NPCSC Session Watch: Criminal Justice, Maritime & Military Affairs, Hainan Free Trade Port, Food Waste & a Lot More

On Friday, November 27, the Council of Chairpersons took the unusual step of announcing the next NPC Standing Committee (NPCSC) session almost a month in advance. It decided that the 13th NPCSC will convene for its 24th session from December 22 and 26 and tentatively placed a whopping 18 legislative bills on the agenda, including 16 draft laws and 2 draft decisions. There is a little something for everyone: the bills touch on issues ranging from criminal justice to military affairs, from trade and intellectual property to maritime issues. A quick preview of the session follows.

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NPCSC Clarifies “Allegiance” Requirements for Hong Kong Legislators, Disqualifies Pro-Democracy Legislators

The NPC Standing Committee (NPCSC) adopted on Wednesday, November 11 a decision on the qualifications for members of the Hong Kong Legislative Council (LegCo), resulting in the immediate disqualification of four pro-democracy legislators: Alvin Yeung, Kwok Ka-ki, Dennis Kwok, Kenneth Leung. These four incumbents have been banned from running in next year’s elections for the 7th LegCo, but until today have been allowed to stay on after the NPCSC extended the 6th LegCo’s term for a year.

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NPCSC Solicits Public Comments on Draft Coast Guard Law

The NPC Standing Committee (NPCSC) is seeking public comments on a draft Coast Guard Law [海警法] through December 3, 2020. The draft is available in PDF here and an explanatory document (in Chinese) here. An English translation will be provided if and when available.

To submit comments online, please refer to this guide. The “Occupations” [职业] dropdown menu for this bill includes these options: “state organs and their employees” [国家机关及其工作人员]; “public institutions, social groups, and their employees” [事业单位、社会团体及其工作人员]; “coast guard agencies and their employees” [海警机构及其工作人员]; “other military agencies and their employees” [其他军事机构及其工作人员]; 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:

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

Please clearly write “海警法草案征求意见” on the envelope.


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NPCSC Special Session Watch: Copyright Law Amendment & Veterans Support Law

The Council of Chairpersons decided on Tuesday, November 3 to convene the NPC Standing Committee (NPCSC) for a non-regularly scheduled session from November 10 to 11. This will be the sixth special session the NPCSC has held in less than two and a half years.

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NPC Calendar: November 2020

The NPC Standing Committee (NPCSC) is seeking public comments on the following bills through November 19, 2020:

The NPCSC will convene for its next regularly scheduled session in late December.


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NPCSC Passes Export Control Law & Biosecurity Law, Updates Patent Law, National Flag/Emblem Laws, Election Law & Minors Protection Law

The 13th NPC Standing Committee (NPCSC) concluded its 22nd session on Saturday, October 17, 2020 and adopted seven bills. We will summarize five of them in some detail below, while briefly noting the other two. The texts of the bills and relevant legislative documents can be found on the individual bill pages linked below.

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NPC Calendar: September 2020

The Resource Tax Law [资源税法] and the revised Law on the Prevention and Control of Environmental Pollution by Solid Waste [固体废物污染环境防治法] take effect on September 1.

The NPC Standing Committee (NPCSC) is seeking public comments on the following bills through September 30, 2020:

The NPCSC will convene for its next regularly scheduled session in late October.


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Recording & Review: A Reintroduction

In early 2018, we first gave a detailed introduction to “recording and review” (R&R) [备案审查], an increasingly notable aspect of the oversight by the NPC Standing Committee (NPCSC). For our purposes here, and generally speaking, R&R is a process whereby various governmental bodies with lawmaking authority record their enactments with the NPCSC, which may then review the recorded legislation on certain grounds and order corrective actions if the legislation does not pass muster.[1] R&R has led to some positive developments in Chinese law since our initial introduction. A few months ago, for instance, it led to the NPCSC’s abolition of “custody and education” [收容教育]—a decades-old extrajudicial detention system targeting prostitution.

The biggest update to the R&R scheme since its inception came last December. That month, the Council of Chairpersons approved the Working Measures for the Recording and Review of Regulations and Judicial Interpretations (Measures) [法规、司法解释备案审查工作办法], which were then quietly released in the NPCSC Gazette’s March issue. This is a noteworthy piece of authority: not only does it supplement the two main governing statutes—the Legislation Law [立法法] and the Law on Oversight by the Standing Committees of the People’s Congresses at All Levels (Oversight Law) [各级人民代表大会常务委员会监督法]—by filling in the procedural gaps, but more importantly, it elaborates on the existing grounds for review and also introduces brand-new ones. We thus would like to take this opportunity to reintroduce the NPCSC’s R&R practice, as now undertaken under these new rules. All citations below are to the Measures unless otherwise indicated.

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NPCSC (Early) Session Watch: Copyright, NPC Modernization & National Flag/Emblem (Updated)

UPDATE (July 31, 2020): Today, the Hong Kong Chief Executive officially announced the postponement of the Legislative Council elections to next fall. The central government said in a statement that it would seek a decision by the NPCSC on the one-year vacancy of the Legislative Council after its current term expires on September 30.


We did not wake up today expecting to write this blogpost, yet here we are. On Wednesday, July 29, the Council of Chairpersons decided to convene the 21st session of the 13th NPC Standing Committee (NPCSC)—much to our surprise—from August 8 to 11. For the past three terms, the NPCSC’s regular sessions began only during the last ten days of each month in which it was scheduled to meet (with one exception). And this upcoming session bears all the indications of a regular (August) session: its four-day length, a full batch of bills to review, and the State Council’s mid-year reports on budget implementation and economic development (which are heard in August).

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Legislation Summary: Hong Kong National Security Law

The NPC Standing Committee (NPCSC) unanimously approved the Law on Safeguarding National Security in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region [香港特别行政区维护国家安全法] (Law) on the morning of Tuesday, June 30. That afternoon, the NPCSC separately listed the Law in Annex III to the Hong Kong Basic Law so that it can be enforced in the city. The Law took effect in Hong Kong later that day, at 11 p.m., when it was made public for the first time. The NPCSC previously released (via Xinhua) an excerpted explanation of the Law, which we have summarized here. For now, we will not restate what we already covered in that prior summary, in the interest of time. Instead, here, we will focus on the criminal provisions of the Law (which have heretofore been withheld) and other significant provisions that were not previously disclosed.

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