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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Translation: NPCSC’s New Public Health Legislative Plan in Response to COVID-19

Editor’s Note (Oct. 2, 2020): This page is not being updated. For the latest status of each project in this legislative plan, please see the Legislation page or the projects’ individual bill pages.

On Wednesday, April 29, the NPC Standing Committee (NPCSC) released a special legislative plan in response to the COVID-19 pandemic that is devoted to improving China’s public health legislation. According to an NPCSC spokesperson, the pandemic has exposed the “gaps” in and the “weaknesses” of the current legal scheme. Because to fix those problems many laws need to be enacted or updated, the authorities thought it appropriate to formulate a legislative plan to proceed in a coordinated manner. The spokesperson also said that the legislature would approach different laws in different ways: some would need complete overhauls, while some (like newer ones) would need only “targeted” changes. Finally, as expected, the NPCSC will focus on public health legislation in the near future, and other legislative projects would be deprioritized as a result.

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Translation: 13th NPC Standing Committee Five-Year Legislative Plan

On Friday, the 13th NPC Standing Committee (NPCSC) held a Legislative Work Conference and released its five-year legislative plan, which we translated in full below. We will start first with a brief introduction to the NPCSC’s five-year legislative plans in general and an overview of the newest plan.

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NPCSC Solicits Public Comments on Draft Amendment to Criminal Procedure Law (Trial in Absentia Procedures Translated) (UPDATED)

UPDATE (May 11, 2018): The link to an English translation of the draft amendment is added below.


The NPC Standing Committee (NPCSC) is soliciting public comments on a new draft amendment to the Criminal Procedure Law (刑事诉讼法) that it just considered at its session last month. The comments period ends on June 7, 2018. We expect the amendment to pass by late August at the latest.

The original Chinese (PDF) version is available here. An English translation is available on China Law Translate. Its accompanying explanation can be read here.

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A Guide to 2018 State Council Institutional Reforms (FURTHER UPDATED)

NOTE to readers (July 20, 2018): An organizational chart of the reorganized State Council can be found here.

NOTE to readers (Mar. 21, 2018): The Communist Party on March 21 released the Plan to Deepen Reform of Party and State Institutions, the section of which concerning the State Council is summarized in this post. While some other parts of the plan also made changes to the State Council’s organizational structure, these changes are NOT reflected in the summary.

UPDATE (Mar. 17, 2018): The NPC has approved the State Council Institutional Reform Plan of 2018. We have accordingly updated our summary.


Details of the eighth round of State Council reorganization in the “Reform and Opening up” era were revealed to the delegates attending the ongoing 1st Session of the 13th NPC on Tuesday. Previous rounds took place in 1982, 1988, 1993, 1998, 2003, 2008, and 2013. In this post, we present our own summary of the 2018 State Council Institutional Reform Plan (国务院机构改革方案), along with information that we think would help our readers better understand the Plan. The NPC is scheduled to approve the Plan on Saturday (March 17).

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Annotated Translation: 2018 Amendment to the P.R.C. Constitution (Version 2.0)

On March 11, 2018, the 1st Session of the 13th NPC adopted the following Constitutional Amendment with 2,958 votes in favor, two against, and three abstentions. Sixteen delegates were absent and one vote cast was declared invalid.

We published the original annotated English translation of this Constitutional Amendment on the day it was adopted. Given the public’s unabated interest in this important document ever since, on February 7, 2019, we comprehensively updated our annotations of the amendment—in particular those of the several articles that amended the Preamble. We also updated the translation in accordance with our recent translation of the entire Constitution as amended. Thanks to Taige Hu’s substantial contribution to this project.

We formatted some of the texts below to enhance readability. Our annotations are in brackets.

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Translation: Communist Party’s Proposals for Amending the P.R.C. Constitution (2018) (Updated)

UPDATE (Nov. 26, 2019): An English translation (with annotations) of the 2018 amendment to the P.R.C. Constitution that is based on the following proposals is available here.

UPDATE (Feb. 26, 2018): This translation now also appears on China Law Translate.


The Communist Party today released full text of its proposals for amending the P.R.C. Constitution, which are translated below. In translating this document, we mostly followed the official English translation of the Constitution that is available on the NPC’s website. Some texts below are formatted to enhance readability. Our comments are in brackets. The translation is subject to further modifications.

As we have said before, the Constitutional Amendment eventually adopted by the NPC in March will most likely be identical to the following proposals, except for the use of maybe one or two characters or punctuations. No governmental or Party entity is publicly soliciting comments on the following proposals.

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Translation: NPCSC Decision on Implementing the Constitutional Oath System (2018 Revision)

全国人民代表大会常务委员会关于实行宪法宣誓制度的决定
Decision of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress on Implementing the Constitutional Oath System

(2015年7月1日第十二届全国人民代表大会常务委员会第十五次会议通过 2018年2月24日第十二届全国人民代表大会常务委员会第三十三次会议修订)
(Adopted by the 15th Session of the Standing Committee of the 12th National People’s Congress on July 1, 2015; Revised by the 33rd Session of the Standing Committee of the 12th National People’s Congress on February 24, 2018)

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Translation: Second Draft of the Supervision Law (监察法二次审议稿)

The NPC Standing Committee (NPCSC) conducted a second reading of the draft Supervision Law (监察法) in late December 2017, but has yet to release the second draft for public comments. With the 2018 NPC session only a month away, we think there is now no realistic possibility that the NPCSC will do so. That said, we do have a copy of the second draft that was released by the China Law Review on its WeChat account. For various reasons, including the fact that this document reflects all the changes made to the first draft as reported by statemedia, we are convinced of its authenticity.

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Translation: National Anthem Law of the People’s Republic of China

Order of the President of the People’s Republic of China
No. 75

The National Anthem Law of the People’s Republic of China, having been adopted by the 29th Session of the Standing Committee of the 12th National People’s Congress on September 1, 2017, is hereby promulgated, to take effect on October 1, 2017.

XI Jinping, President of the People’s Republic of China
September 1, 2017

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