2018 NPC Session: Documents List

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.

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A Guide to 2018 State Council Institutional Reforms

Editor’s Note: On December 13, 2022, we updated this page with an embedded PDF version of our summary of the 2018 State Council reorganization plan, approved on March 17, 2018. We have made no substantive change to our original summary. We also removed introductions to the various types of State Council bodies, which are now available on this page, along with the State Council’s current organizational chart. This page before the update was archived here.

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). 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 below. 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.

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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.

The original text of the Amendment and our translation are placed in block quotes below, followed by our annotation of each article. Some of the texts are formatted to enhance readability.

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Demographics of the 13th NPC (Updated)

Editor’s Note: The 13th NPC’s term ended in March 2023. For the demographics of the 14th NPC (2023–), please see this post.

Editor’s Note: This post does not reflect the subsequent changes in the 13th NPC’s membership.

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.

With the help of an old friend, we downloaded the publicly available information of all 2,980 delegates from the NPC’s website, including their gender, ethnicity, month of birth, jiguan [籍贯] (defined below), and political affiliation. (Unfortunately, information that used to be available, including educational background, is missing for the 13th NPC delegates.) We then analyzed the data and made some interesting findings that we present below.

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2018 NPC Session: Schedule of Press Conferences (UPDATED)

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).

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2018 NPC Session: Agenda and Daily Schedule (with Explanations)

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).

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NPC Calendar: March 2018 (UPDATED)

UPDATE (Mar. 6, 2018): The finalized agenda and daily schedule of the Session are explained here.

The 1st Session of the 13th NPC will open on March 5. Access the full list of 2,980 newly elected delegates at this link (PDF). We took a quick look at the composition of these delegates in this post. Based on currently available information, the following is an (almost complete) list of matters expected to be on the agenda for the Session:

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NPCSC Revises Oath-Taking Provisions, Releases List of 13th NPC Delegates & Extends IPO Reform

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.

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NPCSC to Prepare for Upcoming NPC Session & Revise Oath-taking Provisions

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.

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NPC Calendar: February 2018

The 12th NPC Standing Committee (NPCSC) will convene for its 33rd—and last—session in late February. The Council of Chairmen is expected to meet to set the dates and agenda for the session before the week-long Chinese New Year holiday begins on February 15.

This session will certify results of the currently ongoing elections of the delegates to the 13th NPC, which will first convene on March 5. An explanation of the guidelines for these elections can be found here.

We also expect the upcoming session to hear the State Council’s mid-term report on a pilot reform of the social insurance system. Authorized by the NPCSC in late 2016, the reform suspends the enforcement of two provisions of the Social Insurance Law in twelve cities so as to combine the maternity insurance funds and the basic health insurance funds, which would have been run separately under the suspended provisions.

We expect only a few (perhaps one or two) legislative bills to be submitted to the session for deliberation. Possible candidates include the draft E-Commerce Law and the draft Soil Pollution Prevention and Control Law.

(Editing by Changhao Wei)

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