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

UPDATE (Dec. 21, 2020): According to an NPCSC spokesperson, the NPCSC will continue deliberating the draft revision to the Rural Revitalization Promotion Law and the draft Coast Guard law in 2021. These two bills thus will not pass at this NPCSC session.

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 Amends Copyright Law & Adopts Veterans Support Law

The 13th NPC Standing Committee (NPCSC) concluded its 23rd session on Wednesday, November 11, 2020 and adopted three bills. We already wrote about the new decision on the qualifications for members of the Hong Kong Legislative Council. Here, we will focus on the other two bills: an amendment to the Copyright Law [著作权法] and a new Veterans Support Law [退役军人保障法].

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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 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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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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NPCSC Session Watch: Patent, Export Control, Personal Information Protection, Wildlife Protection & National Defense

On Tuesday, September 29, the Council of Chairpersons decided to convene the 22nd session of the 13th NPC Standing Committee (NPCSC) from October 13 to 17. The NPCSC’s regular sessions ordinarily take place during the last ten days of a month. This upcoming session is likely moved forward to make way for the Communist Party’s Fifth Plenum, scheduled from October 26 to 29. The NPCSC will review at least fifteen bills at its five-day session next month. A quick rundown follows.

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NPCSC Extends Term of Incumbent Hong Kong Legislature, Authorizes Hong Kong & Macau Lawyers to Practice in Mainland & Approves Two Tax Laws

The 13th NPC Standing Committee (NPCSC) concluded its twenty-first session on Tuesday, August 11. It adopted five bills, most notably a decision allowing the incumbent Hong Kong Legislative Council (LegCo) to continue serving for at least another year after its original term expires next month. We will focus on this decision below and briefly summarize the other bills.

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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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NPCSC Concludes First June Session Before Immediately Scheduling Another, Likely to Adopt Hong Kong National Security Law (Updated)

UPDATE (July 5, 2020): The NPCSC has unanimously approved the Hong Kong National Security Law and added it to Annex III of the Hong Kong Basic Law. The Law took effect in Hong Kong at 11 p.m. on June 30. Our partial summary of it is here.

UPDATE (June 28, 2020): The draft Hong Kong National Security Law has been added to the agenda of the ongoing NPCSC session. We expect the NPCSC to approve the bill and add it to Annex III to the Hong Kong Basic Law by Tuesday.


The 13th NPC Standing Committee (NPCSC) concluded its 19th session on Saturday, June 20. It adopted three bills and approved China’s accession to the Arms Trade Treaty. On that same day, the Council of Chairpersons decided to convene the NPCSC again later this month, from June 28 to 30, merely one week after the 19th session. According to the readout of the Council’s meeting, it has placed six bills on the 20th session’s tentative agenda—not including the draft 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] (Hong Kong National Security Law). But once again the readout concludes the list of bills with the character “等” (or “et cetera”), so the Hong Kong National Security Law could be included in the final agenda at the last minute—again. The NPCSC ordinarily meets once every two months; it has not held two sessions in such close proximity in over at least two decades. It seems to us, then, that the 20th session is scheduled to expedite—and pass—the Hong Kong National Security Law, while ensuring that the NPCSC complies with the Legislation Law’s requirement that new laws be adopted after at least two reviews.

Below, we will briefly review the bills adopted on Saturday and preview the upcoming 20th session, before concluding with the possible next steps for the Hong Kong National Security Law.

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NPCSC Session Watch: Public Employee Sanctions, Veterans Support, Rural Revitalization & (Temporary?) Absence of Hong Kong National Security Law (Updated)

UPDATE (June 19, 2020): The NPCSC most certainly will not approve the Hong Kong National Security Law (HKNSL) on Saturday, the last day of its ongoing session, according to the latest information. The Council of Chairpersons met on Friday and approved the voting versions of several bills, which did not include the HKNSL. Similarly, multiple sources told the South China Morning Post that the Law “was unlikely to be passed during this meeting or come into effect on Saturday even if it was endorsed on the same day.”

UPDATE (June 18, 2020): Xinhua reports on Thursday that a draft 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] has been submitted to the NPCSC for review. Follow us on Twitter or subscribe to our blog posts for future updates.

Our assessment as of June 18 is that the NPCSC will not pass the Hong Kong National Security Law at this session. Recall that for the Law to be enforced in Hong Kong, it is not enough that the NPCSC adopts it—it must also be listed in Annex III of the Hong Kong Basic Law. Were both actions—NPCSC approval and Annex III listing—to occur during a single session, by convention, the NPCSC would have to pass the Law first, and wait until the next day at least to list the Law in Annex III. This sequence of events theoretically could happen during this three-day session, but only if the NPCSC passes the Law on Friday (so that the listing can occur on Saturday). It does not appear that a plenary meeting (where voting occurs) is scheduled for Friday, however. The Law is thus unlikely to pass on Saturday, because the NPCSC would then have to wait till the next session (whether in July or August) to add it to Annex III—which would unnecessarily delay the process. The more likely scenario is that the NPCSC will consider the draft Law again in the near future, before approving it and listing it in Annex III during that meeting. This assessment is subject to change, however, as more information (such as the ongoing session’s daily schedule) becomes available. (Of course, that the Legislation Law essentially bars the NPCSC from adopting a new law after only a single review would be another reason why this Law won’t pass on Saturday, assuming the NPCSC follows the Legislation Law.)


The Council of Chairpersons decided on Tuesday, June 9 to convene the 19th session of the 13th NPC Standing Committee (NPCSC) from June 18 to 20. According to the official readout of the Council’s meeting, the upcoming session will consider five legislative bills. The readout does not mention the closely watched Hong Kong national security law that was authorized by the NPC’s May 28 decision, but this bill may still appear on the finalized agenda next week. A quick rundown follows.

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