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.
The following legislations and decisions take effect on January 1, 2018:
- Environmental Protection Tax Law (环境保护税法; adopted on December 25, 2016)
- Nuclear Safety Law (核安全法; adopted on September 1, 2017)
- Public Libraries Law (公共图书馆法; adopted on November 4, 2017)
- Amendment to the Water Pollution Prevention and Control Law (水污染防治法; adopted on June 26, 2017)
- Amendments to the Judges Law and seven other laws, which replace the unified national judicial exam (国家统一司法考试) with a new unified national legal profession qualification exam (国家统一法律职业资格考试) (adopted on September 1, 2017)
- Revised Small and Medium-sized Enterprises Promotion Law (中小企业促进法; adopted on September 1, 2017)
- Revised Law Against Unfair Competition (反不正当竞争法; adopted on November 4, 2017)
- Revised Standardization Law (标准化法; adopted on November 4, 2017)
The 19th Central Committee of the Communist Party will convene for its Second Plenum this month to discuss proposals for amending China’s Constitution. We expect the NPCSC to hold a non-regularly scheduled session shortly thereafter to draft a constitutional amendment based on the Party’s proposals. We also expect this NPCSC session to adopt a decision to convene the 1st Session of the 13th NPC on March 5, 2018.
Pursuant to a March 2017 decision of the NPC (discussed here), the roughly 3,000 delegates to the 13th NPC will be elected by the end of this month. The 12th NPCSC will certify the results of the elections at its next regularly scheduled session in late February.
The official Xinhua News Agency reported on December 27 that the Politburo decided to convene the Second Plenum of the 19th Central Committee of the Communist Party in January 2018. The main agenda of the Plenum is to “discuss and study proposals for amending part of [China’s current] Constitution,” which was adopted in 1982 and later amended four times in 1988, 1993, 1999, and 2004. Under Chinese law (and a key CPC policy document), the constitutional amendment process essentially includes three steps. In this post, we will explain each step in turn and point out the key events to watch during the next several months.