Communist Party Releases New Set of NPC-Related Reform Goals in First Five-Year Plan on Building Rule of Law in China

On Sunday, January 10, 2021, the Communist Party releases China’s first Plan on Building the Rule of Law in China [法治中国建设规划], for the years 2020 to 2025. According to an unnamed Party official interviewed by Xinhua, the Plan was approved by two top Party institutions: the Central Commission for Overall Law-Based Governance and the Politburo Standing Committee. The Plan is a comprehensive document addressing all aspects of China’s legal reform. Not only does it restate and refine reform objectives laid down since the 18th Party Congress in 2012, it also includes new reform goals. Below, we will focus on four subsections of the Plan that set forth new reform goals relating to the NPC. We will translate the relevant parts of those subsections and supplement with our comments.

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NPCSC Now Researching Expansion of Constitutional Review

In a recent exclusive interview with the Legal Daily, LIANG Ying (梁鹰), director of the Office for Recording and Reviewing Regulations under the Legislative Affairs Commission (LAC) of the NPC Standing Committee (NPCSC), revealed that authorities are now contemplating significant expansion of the scope of constitutional review (合宪性审查), following the Communist Party’s decision to “advance constitutional review” at its 19th Congress. The theoretical and practical feasibility of the reforms that Liang mentioned was still under research. And it is unknown at this point whether, or when, those proposed reforms would be implemented. But the fact that the authorities have chosen to disclose them indicates similar reforms will be eventually implemented. This interview is thus worth paying close attention to. Some unorganized thoughts follow the summary of the interview. All emphases below are ours.

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State Council Releases Legislative Plan for 2017

The State Council on Monday released its legislative plan for 2017 (2017 Plan). Because of this Blog’s focus, this post will only take a look at those projects in the 2017 Plan that will require the approval of the National People’s Congress (NPC) or its Standing Committee (NPCSC)—that is, proposed new laws or revisions of existing laws. For other projects (which concern administrative regulations), please refer to the linked plan itself.

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China to Overhaul Anti-Corruption System (UPDATED)

Update (Nov. 6, 2017): For more information on the supervision commissions, please see this post. The first draft of the Supervision Law (监察法) is available here.


Nov. 25 Update: As reported by Xinhua, Wang Qishan, who now heads the new Central Leading Group for Pilot Work on Deepening Reform of the State Supervision System, said today that the Party will ask the NPCSC for an authorization before formally proceeding with the pilot projects. He also confirmed that the new supervision commissions will be composed of the soon-to-be-former administrative departments of supervision and corruption prevention, and also of the subdivisions of the procuratorates that investigate official duty crimes. The first step of the pilots, according to Wang, is to transfer those subdivisions from the procuratorates to the supervision commissions. He also hinted that a State Supervision Law will be adopted in the future, and which will most likely replace the current Administrative Supervision Law.


On November 7, as your author observed, the NPCSC removed the head of the Ministry of Supervision but left the position open. News from later that day explained the unusual move: The Communist Party plans to reform the state supervision system (国家监察体制) and has deployed pilot projects in Beijing, Shanxi, and Zhejiang. It seems that the Ministry of Supervision will in a few years become history. Below, this post will introduce the specifics of the reform that have since been made public, and will discuss how the reform will concern the NPC and lower-level people’s congresses.

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