UPDATE (Aug. 28, 2023): The NPCSC is expected to approve the draft revision to the Administrative Reconsideration Law, draft Foreign State Immunity Law, and draft amendment to the Civil Procedure Law on Friday, September 1. The draft revision to the Company Law will be subject to a fourth (and mostly likely final) review.
China’s top legislature, the 14th NPC Standing Committee (NPCSC), will convene for its fifth session from August 28 to September 1, the Council of Chairpersons decided on Monday, August 21. In addition to proposing an agenda that includes nine legislative bills, the Council also discussed a few other interesting matters at Monday’s meeting. We briefly discuss all those developments below.
UPDATE (Dec. 27, 2022): The official readout of the session’s first meeting reveals that the NPCSC is also reviewing a draft amendment to the Foreign Trade Law [对外贸易法] to codify a pilot administrative reform that recently expired on December 1. The readout also shows that the State Council has requested an interpretation of “relevant articles” of the Hong Kong National Security Law, without elaborating. We expect both to pass on Friday. Finally, it appears that the draft revision to the Enterprise Bankruptcy Law [企业破产法] has been removed from this session’s agenda.
Last Friday, the Council of Chairpersons decided to convene the 38th and second-to-last session of the 13th NPC Standing Committee (NPCSC) from December 27 to 30. The session’s tentative agenda includes fifteen bills. The Hong Kong government’s requested interpretation of the Hong Kong National Security Law, however, is not among them. But as we have explained, the NPCSC may hide the existence of a bill until after its adoption, so it could still consider an interpretation at the upcoming session. Below we briefly preview the bills slated for review.
China currently collects 18 types of taxes. They will generate an estimated total of 8 trillion RMB in revenue for the Central Government in 2018. But only six of them—providing only about a third of the central tax revenue—are imposed by laws [法律] enacted by the legislature, the NPC or its Standing Committee (NPCSC). The rest are governed only by interim regulations [暂行条例] adopted by the State Council—the Central Government itself. The enormous taxing power the State Council now wields was in fact granted by the NPC in 1984. Now, over three decades later, the NPC is reclaiming that power by gradually elevating the interim regulations into laws, with an eye to complete the process by 2020. In this post, we will explain why the NPC made the power grant in the first place and discuss what it has recently been doing to reassert its control over taxation.