NPC Observer is dedicated to improving the accessibility of China’s national legislature, the National People’s Congress (NPC) and its Standing Committee (NPCSC), to English readers across the globe and to helping them better understand the institution, through free, independent, and high-quality reporting, analysis, and original research.
Changhao Wei founded NPC Observer in October 2016 during his gap year after college, with the encouragement of Jeremy Daum (now a colleague of Changhao’s). In summer 2018, Taige Hu came on board as a research assistant and was promoted to deputy manager a year later because of his unmatched passion and dedication. Several others joined the team and provided invaluable support over the years. The website is entirely supported by Changhao’s personal funds and occasional donations from readers.
We first reached 1,000 monthly views in March 2017. Eight months later, in November 2017, we for the first time surpassed 10,000 monthly views—in fact, over 20,000—thanks to the post announcing the Supervision Law’s first public draft. As of October 2021, that post remains the most viewed post and resulted in the most hits ever in a single day. The website’s latest—and now the most used—feature, bill pages, went live in May 2018. And we revamped the website’s appearance in November 2018, the only such update so far, giving it a livelier header image, new colors, and more pleasing fonts.
Coverage of the NPC’s legislative activities makes up most of what we do. Since the 13th NPC, we have created dedicated pages that track the progress of each major bill, list the pertinent legislative information, and provide links to all publicly available drafts, explanatory documents, and our own coverage. For each NPCSC session, we typically publish twice: a preview providing a brief rundown of the session’s legislative agenda, and a post-session recap summarizing any enacted bills in varying levels of detail, depending on the perceived interest of our readers and our own time and expertise. Particularly important bills, as well as the NPC’s annual sessions, receive additional coverage.
Besides legislation, we also cover the legislature’s other noteworthy activities. Since 2018, we have paid special attention to the NPCSC’s invigoration of its process to police other governmental bodies’ problematic legislation. We have also reported on its major non-legislative acts such as the granting of special amnesty or the conferral of state honors, as well as notable press conferences and symposia.
Finally, beyond covering current events, we maintain numerous resources on the NPC, including archives of the NPCSC’s publicly available work plans and its annual work reports to the NPC since 1980, as well as introductory materials on various aspect of the NPC’s institutions and work.
Our Editorial Policy
We generally write for an informed generalist audience: readers who have at least a basic understanding of China’s political and legal system, including the NPC. (Don’t worry if you don’t! Our FAQs on the NPC have you covered.) But for topics that are likely to attract wider attention, we accordingly use less technical language and include more background information than we otherwise do.
Constrained by our limited expertise, we mostly work to provide objective information. But we are in no way a journalistic entity—as Twitter reminded us by rejecting our bid to get verified as a news organization—and we do not purport to remain impartial. In our discretion, we may supplement our objective reporting with analysis or commentary. Whatever we write, we will make every effort to ensure the facts are accurate and the arguments are well-reasoned (with citations to supporting sources). We also commit to editorial independence from all Chinese official entities as well as from the institutions with which our members are affiliated offline.
We may edit published content without notice to correct typos or make minor rephrasings. More substantial corrections will be prominently noted on the relevant posts or pages. Similarly, substantial additions to published posts are noted at the top of the relevant posts and we add “(Updated)” to their titles. If you notice any material error or omission, please let us know.
In keeping with our mission, we constantly search for and link to free and quality English translations of NPC-related primary documents, such as legislation or work reports. In the absence of such a translation, we link to any completed translation by China Law Translate (CLT), which offers a limited number of free posts per month as well as inexpensive subscription plans; you may also gain access by becoming a volunteer translator. Any translation that may require a fee is marked with a dollar sign ($). [Disclosure: CLT is managed by Changhao’s colleague, Jeremy Daum, and Changhao was once a frequent (and is now an occasional) contributor to CLT.]
When there is no free or affordable translation of the latest version of a law, but such a translation of a previous version exists, we will link to it if that previous version (in our view) does not differ significantly from the current one. The year of the previous version will be clearly noted.
Changhao Wei is the founder, manager, and editor of NPC Observer. He is a Fellow at the Paul Tsai China Center of Yale Law School, where he focuses on China’s legislative process and constitutional enforcement mechanisms. He holds a Juris Doctor degree from Harvard Law School, and a bachelor’s degree in Molecular, Cell, and Developmental Biology from the University of California, Los Angeles.
Taige Hu has been the deputy manager of NPC Observer since July 2019. He was a research assistant from August 2018 to June 2019. He is an LL.M. candidate at the Faculty of Law, University of Cambridge. He obtained a Bachelor of Laws degree from the City University of Hong Kong in 2021.
Zewei (Whiskey) Liao has been the assistant manager of NPC Observer since January 2022. He spent two years at Wesleyan University where he majored in the College of Social Studies before he transferred to the University of Chicago to study Sociology and Statistics.
Harry Dai joined NPC Observer as a research assistant in June 2022. He is a Grade 12 student at White Oaks Secondary School in Oakville, Ontario, Canada.
Mingyuan (Lester) Li joined NPC Observer as a research assistant in September 2022. He is currently a third-year LL.B. student at the City University of Hong Kong.
Click to show past members of our team
The following biographies are not being updated
Shuhao Fan was a contributor during 2017–2018. He holds a J.D. from Harvard Law School and a B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania.
Haoran Zhang was a research assistant from August 2019 to June 2021. He holds a B.A. from Wesleyan University.
Zhebin Huang was a research assistant from July 2018 to June 2019. He holds a B.A. from New York University Shanghai.
Xiaoyuan Zhang was a research assistant from December 2017 to April 2018. He holds a J.D. from Boston College Law School and a B.S. from Purdue University.