Functions and Powers of the National People's Congress
To amend the Constitution and oversee its enforcement. Only the NPC has the power to amend the Constitution. Amendments to the Constitution must be proposed by the NPC Standing Committee or by one-fifth or more of the NPC deputies, and they must be passed by a two-thirds majority vote of all deputies. The Constitution of the People's Republic of China was adopted at the First Session of the First NPC in 1954 and comprehensively revised by the NPC in 1982. The current Constitution is the one promulgated and put into effect after this revision. Since then, the NPC has partially amended the Constitution on four occasions, in 1988, 1993, 1999 and 2004. To defend the dignity of the Constitution and guarantee its enforcement, the NPC also enjoys the power to oversee its enforcement.
To enact and amend basic laws governing criminal offences, civil affairs, state organs and other matters. The NPC has enacted the Criminal Law, the Criminal Procedure Law, the Organic Law of the NPC, the Organic Law of the State Council, the Organic Law of Local People's Congresses and Local People's Governments, the Organic Law of the People's Courts, the Organic Law of the People's Procuratorates, the Law on the Autonomy of Ethnic Minority Region, the Electoral Law, and the Law on Deputies to the NPC and to the Local People's Congresses. The Marriage Law, the Citizenship Law, the Basic Law of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and the Basic Law of the Macao Special Administrative Region were also enacted by the NPC.
To elect and appoint members to central state organs. The NPC elects the Chairman, Vice Chairmen, Secretary-General and other members of its Standing Committee and the President and the Vice President of the People's Republic of China. It appoints the Premier of the State Council based on the nomination by the President of the People's Republic of China and appoints the Vice premiers, State Councilors, Ministers in charge of ministries or commissions, the Governor of the People's Bank of China, the Auditor-General and the Secretary-General of the State Council based on nominations by the Premier. It elects the Chairman of the Central Military Commission and appoints all other members of the Central Military Commission based on the Chairman's nominations. It also elects the President of the Supreme People's Court and the Procurator-General of the Supreme People's Procuratorate. The NPC has the power to remove from office any of the above-mentioned officials.
To determine major state issues. This work includes examining and approving the report on the plan for national economic and social development and on its implementation; examining the report on the central and local budgets and their implementation and approving the report on the central budget and its implementation; approving the establishment of provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities directly under the Central Government; deciding where to establish special administrative regions and what system they should institute; and deciding questions of war and peace. The establishment of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, the Macao Special Administrative Region, Hainan Province and Chongqing Municipality and the building of the Three Gorges Project on the Yangtze River were all decided by the NPC.