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.Continue reading “Translations: New Legislation on Chengdu-Chongqing Financial Court & Military Ranks for PLA Soldiers”
The Council of Chairpersons decided on Friday, February 18 to convene the 33rd session of the 13th NPC Standing Committee (NPCSC) from February 27 to 28. The main purpose of this two-day meeting is to prepare for the upcoming NPC session, which is scheduled to open on March 5. The meeting will, for instance, propose an agenda for the NPC session and discuss the NPCSC’s annual work report to the NPC. The meeting will therefore review only two simple bills and one report. A brief rundown follows.Continue reading “NPCSC Session Watch: NPC Preparations, Military Ranks, Chengdu-Chongqing Financial Court & Report on SPC Intellectual Property Tribunal”
On February 9, I published in The Diplomat an article titled The Chinese Legislature’s Hidden Agenda. It begins this way:
For about a decade, China’s national legislature, the National People’s Congress (NPC), made real improvements to its transparency. In 2008, it started soliciting public comments once on almost every major bill. Since 2013, it has been asking for comments multiple times for the same bill. In 2015, it codified “legislative openness” as a guiding principle for lawmaking. Most recently, in the summer of 2019, the NPC established a spokesperson’s office to offer greater and more regular disclosure of its legislative activities, including brief summaries of public input on draft legislation.
In the past two years, however, the legislature has appeared increasingly tempted to embrace the secrecy afforded by the Great Hall of the People. It has been withholding legislative drafts at a greater frequency—five in 2020–2021 alone versus five total during 2015–2019. It has also started to hide certain bills on its legislative agenda from the public until shortly before or, worse, until after their adoption. This practice not only departs from the legislature’s transparency norm, but is also at odds with the party-state’s legal reform agenda and recent official rhetoric on China’s political system. Yet the NPC Standing Committee (NPCSC) is now poised to write this practice into law, in effect guaranteeing its continued use, and once again highlighting the party-state’s competing desires for legal predictability and flexibility.
In this post, I will share the data underlying this article and discuss more arcana of the NPCSC’s agenda-disclosure practice. I thus highly recommend that you read the above article first before continuing.Continue reading “The Chinese Legislature’s Hidden Agenda”
The 13th NPC Standing Committee (NPCSC) will convene for its 33rd session late this month. The Council of Chairpersons is expected to meet soon after the Lunar New Year holiday (which ends on February 7) to decide on the agenda and dates of the session. The NPCSC will mainly make preparations for the 2022 NPC session at its upcoming meeting, but is still likely to review one or two legislative bills. Possible candidates include:
As we bid farewell to 2021, we look back at the National People’s Congress’s and our work in the past year.Continue reading “Year in Review: The NPC and the Observer in 2021”
The following laws take effect on January 1:
- Supervision Officials Law [监察官法] (adopted Aug. 20, 2021);
- Legal Aid Law [法律援助法] (adopted Aug. 20, 2021);
- Family Education Promotion Law [家庭教育促进法] (adopted Oct. 23, 2021);
- Land Borders Law [陆地国界法] (adopted Oct. 23, 2021);
- amendment to the Audit Law [审计法] (adopted Oct. 23, 2021);
- revised Scientific and Technological Progress Law [科学技术进步法] (adopted Dec. 24, 2021);
- amendment to the Civil Procedure Law [民事诉讼法] (adopted Dec. 24, 2021); and
- amendment to the Trade Unions Law [工会法] (adopted Dec. 24, 2021).
The NPC Standing Committee (NPCSC) is seeking public comments on the following bills through January 22:
- draft 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];
- draft revision to the Vocational Education Law [职业教育法];
- draft revision to the Company Law [公司法];
- 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 Black Soil Protection Law [黑土地保护法];
- draft revision to the Women’s Rights and Interests Protection Law [妇女权益保障法];
- draft Yellow River Protection Law [黄河保护法]; and
- draft Emergency Response and Management Law [突发事件应对管理法].
The NPCSC will convene for its next regularly scheduled session in late February.
Last Friday, December 24, the 13th NPC Standing Committee (NPCSC) concluded its 32nd session and adopted eight bills. To give the new Anti–Organized Crime Law [反有组织犯罪法] the attention it deserves and to limit the length of this post, we will publish a separate summary of that Law, likely in January. The other seven bills are discussed below.Continue reading “NPCSC Enacts Legislation to Improve Plant Variety Protections, Curb Noise Pollution, Protect Wetlands & Strengthen Legislative Oversight of the Economy”
The NPC Standing Committee (NPCSC) is soliciting public comments on the following eight bills through January 22, 2022:
|Draft Name||Chinese Text||Explanatory Document|
|Organic Law of Local People’s Congresses at All Levels and Local People’s Governments at All Levels (2nd Draft Amendment)|
|Vocational Education Law (2nd Draft Revision)|
|Company Law (Draft Revision)|
|NPCSC Rules of Procedure (Draft Amendment)|
|Black Soil Protection Law (Draft)|
|Women’s Rights and Interests Protection Law (Draft Revision)|
|Yellow River Protection Law (Draft)|
|Emergency Response and Management Law (Draft)|
(i.e., revision to the Emergency Response Law)
English translations will be provided if and when available. All explanatory documents are in Chinese. The symbol “Δ” means that a file includes a chart comparing the latest draft amendment or revision with the current law or a prior draft.
To submit comments online, please refer to this guide. 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 “<Draft Name in Chinese>征求意见” on the envelope.
From 1980 to 2021, China imposed some form of enforceable birth quota on most of its population. A one-child policy had been implemented until late 2013, when it was partially relaxed so that couples may have two children if one parent was an only child. Then in 2016, the modified one-child policy was replaced by a two-child policy, which was in turn superseded by a three-child policy in May 2021. Although a formal birth quota remains after the latest policy change, a statutory amendment in August eliminated all the penalties that once attached to violations of the quota, such as hefty fines and terminations of employment. In effect, couples who exceed the three-child limit will not be penalized, though they will be ineligible for benefits such as extended maternity leave.Continue reading “Recording & Review: Invalidating Compulsory Parentage Testing as a Tool to Enforce Birth Quotas”
Two months ago, on October 13–14, the Communist Party held the first-ever “Central Conference on Work Related to the People’s Congresses” [中央人大工作会议]. In the lead-up to the Conference and in the months since, the concept of “whole-process people’s democracy” [全过程人民民主] has permeated official discourse and was recently further expounded on in a government white paper titled China: Democracy That Works (the Chinese title, “中国的民主” (China’s Democracy), is blander). That concept requires further study and assessment, and the Conference could prove significant in additional ways, especially for the people’s congress system. We thus translated the readout of the Conference (via Xinhua) below, while we await, hopefully, the release of the full text of Xi Jinping’s speech at the Conference on which the readout is largely based.Continue reading “Translation: Readout of October 2021 Central Conference on Work Related to the People’s Congresses”