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.
The NPC Standing Committee (NPCSC) concluded its last session in 2017 on December 27, with the passage of three legislative bills and two decisions. As usual, in this blog post we will summarize and explain the actions taken by the NPCSC yesterday, with a focus on the approved Hong Kong-Mainland Cooperation Agreement regarding the joint checkpoint plan for a cross-border high-speed rail.
UPDATE (Dec. 23, 2017): The NPCSC has released the finalized agenda and daily schedule of the ongoing session. This agenda, unlike the agendas of past December sessions since the early 1990s, does not include a draft decision to convene the NPC session of the following year (which would be the 1st Session of the 13th NPC). This is highly unusual. But the significance (if any) of the absence of that decision is not clear at this point. Elsewhere, in a report on the draft Supervision Law (as reported by state media), the NPC Law Committee seemed to be deliberately avoiding referring explicitly to the 1st Session of the 13th NPC: It recommended that the NPCSC submit the draft Supervision Law to “a session of the NPC” (全国人民代表大会会议) for deliberation, short of identifying the specific NPC session (unlike what it had done before). Through this update we merely wish to point out these irregularities. It is still premature to speculate whether the 2018 NPC session will convene as usual on March 5 because the Council of Chairmen could always add a convening decision to the agenda (though it doesn’t explain why it hasn’t done so already). In any event, we will find out on December 27 when the ongoing NPCSC session closes.
As predicted, the Council of Chairmen met on Thursday (December 14) to set the dates and propose an agenda for the second last session of the 12th NPC Standing Committee (NPCSC). According Xinhua’s report of the Council’s meeting, an astonishing 12 legislative bills (among others) were submitted to the upcoming six-day NPCSC session (December 22–27) for deliberation, the most ever since the start of the 12th NPC. Most of these bills are worth paying close attention to because of their subject matters, as we will discuss below.
UPDATE (Nov. 22, 2017): This post has been updated with the explanations of two decisions passed by the 30th Session of the 12th NPCSC. See details below.
The 12th NPC Standing Committee (NPCSC) concluded its 30th Session last Saturday with the passage of various laws and decisions. This post is a quick rundown of the actions taken by the the NPCSC at the close of the session. Unfortunately, due to other things requiring much of our attention, this time we aren’t able to include the usual level of details as we did before. Apologies. Also, please let us know if any of the links below directs to the wrong webpage—we wrote this blog post in a hurry.
Reports on Tuesday that the NPC Standing Committee (NPCSC) is considering an amendment to the Criminal Law to prescribe harsher punishment for disrespecting China’s national anthem seem to have taken many by surprise. (They wouldn’t have been if they had been reading our Blog!) Some question the necessity of such a move if the conduct was already criminalized by the National Anthem Law (it was not). Some wonder whether the amendment will be applied to Hong Kong and Macau (it won’t be). Here in this post, we answer a few of such questions on the National Anthem Law, the newest Criminal Law amendment, and their implications for Hong Kong.