China's top legislator Wu Bangguo delivered a report on the work of the Standing Committee of the 11th National People's Congress (NPC) Monday morning to the parliament's second annual session.
Following are the highlights of Wu's report:
OVERALL WORK OF 2008
Over the past year, the NPC Standing Committee deliberated 15 draft laws, passed nine of them, heard and deliberated 13 work reports from the State Council, the Supreme People's Court and the Supreme People's Procuratorate, adopted three resolutions, investigated compliance with five laws, approved 13 treaties and accords China concluded with foreign countries and its accession to seven international conventions, and made decisions on and approved the appointment and removal of a number of employees in state organs, thus making further contributions to socialist economic, political, cultural and social development.
EARTHQUAKE RELIEF AND POST-QUAKE RECONSTRUCTION
-- The NPC Standing Committee acted promptly, strengthened oversight and legislation, fully supported earthquake relief and post-earthquake recovery and reconstruction in the quake zone after the May 12 earthquake last year, and made full use of the political advantages of the socialist system which enables it to concentrate resources to accomplish large undertakings.
PROMOTING ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
-- The NPC Standing Committee focused on major problems in economic and social development, employed a full range of oversight means, strengthened follow-up oversight, made improvements in its work, and improved the legal framework, thereby making the work of the NPC more thorough and dynamic.
RESOLVING PROBLEMS AFFECTING PEOPLE'S WELLBEING
-- In response to the serious problems revealed by the defective Sanlu milk powder and other major food safety scandals, the Standing Committee revised the draft Law on Food Safety based on in-depth investigations and studies and a wide range of opinions.
-- The NPC Standing Committee carried out another investigation of compliance with the revised versions of the Law on Compulsory Education, the Law on the Protection of Minors and the recently promulgated Law on Labor Contracts.
-- The NPC Standing Committee made big changes to the draft Social Security Law on the basis of initial deliberation by the last Standing Committee.
There are 231 laws currently in force in China.
-- The NPC Standing Committee enacted the Law on State-Owned Assets in Enterprises, the Law on Food Safety, the seventh amendment to the Criminal Law, and the Law to Promote a Circular Economy and revised the Law on Protecting Against and Mitigating Earthquake Disasters, the Law on Security for Disabled Persons, the Fire Protection Law, the Insurance Law and the Patent Law.
-- The Chairperson's Council decided that in principle, all draft laws under deliberation by the Standing Committee should be released to the public on www.npc.gov.cn, that major bills should also be published by major national media organizations to solicit opinions from the general public, and that this should become common practice.
-- The NPC Standing Committee heard and deliberated State Council's report on counteracting the severe snow and ice storms in part of the south, on carrying out post-earthquake recovery and reconstruction, the reports on the final central government budget for 2007, on auditing work and on plan implementation, the Supreme People's Court's report on improving criminal trial work and the Supreme People's Procuratorate's report on strengthening oversight for criminal trials
-- The NPC Standing Committee received a total of 475 normative documents to be filed and handled 86 suggestions from ordinary individuals and organizations concerning examination work.
-- In the year to come, the NPC Standing Committee should improve oversight of economic work. the handling of issues affecting people's wellbeing.
ENABLING DEPUTIES TO PLAY THEIR ROLE
-- The special committees have handled all the 462 proposals that the Presidium of the last NPC session assigned to them. Eight laws that came up in 26 proposals have been adopted by the Standing Committee. Deliberations are being conducted on four draft laws that were brought up in 50 proposals, and 38 legislative items listed in 126 proposals have been included in the legislative plan.
-- A total of 6,279 suggestions were made by the deputies during the last NPC session, and the problems mentioned in 4,489, or 71.5%, of them have been resolved or will be resolved according to plan.
-- The NPC Standing Committee carried out various forms of dialogue with the parliaments of the United Kingdom, France, Japan, the Republic of Korea and Egypt, as well as with the European Parliament. In response to provocations from the congresses of some countries concerning the Taiwan and Tibet questions, the NPC Standing Committee engaged in fierce struggle and defended China's core interests through declarations from the chairperson of the Foreign Affairs Committee.
-- The NPC Standing Committee actively took part in the activities organized by international and regional parliamentary organizations and successfully hosted the fifth Asia-Europe Parliamentary Partnership Meeting.
-- Through the work of the NPC, The NPC Standing Committee must ensure that the stands of the Party become the will of the state through legally stipulated procedures and that the personnel recommended by Party organizations become the leaders of the organs of state power through legally stipulated procedures.
-- The NPC Standing Committee must draw on the achievements of all cultures, including their political achievements, but will never simply copy the system of Western countries or introduce a system of multiple parties holding office in rotation, a system with the separation of the three powers or a bicameral system.
NEW LAWS IN PIPELINE
-- The NPC Standing Committee will formulate a social security law, social welfare law, law on tort liability, law on administrative coercion, law on arbitration of disputes concerning contracted rural land, law on mental health and law on national defense mobilization. The NPC Standing Committee will also revise the Law on State Compensation, the Law on Protecting State Secrets, the Electoral Law, the Organic Law of Villager Committees, the Land Administration Law, the Postal Law and the Statistics Law.