The NPC Standing Committee (NPCSC) on Friday released its annual legislative plan for 2018. As usual, the plan is divided into two sections—the first listing specific legislative projects slated for discussion at the NPCSC’s remaining five sessions in 2018, and second setting forth general guiding principles for its legislative work this year. We will discuss only the first part in this post.
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.
In the first installment of the Recording & Review series, we presented a comprehensive introduction to the recording and review (R&R; 备案审查) process in the NPC Standing Committee (NPCSC). Beginning with this installment, we will examine cases where citizens and organizations successfully challenged the legality of normative documents using the R&R procedure. While these cases might not be new, a close examination of them will still offer us important insight into the R&R system—on how it actually operates and what its limitations are.
In July 2017, the Southern Metropolis reported that the Supreme People’s Procuratorate (SPP) had recently discontinued a controversial type of arrest after the NPCSC—more specifically its Legislative Affairs Commission (LAC)—reviewed its constitutionality and legality at the request of Mr. Miao Yongjun, an Inner Mongolian lawyer. Before recounting Mr. Miao’s encounter with the R&R system, we will first briefly introduce the now-abolished type of arrest invented by the SPP.
The 13th NPC Standing Committee (NPCSC) is expected to convene its second session[*] in late April. The Council of Chairmen is expected to meet in mid-April to decide on the dates and agenda of the session. The Council is also expected to approve the NPCSC’s 2018 legislative and oversight plans at this meeting. These plans will then likely be released in late April or early May.
The following draft laws may be included in the upcoming session’s agenda (the months when they were last reviewed by the NPCSC are given in parentheses):
- People’s Courts Organic Law (Revision) (August 2017) 人民法院组织法（修订）
- People’s Procuratorate Organic Law (Revision) (August 2017) 人民检察院组织法（修订）
- Rural Land Contracting Law (Amendment) (October 2017) 农村土地承包法（修正）
- Securities Law (Revision) (April 2017) 证券法（修订）
- Soil Pollution Prevention and Control Law (December 2017) 土壤污染防治法
- E-Commerce Law (October 2017) 电子商务法
- Heroes and Martyrs Protection Law (December 2017) 英雄烈士保护法
[*] It convened its first session on March 21, the day after the 1st Session of the 13th NPC ended. At that session, the 13th NPCSC appointed several deputy Secretaries General, the director of its Budgetary Affairs Commission, the chairman of its Hong Kong and Macau Basic Law Committees, as well as the Vice Chairmen and members of the State Supervision Commission.
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.
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).
Announcement of the National People’s Congress of the People’s Republic of China
The Amendment to the Constitution of the People’s Republic of China has been adopted by the 1st Session of the 13th National People’s Congress of the People’s Republic of China on March 11, 2018 and is hereby promulgated to take effect.
Presidium of the 1st Session of the 13th National People’s Congress of the People’s Republic of China
March 11, 2018 in Beijing
UPDATE (Mar. 11, 2018): We have decided to make the data underlying this post available to the public. You can download the Excel file at this link. The first spreadsheet contains all the raw data automatically downloaded by a web crawler we designed; only the “年龄” (Age) column was added by us. Please also see below for a note on the discrepancies between these data and those provided by the democratic parties. The second spreadsheet contains data derived from the raw data. While we do not claim copyright to these data, we would appreciate if we are credited with making them available.
The 1st Session of the 13th NPC, the most consequential NPC session in recent memory, has entered its seventh day. The 2,980 delegates—roughly three-quarters of whom have never held such a position—are set to vote on the draft constitutional amendment in just a few hours. The amendment is widely expected to pass, of course. And all eyes are on the number of “no” votes and abstentions, if any. But who exactly are these delegates, allegedly “hand-picked” by President Xi Jinping and poised to reward him with indefinite tenure? We think now is as good a time as any to dissect the composition of this new NPC.
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).