NPC Calendar: August 2020

The NPC Standing Committee (NPCSC) is soliciting public comments on the following draft laws through August 16:

The 13th NPCSC will convene for its 21st session from August 8 to 11 and will review the following bills:

The session will likely also consider a decision dealing with the anticipated vacancy of the Hong Kong Legislative Council after the Hong Kong Chief Executive decided on Friday, July 31 to postpone Council elections (originally scheduled for September 6) by a year. The term of the current Legislative Council will expire on September 30.

For more information, please see this post.


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Legislation Summary: New Statute Governing Public Employees’ Conduct

On June 20, the NPC Standing Committee approved the Law on Governmental Sanctions for Public Employees [公职人员政务处分法] (Law or Governmental Sanctions Law). An unofficial English translation of the Law is available here. This Law is a companion statute of the 2018 Supervision Law [监察法], which established the supervision commissions [监察委员会] and empowers them to “give . . . decisions on governmental sanctions to public employees who have broken the law in accordance with legally prescribed procedures” (art. 45, para. 1, item 2). The Law, with 68 articles in seven chapters, implements this provision by laying down a set of both substantive and procedural disciplinary rules tailor-made for all public employees. Its core provisions start by setting forth the types of governmental sanctions and the general rules on their use, then provide for a long list of unlawful conduct and the corresponding sanctions, and end with the procedures for giving and reviewing sanctions decisions. The following summary will proceed in the same manner.

Continue reading “Legislation Summary: New Statute Governing Public Employees’ Conduct”

NPC Calendar: June 2020

The Basic Healthcare and Health Promotion Law [基本医疗卫生与健康促进法] takes effect on June 1.

The 13th NPC Standing Committee (NPCSC) is expected to convene for its 19th session in late June. The Council of Chairpersons is expected to meet in mid-June to decide on the agenda and dates of the session. The NPCSC’s annual legislative and oversight plans for 2020 may be released after the session.

The session may review a draft of the national security law that would be implemented in Hong Kong under the NPC’s recent, May 28 decision.

The following legislative bills may return for further review:

The NPCSC is soliciting public comments on the following bills through June 13:


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A Survey of Legislative Responses to COVID-19 by Chinese Provinces

Five months after China first reported to the World Health Organization (WHO) cases of pneumonia of an unknown cause on December 31, 2019, that disease, now known as COVID-19, continues to ravage the world, causing public health emergencies of a scale unseen in recent history. In response, governments worldwide have resorted to extraordinary measures in an attempt to stop the virus from spreading: from shutting borders to locking down cities, from closing businesses to mandating social distancing.

In China, local (especially provincial) legislatures, like other governmental bodies, have played a part in epidemic response. Acting in an almost concerted fashion, over twenty provincial legislatures[1] adopted decisions dealing with COVID-19—which we will call “COVID Decisions”—in a twelve-day period in early February. These Decisions address the responsibilities of a range of parties: government entities, businesses, medical institutions, social groups, communities, individuals, etc. (All but Shaanxi’s require individuals to wear masks in public, for example). Equally important, the Decisions also grant emergency powers to local governments.

Continue reading “A Survey of Legislative Responses to COVID-19 by Chinese Provinces”

NPC Calendar: May 2020

On May 1, a decision of the NPC Standing Committee (NPCSC) authorizing the suspension of certain statutory provisions as part of a pilot program in the Hainan Free Trade Zone takes effect.

The 13th NPCSC is expected to convene for its 18th session by mid-May to discuss a draft of its annual work report and other documents to prepare for the NPC’s 2020 annual session. The Council of Chairmen is expected to meet soon after the Labor Day holiday (May 1–5) to decide on the dates and agenda of the session.

The 13th NPC will convene for its third annual session on Friday, May 22. The session’s agenda has not yet been finalized, but we expect it to include the following:

  • Hear and deliberate the Government Work Report;
  • Hear and deliberate work reports by the NPCSC, the Supreme People’s Court, and the Supreme People’s Procuratorate;
  • Review and approve a report on the execution of the 2019 National Economic and Social Development Plan and on the draft 2020 National Economic and Social Development Plan;
  • Approve the 2020 National Economic and Social Development Plan;
  • Review and approve a report on the execution of the 2019 Central and Local Budgets and on the draft 2020 Central and Local Budgets;
  • Approve the 2020 Central Budget; and
  • Deliberate the draft Civil Code [民法典].

We also expect the session to retroactively approve the resignation of Feng Zhonghua [冯忠华] as an NPCSC member in June 2019. He has since been appointed a Vice Governor of Hainan. Under Chinese law, an NPCSC member must resign if he is to serve in an administrative organ.

On May 21, the NPC session will convene for a preparatory meeting to select members of the Presidium (which will preside over the session) and to finalize the session’s agenda. The Presidium will then immediately meet to decide on (among other matters) the session’s daily schedule. Shortly thereafter the session is expected to hold its first press conference.

Though the NPC’s annual session ordinarily lasts around ten days, several outlets have reported that this year’s would be shortened to only seven days. On the last day of the session, we expect the NPC to approve the Civil Code.


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NPC Calendar: March 2020

The revised Securities Law [证券法] takes effect on March 1.

The 13th NPC Standing Committee (NPCSC) is expected to convene for a special session by mid-March to discuss a draft of its annual work report and other documents to prepare for the NPC’s 2020 annual session. It is also expected to set a new start date for the NPC session.

The 13th NPC is likely to convene for its third annual session in late March. We expect the session’s agenda to include the following:

  • Hear and deliberate the Government Work Report;
  • Hear and deliberate work reports by the NPCSC, the Supreme People’s Court, and the Supreme People’s Procuratorate;
  • Review and approve a report on the execution of the 2019 National Economic and Social Development Plan and on the draft 2020 National Economic and Social Development Plan;
  • Approve the 2020 National Economic and Social Development Plan;
  • Review and approve a report on the execution of the 2019 Central and Local Budgets and on the draft 2020 Central and Local Budgets;
  • Approve the 2020 Central Budget;
  • Deliberate the draft Civil Code  [民法典].

We also expect the session to retroactively approve the resignation of Feng Zhonghua [冯忠华] as an NPCSC member in June 2019. He has since been appointed a Vice Governor of Hainan. Under Chinese law, an NPCSC member must resign if he is to serve in an administrative organ.

On the day before it opens, the NPC session will convene for a preparatory meeting to select members of the Presidium (which will preside over the session) and to finalize the session’s agenda. The Presidium will then immediately meet to decide on (among other matters) the session’s daily schedule. Shortly thereafter the session is expected to hold its first press conference.

We expect the NPC’s 2020 annual session to last around (maybe slightly longer than) ten days. On the last day, we expect it to approve the Civil Code.

Should the authorities decide not to convene the NPC by the end of March, however, we expect all the preparatory events mentioned above, including the NPCSC’s special session, to be accordingly postponed.


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NPC Calendar: January 2020

The following laws take effect on January 1:

The NPC Standing Committee (NPCSC) is seeking public comments on the following bills through January 26:

The NPCSC will meet for its next regularly scheduled session in late February 2020.


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NPCSC Solicits Public Comments on Draft Civil Code, Export Control Law, Yangtze River Protection Law, Solid Waste Law Revisions & Two Tax Laws

The NPC Standing Committee (NPCSC) is soliciting public comments on the following six bills through January 26, 2020:

All linked files are PDF documents in Chinese. English translations will be provided if and when available. The accompanying explanations of these drafts can be read here (PDF).

To submit comments online, please refer to this guide. The “Occupations” [职业] dropdown menu for the draft revision to the Yangtze River Protection Law includes the following options: “state organs and their employees” [国家机关及其工作人员], “public institutions, social groups, and their employees” [事业机关、社会团体及其工作人员], “persons living in the Yangtze River basin” [长江流域所在地人员]; and “other” [其他].

Comments can also be mailed to the NPCSC Legislative Affairs Commission [全国人大常委会法制工作委员会] at the following address:

Chinese: 北京市西城区前门西大街1号 邮编: 100805
English: No. 1 West Qianmen Avenue, Xicheng District, Beijing 100805

Please clearly write “[BILL NAME IN CHINESE]征求意见” on the envelope.


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NPC Calendar: December 2019

The Vaccine Administration Law [疫苗管理法], the revised Drug Administration Law [药品管理法], and a decision of the NPC Standing Committee (NPCSC) approving a three-year pilot program in China’s free trade zones (discussed here) take effect on December 1.

The 13th NPCSC is expected to convene for its 15th session in late December. The Council of Chairpersons is expected to meet in mid-December to decide on the agenda and dates of the session.

We expect the session to review a draft Civil Code [民法典] and a draft Urban Maintenance and Construction Tax Law [城市维护建设税法]. The draft amendment to the Patent Law [专利法] and draft revision to the Law on the Prevention and Control of Environmental Pollution by Solid Waste [固体废物污染环境防治法] are likely to return for further review. The session may additionally consider the following bills:

We also expect the session to review the NPCSC Legislative Affairs Commission’s report on its recording-and-review work in 2019 and to adopt a decision convening the NPC’s annual session in 2020.

December 26 marks the 30th anniversary of the passage and entry into force of the Environmental Protection Law [环境保护法].


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NPC Calendar: October 2019

The revised People’s Courts Organic Law [人民法院组织法] and revised People’s Procuratorates Organic Law [人民检察院组织法] take effect on October 1.

The Communist Party’s 19th Central Committee will convene for its fourth plenum sometime this month to discuss issues on “upholding and improving the socialist system with Chinese characteristics and advancing the modernization of China’s system and capacity for governance.” We will cover the plenum’s expected decision on these issues to the extent it has implications for the NPC.

The 13th NPC Standing Committee (NPCSC) is expected to convene for its 14th session in late October. The Council of Chairpersons is expected to meet in mid-October to decide on the agenda and dates of the session.

The draft amendment to the Patent Law [专利法] is likely to return for further review. The draft Basic Healthcare and Health Promotion Law [基本医疗卫生与健康促进法] and draft Encryption Law [密码法] will probably also return for further review. The upcoming NPCSC session may additionally consider the following bills:

  • draft Criminal Law Amendment (XI) [刑法修正案(十一)];
  • draft revision to the Minors Protection Law [未成年人保护法]; and
  • draft revision to the Law on the Prevention of Juvenile Delinquency [预防未成年人犯罪法].

October 31 marks the 30th anniversary of the passage and entry into force of the Assembles, Processions, and Demonstrations Law [集会游行示威法]—the immediate legislative response to the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests.


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