In his 2018 Government Work Report, Premier Li Keqiang vowed to “raise the [individual] income tax threshold and create expense deductions for items like children’s education and treatment for serious diseases.” Fulfillment of this promise primarily falls on the Ministry of Finance (MOF) and the State Administration of Taxation (SAT), which managed to draft an amendment to the Individual Income Tax Law and submitted it to the NPC Standing Committee (NPCSC) in under three months. But the bill did not fare particularly well in the NPCSC. According to reports by Caixin and the Legal Daily, legislators questioned certain main provisions of the draft amendment during group deliberations. Before turning to their opinions, we will first introduce the main content of the draft amendment below.
Update (September 13, 2017): China Law Translate has translated the draft revisions to the Law Against Unfair Competition (linked below).
After releasing the draft revisions to the People’s Court Organic Law and the People’s Procuratorates Organic Law for public comments on Monday, the NPCSC is now soliciting public opinions on three additional laws.
The comments period for the following two laws will end on September 24—i.e., it lasts only 20 days, which signals the NPCSC will almost certainly consider and pass the two bills at its next session in late October.
- Law Against Unfair Competition (Draft Revision) (English translation) 反不正当竞争法修订草案二次审议稿
- Standardization Law (Draft Revision) 标准化法修订草案二次审议稿
The comments period for the third draft law, Tobacco Leaf Tax Law (烟叶税法草案), will run till October 6. The tax rate is 20%.
Only PDF Chinese versions are available at this time. Officials explanations are included in the PDFs.
On Saturday, the WeChat public account “刑法库” published what it claims to be the draft revision (“Draft”) of the People’s Procuratorate Organic Law (“Law”)—along with an accompanying explanation prepared by the NPC Internal and Judicial Affairs Committee (“Committee”)—that is due to be reviewed by the NPCSC this week. For various reasons not elaborated here, we believe the Draft is authentic.
The Draft is dated August 18, 2017, when the Council of Chairmen convened to set the dates and agenda for the NPCSC session this week. Because draft laws aren’t subject to revision between a Council of Chairmen meeting and the ensuing NPCSC session, the version of the draft revision we expect the NPCSC to release after this week’s session should be identical to the Draft.
Here is the Draft in PDF, with the explanation attached. An English translation is not yet available, but we’ll summarize the changes made by the Draft—which are not necessarily new in practice—in bullet points below. Please refer to this post for background information on the ongoing process to revise the Law.
Last month, the NPC Standing Committee (NPCSC) conducted an initial review of a draft National Anthem Law (Draft) (an English translation of which is attached to this post). Much of the media coverage so far has focused on provisions that ban the use of the national anthem at “inappropriate occasions” such as funerals and provide for up to 15 days of detention for “distorted or derogatory” rendition of the anthem, titled “March of the Volunteers.” With only 15 articles, the Draft contains language that is fairly easy to understand. We therefore won’t spend time scrutinizing its content here. Instead, we will take a look at likely developments surrounding the Draft, based on this report by Xinhua.
Closely examine the packaging of any Chinese consumer product and you will most certainly find in the fine print the letters “GB”—the symbol for compulsory national standards. Sitting at the top of China’s standards hierarchy, the “GB” standards are formulated by the State Council and compliance with them is mandatory. Local governments and private entities may also adopt standards, and in many cases compliance is merely voluntary. Together, these standards prescribe uniform technical requirements for diverse fields ranging from purified water bottling to pharmaceutical manufacturing.
Yet, as the Chinese Government itself has recognized, the current standardization system—established in the late 1980s with the enactment of the Standardization Law (1989 Law)—no longer meets actual needs and has even slowed development. In an effort to modernize the system, earlier this year the State Council submitted to the NPC Standing Committee (NPCSC) a draft revision to the Law (Draft), which the NPCSC reviewed last month. The Draft essentially aims at restructuring the existing standardization system, and below we provide a summary of its core content.