Levels [地方各级人民代表大会和地方各级人民政府组织法] (adopted Mar. 11, 2021);
- Futures and Derivatives Law [期货和衍生品法] (adopted Apr. 20, 2021); and
- revision to the Vocational Education Law [职业教育法] (adopted Apr. 20, 2021).
The following three bills have also submitted for deliberation as planned and are still pending:
- draft revision to the Sports Law [体育法];
- draft Black Soil Protection Law [黑土地保护法]; and
- draft revision to the Women’s Rights and Interests Protection Law [妇女权益保障法].
The remaining nine bills that were pending as of the end of 2021 will return for further review according to the following schedule:
- June session: draft Law Against Telecom and Online Fraud [反电信网络诈骗法]; draft amendment to the Anti-Monopoly Law [反垄断法]; draft amendment to the NPCSC Rules of Procedure [全国人民代表大会常务委员会议事规则]; draft Yellow River Protection Law [黄河保护法]; and draft revision to the Emergency Response Law [突发事件应对法].
- August session: draft revision to the Animal Husbandry Law [畜牧法]; draft revision to the Agricultural Products Quality and Safety Law [农产品质量安全法]; and draft revision to the Company Law [公司法].
- October session: draft revision to the Wild Animals Protection Law [野生动物保护法].
The NPCSC is scheduled to consider another 24 bills this year:
- Amendments or revisions
- Legislation Law [立法法]
- Law on the Oversight by the Standing Committees of People’s Congresses at All Levels [各级人民代表大会常务委员会监督法]
- State Council Organic Law [国务院组织法]
- Enterprise Bankruptcy Law [企业破产法]
- Academic Degree Regulations [学位条例]
- Cultural Relics Protection Law [文物保护法]
- Frontier Health and Quarantine Law [国境卫生检疫法]
- Mineral Resources Law [矿产资源法]
- Railway Law [铁路法]
- Civil Procedure Law [民事诉讼法]
- New Laws
- Rural Collective Economic Organizations Law [农村集体经济组织法]
- Public Health Emergency Response Law [突发公共卫生事件应对法]
- Preschool Education Law [学前教育法]
- Financial Stability Law [金融稳定法]
- Energy Law [能源法]
- Law on Ensuring Food Security [粮食安全保障法]
- Social Assistance Law [社会救助法]
- Civil Compulsory Enforcement Law [民事强制执行法]
All of these projects have appeared in the 13th NPCSC’s prior legislative plans, with four exceptions. First, the Legislation Law may be amended to incorporate newer forms of legislation, in particular the State Supervision Commission’s supervision regulations [监察法规], into China’s legislative system, and to codify recent reforms of the recording-and-review process. Second, the proposal to formulate a Qinghai-Tibet Plateau Ecological Conservation Law was green-lit by the Communist Party leadership last December to implement a 2021 central policy document on conservation and sustainable development of the Tibetan Plateau. Third, the next round of amendments to the Civil Procedure Law (which was last amended last December) is expected focus on updating the procedures for foreign-related cases and for retrials. Finally, the proposed Financial Stability Law is aimed at providing “lasting mechanisms to ensure financial stability,” in support of the Party’s “tough battle” to prevent and defuse major financial risks; the People’s Bank of China recently solicited public comments on a draft of the Law.
Aside from the projects listed above, the Plan also leaves open the possibility that unenumerated bills may be considered to implement the Party’s decisions or to improve legislation on public health, foreign-related issues, or military affairs. In particular, the Plan includes detailed goals for foreign-related legislation, vowing to advance “special” legislation in this area, “improve foreign-related clauses and provisions, make up for the institutional shortcomings of foreign-related laws, and speed up the building of a system of foreign-related legal norms.”
Finally, the Plan concludes the NPCSC’s 2022 legislative agenda with a list of “preparatory projects”: bills that will eventually be enacted, but for now are lower priority, so unlikely to come before the NPCSC in 2022. Bills page are not always available for these projects.
- Amendments or revisions
- Urban Residents’ Committees Organic Law [城市居民委员会组织法]
- Commercial Banks Law [商业银行法]
- Insurance Law [保险法]
- Law on the People’s Bank of China[中国人民银行法]
- Anti–Money Laundering Law [反洗钱法]
- Anti–Unfair Competition Law [反不正当竞争法]
- Accounting Law [会计法]
- National Defense Education Law [国防教育法]
- Counterespionage Law [反间谍法]
- People’s Police Law [人民警察法]
- Teachers Law [教师法]
- Marine Environmental Protection Law [海洋环境保护法]
- Exit-Entry Animals and Plants Quarantine Law [进出境动植物检疫法]
- Charity Law [慈善法]
- Arbitration Law [仲裁法]
- New laws
- Farmland Protection Law [耕地保护法]
- Real Property Registration Law [不动产登记法]
- Pharmacists Law [药师法]
- Telecommunications Law [电信法]
- Healthcare Security Law [医疗保障法]
- Law on Ensuring the Operation of State Organs [机关运行保障法]
- Law on China Fire and Rescue Force and Personnel [国家综合性消防救援队伍和人员法]
- Hazardous Chemicals Safety Law [危险化学品安全法]
- Barrier-Free Environments Construction Law [无障碍环境建设法]
- Cybercrime Prevention and Control Law [网络犯罪防治法]