Legislation: China’s Quasi-Legislative Decisions

Last updated: June 10, 2021

As discussed in detail in this post, quasi-legislative decisions are a type of legal documents adopted by the NPC or its Standing Committee (NPCSC) without presidential promulgation. While they do not qualify as statutes in the constitutional sense—which are promulgated by the President—quasi-legislative decisions have the same force as statutes and are part of the NPC and NPCSC’s “legislation.”

This page lists almost all quasi-legislative decisions with ongoing effect as of February 1, 2021. (References to the NPC or the NPCSC in their titles are omitted for brevity.) These decisions are divided into ones with long-term effect and ones with temporary effect. Decisions adopted by the NPC are shaded in blue; all other decisions were made by the NPCSC. This page also lists a few documents styled as decisions but qualify as statutes in the constitutional sense. As discussed here, we term these decisions “mini-statutes,” for they are typically much shorter than “full statutes.” The main difference between mini-statutes and quasi-legislative decisions is that the former are promulgated by the President.

We will continue to update this page as new decisions are adopted and existing ones are updated, are repealed, or expire. We will also add English translations (where available) and link to our coverage in the coming weeks and months.

Decisions with Long-Term Effect

Notes: “P.O.” is short for “presidential order” [主席令]. The 1978 Constitution did not create the position of the P.R.C. President and vested the NPCSC with only the authority to adopt “ordinances” [法令], not full national legislative power. The 1982 Constitution later reinstated the Presidency and gave the NPCSC power to enact “statutes” [法律], which must be promulgated by the President.

DecisionDate AdoptedP.O.?SummaryNote
关于中华人民共和国建国以来制定的法律、法令效力问题的决议1979/11/29N/Aconfirming the validity of laws and ordinances enacted since the P.R.C.’s founding, unless inconsistent with the Constitution, laws, and ordinances enacted by the 5th NPC or its Standing Committeequalifying only as an “ordinance” under the 1978 Constitution
关于加强法律解释工作的决议1981/6/10N/Aspecifying various governmental bodies’ roles in interpretating national and local legislationqualifying only as an “ordinance” under the 1978 Constitution; partially superseded by the Legislation Law
关于授权广东省、福建省人民代表大会及其常务委员会制定所属经济特区的各项单行经济法规的决议1981/11/26N/Aauthorizing the Guangdong and Fujian provincial legislatures to enact special economic regulations for their special economic zonesqualifying only as an “ordinance” under the 1978 Constitution
关于开展全民义务植树运动的决议1981/12/13N/Alaunching a nationwide tree-planting campaign in which every able-bodied citizen over eleven should plant 3 to 5 trees per year or volunteer equivalent services 
关于批准长江南通港、张家港对外国籍船舶开放的决定1982/11/19N/Aopening the Nantong and Zhangjiagang ports on the Yangtze River to foreign vesselsqualifying only as an “ordinance” under the 1978 Constitution
关于县级以下人民代表大会代表直接选举的若干规定1983/3/5 prescribing rules for the direct elections of delegates to the people’s congresses at or below the county levelnot promulgated by the President, but officially categorized as a statute
关于国家安全机关行使公安机关的侦查、拘留、预审和执行逮捕的职权的决定1983/9/2 authorizing state security organs to exercise the police’s criminal justice functions 
关于在沿海港口城市设立海事法院的决定1984/11/14Yauthorizing the SPC to establish maritime courts in coastal cities 
关于教师节的决定1985/1/21 designating September 10 as the Teachers’ Day 
关于授权国务院在经济体制改革和对外开放方面可以制定暂行的规定或者条例的决定1985/4/10 authorizing the State Council to enact interim regulations relating to economic reforms and opening up 
关于批准长江南京港对外国籍船舶开放的决定1986/1/20 opening the Nanjing port on the Yangtze River to foreign vessels and authorizing the State Council to open other ports to foreign vessels 
关于对中华人民共和国缔结或者参加的国际条约所规定的罪行行使刑事管辖权的决定1987/6/23 allowing China to exercise criminal jurisdiction consistent with the international treaties it has joined, notwithstanding contrary provisions of domestic criminal lawnot promulgated by the President, but officially categorized as a statute
关于批准法制工作委员会关于对1978年底以前颁布的法律进行清理情况和意见报告的决定1987/11/24 approving a report by Legislative Affairs Commission concluding that 159 laws enacted by end of 1978 had in fact expired 
关于建立海南经济特区的决议1988/4/13 establishing the Hainan Special Economic Zone and authorizing the Hainan provincial legislature to enact special economic zone regulations 
关于设立香港特别行政区的决定1990/4/4 establishing the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region 
关于《中华人民共和国香港特别行政区基本法》的决定1990/4/4 affirming the constitutionality of the Hong Kong Basic Law 
关于《中华人民共和国香港特别行政区基本法》英文本的决定1990/6/28 approving an official English translation of the Hong Kong Basic Law and providing that the Chinese version prevails over the English one in the event of a conflict 
关于惩治走私、制作、贩卖、传播淫秽物品的犯罪分子的决定1990/12/28 (amended 2009/8/27)Yprescribing criminal and administrative penalties for the offenses of smuggling, manufacturing, selling, and distributing obscene articlescriminal provisions have been superseded by the 1997 Criminal Law
关于严禁卖淫嫖娼的决定1991/9/4 (amended 2009/8/27)Yprescribing criminal and administrative penalties for prostitution-related offensescriminal provisions have been superseded by the 1997 Criminal Law; most administrative provisions have also been repealed or lost force
关于严惩拐卖、绑架妇女、儿童的犯罪分子的决定1991/9/4 (amended 2009/8/27)Yprescribing criminal penalties for offenses of kidnapping and trafficking in women and childrencriminal provisions have been superseded by the 1997 Criminal Law
关于批准武汉、九江、芜湖港对外国籍船舶开放的决定1991/10/30 opening the Wuhan, Jiujiang, and Wuhu ports to foreign vessels 
关于授权深圳市人民代表大会及其常务委员会和深圳市人民政府分别制定法规和规章在深圳经济特区实施的决定1992/7/1 authorizing the Shenzhen municipal legislature to enact special economic zone regulations and its municipal government to issue rules 
关于设立中华人民共和国澳门特别行政区的决定1993/3/31 establishing the Macau Special Administrative Region 
关于《中华人民共和国澳门特别行政区基本法》的决定1993/3/31 affirming the constitutionality of the Macau Basic Law 
关于《中华人民共和国澳门特别行政区基本法》葡萄牙文本的决定1993/7/2 approving an official Portuguese translation of the Macau Basic Law and providing that the Chinese version prevails over the Portuguese one in the event of a conflict 
关于外商投资企业和外国企业适用增值税、消费税、营业税等税收暂行条例的决定1993/12/29Yapplying interim tax regulations to foreign and foreign-invested enterprises 
关于中国人民解放军保卫部门对军队内部发生的刑事案件行使公安机关的侦查、拘留、预审和执行逮捕的职权的决定1993/12/29 authorizing the People’s Liberation Army’s security departments to exercise the police’s criminal justice functions with respect to crimes within the military 
关于授权厦门市人民代表大会及其常务委员会和厦门市人民政府分别制定法规和规章在厦门经济特区实施的决定1994/3/22 authorizing the Xiamen municipal legislature to enact special economic zone regulations and its municipal government to issue rules 
关于惩治破坏金融秩序犯罪的决定1995/6/30Yprescribing criminal and administrative penalties for certain financial offenses, including counterfeiting currency, forging financial instruments, bank fraud, and insurance fraudcriminal provisions have been superseded by the 1997 Criminal Law
关于惩治虚开、伪造和非法出售增值税专用发票犯罪的决定1995/10/30Yprescribing criminal and administrative penalties for the offenses of falsely making out, forging, and illegal selling certain tax invoicescriminal provisions have been superseded by the 1997 Criminal Law
关于授权汕头市和珠海市人民代表大会及其常务委员会、人民政府分别制定法规和规章在各自的经济特区实施的决定1996/3/17 authorizing the Shantou and Zhuhai municipal legislatures to enact special economic zone regulations and their municipal governments to issue rules 
关于惩治骗购外汇、逃汇和非法买卖外汇犯罪的决定1998/12/29Ypunishing the crimes of fraudulently purchasing foreign exchange, evading foreign exchange control, and illegally trading in foreign exchange 
关于新疆维吾尔自治区生产建设兵团设置人民法院和人民检察院的决定1998/12/29 establishing courts and procuratorates within the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps 
关于取缔邪教组织、防范和惩治邪教活动的决定1999/10/30 outlawing “cults” [邪教组织] in general and Falun Gong in particular 
关于加强中央预算审查监督的决定1999/12/25
(revised 2021/4/29)
 strengthening the legislature’s role in reviewing and overseeing the implementation of the central budget
关于加强经济工作监督的决定2000/3/1 strengthening the legislature’s role in reviewing and overseeing the implementation of National Economic and Social Development Plans 
关于维护互联网安全的决定2000/12/28 (amended 2009/8/27) interpreting the application of existing criminal law and public security law provisions to online conduct2009 amendment was promulgated by the President, but not officially categorized as a statute
关于设立全民国防教育日的决定2001/8/31 establishing the third Saturday of September as the Nationwide National Defense Education Day 
关于司法鉴定管理问题的决定2005/2/28 (amended 2015/4/24) regulating judicial authenticating institutions and judicial authenticators2015 amendment was promulgated by the President, but not officially categorized as a statute
关于授权香港特别行政区对深圳湾口岸港方口岸区实施管辖的决定2006/10/31 authorizing Hong Kong to exercise jurisdiction over the Hong Kong Port Area of the Shenzhen Bay Port, which is located in the mainland 
关于授权澳门特别行政区对设在横琴岛的澳门大学新校区实施管辖的决定2009/6/27 authorizing Macau to exercise jurisdiction over University of Macau’s new campus, which is located in the mainlandto expire on December 19, 2049, subject to renewal by the NPCSC
关于加强网络信息保护的决定2012/12/28 strengthening protections for citizens’ personal electronic information 
关于废止有关劳动教养法律规定的决定2013/12/28 abolishing the reeducation-through-labor system 
关于调整完善生育政策的决议2013/12/28 replacing the one-child policy with a two-child policy 
关于确定中国人民抗日战争胜利纪念日的决定2014/2/27 designating September 3 as the “Victory Day of the Chinese People’s War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression” 
关于设立南京大屠杀死难者国家公祭日的决定2014/2/27 designating December 13 as the “National Memorial Day for the Victims of the Nanjing Massacre” 
关于设立烈士纪念日的决定2014/8/31 designating September 30 as the Martyrs’ Day 
关于在北京、上海、广州设立知识产权法院的决定2014/8/31 establishing specialized intellectual property courts in Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou 
关于香港特别行政区行政长官普选问题和2016年立法会产生办法的决定2014/8/31 laying down requirements for electing the Hong Kong Chief Executive by universal suffrage 
关于设立国家宪法日的决定2014/11/1 designating December 4 as the National Constitution Day 
关于实行宪法宣誓制度的决定2015/7/1 (revised 2018/2/24) establishing a constitutional-oath system 
关于批准《内地与香港特别行政区关于在广深港高铁西九龙站设立口岸实施”一地两检”的合作安排》的决定2017/12/27 approving and confirming the constitutionality of an agreement between Hong Kong and mainland authorities that allows the latter to exercise jurisdiction over part of a high-speed railway station in Hong Kong 
关于设立上海金融法院的决定2018/4/27 establishing a Shanghai Financial Court 
关于专利等知识产权案件诉讼程序若干问题的决定2018/10/26 authorizing direct appeals to the Supreme People’s Court in certain technical intellectual property cases 
关于国家监察委员会制定监察法规的决定
(English)
2019/10/26 authorizing the State Supervision Commission to adopt “supervisory regulations” [监察法规] 
关于授权澳门特别行政区对横琴口岸澳方口岸区及相关延伸区实施管辖的决定
(English)
2019/10/26 authorizing Macau to exercise jurisdiction over the Macau Port Area of the renovated Hengqin Port and other surrounding areasto expire on December 19, 2049, subject to renewal by the NPCSC
关于废止有关收容教育法律规定和制度的决定
(English)
2019/12/28Yabolishing “custody and education” [收容教育], an extrajudicial detention system for sex workers and their clients 
关于建立健全香港特别行政区维护国家安全的法律制度和执行机制的决定2020/5/28 ordering Hong Kong to enact legislation and create institutions to safeguard national security and authorizing the NPCSC to enact national security legislation for Hong KongBill page
关于香港特别行政区立法会议员资格问题的决定2020/11/11 clarifying Hong Kong legislators’ obligations to uphold the Basic Law and swear allegiance to Hong Kong and disqualifying four pro-democracy legislators 
关于加强国有资产管理情况监督的决定2020/12/26 institutionalizing the NPCSC’s oversight of the State Council’s management of state assets 
关于设立海南自由贸易港知识产权法院的决定2020/12/26 establishing a Hainan Free Trade Port Intellectual Property Court 
关于设立北京金融法院的决定2021/1/12 establishing a Being Financial Court 
关于完善香港特别行政区选举制度的决定2021/3/11authorizing the NPCSC to amend Annexes I and II to the Hong Kong Basic Law to overhaul Hong Kong’s electoral systemBill page
关于授权上海市人民代表大会及其常务委员会制定浦东新区法规的决定2021/6/10authorizing the Shanghai legislature to enact Pudong New Area regulations (comparable to special economic zone regulations)

Decisions with Temporary Effect

DecisionDate AdoptedSummaryNotes
关于军官制度改革期间暂时调整适用相关法律规定的决定2016/12/25suspending certain provisions of the Officers in Active Duty Law and the Regulations on the Military Ranks of PLA Officers while the Central Military Commission conducts pilot reform of the military officer systemto lose real effect once the two statutes are amended to codify the reform
关于国务院机构改革涉及法律规定的行政机关职责调整问题的决定2018/4/27ensuring continuity in the functioning of agencies affected by the 2018 State Council reorganization when the relevant statutes are yet to be amendedto lose real effect once the relevant statutes are all amended to reflect the change in the makeup of agencies and their functions
关于全国人民代表大会宪法和法律委员会职责问题的决定2018/6/22making clear that the NPC Constitution and Law Committee succeeds to its predecessor body’s functions under five statutes and assigning the Committee responsibilities over, inter alia, constitutional review and interpretationto lose real effect once the five statutes are amended to refer to the Committee and incorporate its new duties
关于授权国务院提前下达部分新增地方政府债务限额的决定2018/12/29authorizing the State Council to allow local governments to issue bonds within a certain percentage of their annual new debt limits before the NPC approves that year’s state budgetto expire on December 31, 2022
关于授权国务院在自由贸易试验区暂时调整适用有关法律规定的决定
(English)
2019/10/26authorizing the State Council to suspend certain provisions in seven statutes relating to administrative approvals in China’s free trade zonesto expire on December 1, 2022; partially codified in April 2021
关于授权最高人民法院在部分地区开展民事诉讼程序繁简分流改革试点工作的决定
(English)
2019/12/28authorizing the Supreme People’s Court to pilot civil procedure reform in select courtsto expire on January 15, 2022
关于全面禁止非法野生动物交易、革除滥食野生动物陋习、切实保障人民群众生命健康安全的决定
(English)
2020/2/24imposing a near-total ban on consuming wild terrestrial animals and authorizing enhanced penalties for wildlife crimesto lose real effect after the relevant statutes, including the Wildlife Protection Law, are amended to incorporate its provisions
关于授权国务院在中国(海南)自由贸易试验区暂时调整适用有关法律规定的决定
(English)
2020/4/29authorizing the State Council to suspend certain provisions in three statutes relating to administrative approvals in the Hainan Free Trade Zoneto expire on December 31, 2024
关于授权国务院在粤港澳大湾区内地九市开展香港法律执业者和澳门执业律师取得内地执业资质和从事律师职业试点工作的决定2020/8/11authorizing the State Council to conduct a pilot program that would allow lawyers licensed in Hong Kong or Macau to practice mainland law after passing a special bar examto expire on October 5, 2023
关于香港特别行政区第六届立法会继续履行职责的决定2020/8/11extending the term of the 6th Hong Kong Legislative Council for at least a year, until the 7th Legislative Council is electedto lose real effect once the 7th Legislative Council is elected
关于授权国务院在自由贸易试验区暂时调整适用有关法律规定的决定2021/4/29authorizing the State Council to suspend certain provisions in seven statutes relating to administrative approvals in China’s free trade zonesto expire on July 1, 2024