The Council of Chairmen met on August 17 and decided that the 13th NPC Standing Committee (NPCSC) will meet for its fifth session from August 27 to 31. The session will consider at least seven legislative bills, including the much-anticipated draft Separate Parts of China’s first Civil Code, draft E-Commerce Law, and three tax bills. As usual, below we take a look at the legislative bills on the session’s agenda.
The 13th NPC Standing Committee (NPCSC) concluded its third bimonthly session on Friday (June 22) without adopting any legislative bills, including the draft E-Commerce Law that it had already reviewed three times (this session included). Several new provisions in the latest draft have sparked heated discussion during the session and could potentially further delay passage of the law. The session did adopt a decision granting law enforcement powers to the now-militarized China Coast Guard, the details of which will be discussed below.
UPDATE (June 19, 2018): On Tuesday (June 19), it was revealed that the State Council had submitted a draft amendment to the Individual Income Tax Law (个人所得税法) to the ongoing NPCSC session. This amendment came as a surprise because it was only a preparatory project in the NPCSC’s 2018 legislative plan. State media on Tuesday also released the Ministry of Finance’s explanation of the draft amendment. We expect to publish a summary of the draft after it is released for public comments.
In addition, the NPCSC will not vote on the E-Commerce Law at the end of the current session. We thus expect it to return for a fourth and final round of deliberation by the end of 2018, likely in August or October.
The Council of Chairmen decided on Monday (June 11) that the next NPC Standing Committee (NPCSC) session will take place from June 19 to 22. The session will consider three draft laws and two potentially significant draft decisions. A rundown of the agenda follows.
The Council of Chairmen decided on Tuesday that the 13th NPC Standing Committee (NPCSC) will convene its second session from April 25 to 27. The three-day session will review draft laws and decisions involving increased protection for Communist “heroes and martyrs,” reform of China’s people’s assessor (or lay judge) system, implementation of the State Council reorganization plan, and the Shanghai Financial Court. The Council also approved the NPCSC’s 2018 legislative and oversight plans; we will publish our coverage and analysis after they are released in the coming weeks.
The following is a list of all official documents presented to, adopted by, or otherwise related to the 1st Session of the 13th NPC, which concluded last Tuesday (March 20). Xinhua only finished publishing these documents today. Currently, only Chinese versions of these documents are available. Official English translations of four reports (noted below) will become available soon. This post will then be updated accordingly.
UPDATED (Mar. 9, 2018): This post has been updated to reflect changes to the topic of the Ministry of Commerce’s press conference and the time of the Ministry of Environmental Protection’s press conference.
The Press Conference of the 1st Session of the 13th NPC released a preliminary schedule of press conferences on Wednesday. The schedule is partially translated below; for the names and titles of the officials in attendance, please refer to the Chinese text.
This schedule is subject to change. All updates will be reflected in this post and announced on Twitter. Links to transcripts and videos of the press conferences will be added when available. All times in this post are in Beijing Time (UTC +8:00).
The 2018 NPC session released its agenda and daily schedule on Sunday, after they were approved by the Session’s preparatory meeting and Presidium, respectively. This year’s NPC session will open on the morning of March 5 and close on the morning of March 20, lasting a total of 15½ days (consistent with our earlier prediction). All times in this post are in Beijing Time (UTC +8:00).
The 12th NPC Standing Committee (NPCSC) concluded its last session on Saturday. First, it revised its Decision on Implementing the Constitutional Oath System (English translation here), adopted in mid-2015. It made threefold changes to the original Decision: (1) The oath is slightly modified based on President Xi Jinping’s report to the Party’s 19th Congress; (2) language relating to supervision commissions is inserted where appropriate; and (3) the national anthem is required to be played and sung at oath-taking ceremonies per the National Anthem Law enacted last year. We have translated the revised Decision here.
The 12th NPC Standing Committee (NPCSC) will convene its 33rd—and also the last—session from February 23 to 24, the Council of Chairmen decided on Saturday. Most items on the agenda concern the upcoming 1st Session of the 13th NPC starting on March 5—for example, a list of people invited to observe this NPC session. The 33rd session will also certify results of the elections of delegates to the 13th NPC. The full list of delegates, expected to include around 2,970 names (along with their genders and ethnicities), will be released on February 24. But the delegates’ other information, including political affiliation and educational background, most likely won’t be released until after this year’s NPC session.
UPDATE (Jan. 30, 2018): The NPCSC decided to convene the 2018 NPC session on March 5, 2018, as expected. The Party’s proposals for amending the Constitution have yet to be released.
The Council of Chairmen decided today to convene the second special session—also the 32nd session—of the 12th NPC Standing Committee (NPCSC) from January 29 to 30, 2018.[*] This short two-day session will focus on two things: (1) deliberating a constitutional amendment drafted on the basis of the Communist Party’s proposals for amending the Constitution that were approved last week; and (2) considering a decision to convene the 1st Session of the 13th NPC.
To quote our previous explainer on how the constitutional amendment process will unfold at the NPCSC:
On the first day of [the two-day] session, the NPCSC will hear an explanation of the Party’s proposals, which will likely be released on the same day. The NPCSC will then proceed to draft a constitutional amendment based on the proposals. In fact, we expect the draft amendment to use exactly the same words as the proposals would, as the NPCSC has never deviated from the Party’s proposals in any way (except in how it numbers the articles, for a new constitutional amendment continues the numbering of articles in the last one) in drafting constitutional amendments. On the last day of the session, the NPCSC will unanimously decide to submit the draft constitutional amendment to the 1st Session of the 13th NPC for deliberation. There probably won’t be any opportunity for public comments.
The special session will also review, and pass, a decision to convene the 1st Session of the 13th NPC, likely on March 5, 2018. (Such a decision is typically made in the December preceding the session.) Apart from the usual matters that annual NPC sessions consider (such as the various work reports), the 2018 NPC session will also select a new state leadership, which, for the first time ever, will include the Chairman of the soon-to-be-established P.R.C. Supervision Commission (so named under the draft Supervision Law). In addition, the NPC will deliberate, and approve, the Supervision Law and the constitutional amendment.
NOTE: We do not plan to post a separate blog post on the outcome of this upcoming NPCSC session, because there likely won’t be any new development we have not already discussed above. Should there be any newsworthy development, however, we will update this post instead. Thus, follow us on Twitter to receive notifications of the update or remember to check this post again at the end of this month. That said, we do plan to publish a translation and analysis of the Party’s proposals for amending the Constitution once they are released. Stay tuned.
[*] The first special session took place in September 2016 to deal with the unusual situation where the Standing Committee of the Liaoning Provincial People’s Congress lacked a quorum because over half of its members had been disqualified for vote buying.