The NPC Standing Committee (NPCSC) concluded its last session in 2017 on December 27, with the passage of three legislative bills and two decisions. As usual, in this blog post we will summarize and explain the actions taken by the NPCSC yesterday, with a focus on the approved Hong Kong-Mainland Cooperation Agreement regarding the joint checkpoint plan for a cross-border high-speed rail.
UPDATE (Dec. 23, 2017): The NPCSC has released the finalized agenda and daily schedule of the ongoing session. This agenda, unlike the agendas of past December sessions since the early 1990s, does not include a draft decision to convene the NPC session of the following year (which would be the 1st Session of the 13th NPC). This is highly unusual. But the significance (if any) of the absence of that decision is not clear at this point. Elsewhere, in a report on the draft Supervision Law (as reported by state media), the NPC Law Committee seemed to be deliberately avoiding referring explicitly to the 1st Session of the 13th NPC: It recommended that the NPCSC submit the draft Supervision Law to “a session of the NPC” (全国人民代表大会会议) for deliberation, short of identifying the specific NPC session (unlike what it had done before). Through this update we merely wish to point out these irregularities. It is still premature to speculate whether the 2018 NPC session will convene as usual on March 5 because the Council of Chairmen could always add a convening decision to the agenda (though it doesn’t explain why it hasn’t done so already). In any event, we will find out on December 27 when the ongoing NPCSC session closes.
As predicted, the Council of Chairmen met on Thursday (December 14) to set the dates and propose an agenda for the second last session of the 12th NPC Standing Committee (NPCSC). According Xinhua’s report of the Council’s meeting, an astonishing 12 legislative bills (among others) were submitted to the upcoming six-day NPCSC session (December 22–27) for deliberation, the most ever since the start of the 12th NPC. Most of these bills are worth paying close attention to because of their subject matters, as we will discuss below.
Starting in December 2017, we will publish the NPC Calendar as monthly blog posts instead of a widget in the Blog’s sidebar and a series of tweets—however short the Calendar for a particular month may be (in other words, we are going to do this SCOTUSblog-style). This change will make it easier for us to (if necessary) provide a lot more details about NPC-related events each month. The NPC Calendar widget in the sidebar will remain, but will contain a lot less information than the blog post versions so as to provide our readers with a quick overview of NPC-related information each month.
The 12th NPC Standing Committee (NPCSC) will convene for its 31st—and the second last—session in late December. The Council of Chairmen is expected to meet next week to decide on the date and agenda of the 31st Session.
Update (July 18, 2017): The draft Soil Pollution Prevention and Control Law was translated by China Law Translate.
Update (June 28, 2017): The comments period has been shortened by one day, to July 27.
The NPC Standing Committee (NPCSC) is now seeking public comments on the following five draft laws from June 28 to July 27:
- Soil Pollution Prevention and Control Law (Draft) (土壤污染防治法草案)
- Public Libraries Law (Draft) (公共图书馆法草案)
- National Anthem Law (Draft) (国歌法草案) (PDF/Word)
- Specialized Farmers’ Cooperatives Law (Draft Revision) (农民专业合作社法修订草案)
- Small and Medium-sized Enterprises Promotion Law (Draft Revision for 2nd Deliberation) (中小企业促进法修订草案二次审议稿)
The draft Supervision Law (监察法), however, was not simultaneously released. But we expect the NPCSC to release it for public comments at least once at a future date.
All linked files are in Chinese. All are PDF documents except otherwise indicated.
We will publish an English translation of the National Anthem Law shortly, along with some other relevant information.
To submit comments and find more information on these bills online, please refer to these instructions. The NPCSC has also posted “authoritative explanations” (in Chinese) of the draft Soil Pollution Prevention and Control Law and draft revision to the Specialized Farmers’ Cooperatives Law.
Comments can also be mailed to the NPCSC Legislative Affairs Commission (全国人大常委会法制工作委员会) at the following address:
Chinese: 北京市西城区前门西大街1号 邮编：100805
English: No. 1 West Qianmen Avenue, Xicheng District, Beijing 100805
Please clearly write “[BILL NAME IN CHINESE]征求意见” on the envelope.
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(Update: June 28, 2017): China Law Translate has translated the National Intelligence Law.
The NPC Standing Committee (NPCSC) concluded its bimonthly session this afternoon with (among other actions taken) the passage of three bills: a new National Intelligence Law, an amendment to the Water Pollution Prevention and Control Law, as well as amendments to two procedural laws to formally grant the procuratorates (or prosecutor’s offices) nationwide authority to initiate public interest litigation.
Update (June 22, 2017): According to the agenda and daily schedule of the 28th Session released today, a draft Supervision Law (监察法, formerly known as 国家监察法, or State Supervision Law) has been submitted to the NPCSC, as we predicted below. The NPCSC is scheduled to hear an explanation of the draft on Friday. We therefore will not have more information about the draft until then.
In addition, the NPC Law Committee has recommended that the NPCSC pass the National Intelligence Law and the amendment to the Water Pollution Prevention and Control Law. We expect both to be approved on July 27, the last day of the Session. We also expect the ongoing session to adopt draft amendments to the Administrative Litigation Law and the Civil Procedure Law—submitted by the Supreme People’s Procuratorate to empower people’s procuratorates nationwide to initiate public interest litigation. Such a process is currently being piloted in 13 provinces.
The 12th NPC Standing Committee (NPCSC) will convene for its 28th Session on June 22 through 27, the Council of Chairmen decided this afternoon. This post is a customary summary of the Session’s agenda as announced in this press release.
The 12th NPC Standing Committee (NPCSC) today finally released its much-anticipated legislative and supervisory plans for 2017. Here we will focus on the legislative plan, leaving the supervisory plan for another blog post. According to the 2017 legislative plan, a total of 23 legislative projects are tentatively scheduled (as the plan is subject to change) for the remaining four NPCSC sessions this year, with dozens more listed as preparatory projects. Among them, there is certainly no lack of blockbuster legislations, whether relating to China’s judicial reform, anti-corruption drive, environmental protection, or economic and social development in general.