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Work report of NPC Standing Committee

Posted: 2011-March-18
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  I. Strengthening legislative work, with the focus on establishing a socialist system of laws with Chinese characteristics on schedule

  In order to attain the legislative objective set forth at the Fifteenth National Party Congress of establishing a socialist system of laws with Chinese characteristics by 2010, last year we put great effort into formulating and revising important laws that form the framework of the socialist system of laws with Chinese characteristics, and oversaw and guided relevant authorities in comprehensively completing the work of reviewing existing administrative regulations and local statutes.

  1. We formulated and revised important laws.

  Establishing a sound system of social insurance laws was a major issue that has a direct bearing on the vital interests of hundreds of millions of people. The Standing Committee attached great importance to formulating the Social Insurance Law, and on the basis of a preliminary evaluation of a draft of it by the Standing Committee of the previous NPC, the Standing Committee of the current NPC conducted three evaluations and made major revisions to the draft. This law clearly states in legal terms that the state shall establish social insurance systems such as basic pension insurance, basic medical insurance, work-related injury insurance, unemployment insurance and maternity insurance. The law sets forth in principle stipulations on transferring basic pension insurance and continuing its coverage, raising the overall planning levels of basic pension insurance funds, and establishing a new rural social pension insurance system and a new rural cooperative medical care system. The law strengthens the authority of the standing committees of people's congresses at all levels to oversee social insurance funds. The promulgation and implementation of this law is of great significance for accelerating the establishment of a social security system covering both urban and rural residents, ensuring that the people share in the fruits of reform and development, and stimulating the development of a harmonious socialist society.

  Deputies to people's congresses are members of organs of state power. In order for deputies to fully play their role, we started to revise the Law on Deputies to People's Congresses in a timely manner in accordance with deputies' proposals and suggestions, and on the foundation of the many suggestions we had already solicited, we made a written request of each deputy to the NPC for further comments. The Law on Deputies to People's Congresses was revised based on a review of practical experience garnered from the implementation of Document No. 9 of the CPC Central Committee in 2005. It further clarifies the rights and obligations of deputies, details how they should act when their congress is not in session, and strengthens measures to guarantee that deputies perform their functions. All this will help to further guarantee that deputies perform their functions in accordance with the law, and make full use of the features and advantages of the system of people's congresses.

  The system of primary-level self-governance is one of China's important political systems. The Organic Law of Villagers' Committees, which was revised by the Standing Committee, improves the procedures for electing and dismissing villagers' committees, and improves the system of democratic decision making, supervision and oversight. It will play an important role in developing primary-level democracy in rural areas; stimulating the enthusiasm, initiative and creativity of farmers; and promoting reform, development and stability in rural areas.

  The Standing Committee revised the Law on State Compensation mainly by making it easier to seek compensation, improving the procedures for handling cases, demarcating the scope of compensation, clarifying the responsibility for producing evidence, and ensuring that compensation is paid. This is of great significance for getting state organs to exercise their powers and functions in accordance with the law; protecting the legitimate rights and interests of citizens, legal persons and other organizations; and safeguarding social fairness, justice, harmony and stability.

  The Criminal Law, which defines crimes, criminal responsibility and punishment for crimes, is a pillar of the socialist system of laws with Chinese characteristics, and plays an important role in punishing crime, protecting the people, maintaining public order and ensuring national security. The NPC comprehensively revised the Criminal Law in 1997. Afterwards, the Standing Committee passed one resolution and seven revisions to it to better meet the requirements for punishing crime. The eighth revision to the Criminal Law adopted by the Standing Committee last year further embodied the penal policy of severity tempered with mercy, and removed 13 non-violent economic crimes from the list of capital crimes, which accounted 19.1% of the total number on the list. It strictly standardized the grounds for commuting a death sentence with a two-year stay of execution to life imprisonment, commuting a life sentence to a set term of imprisonment, and releasing convicts on parole, adjusted the method for calculating the set term of imprisonment for people convicted of committing multiple crimes, and increased punishment for recidivist criminals and Mafia-like organized crime. In accordance with NPC deputies' proposals and suggestions, it also defined actions that seriously harm the interests of the people as crimes, such as drunk driving, speeding and refusal to pay workers' wages; made the regulations on punishing the crimes of endangering food safety, producing and selling counterfeit drugs, and damaging the environment and resources more specific; and further strengthened the protection of the people's wellbeing under the Criminal Law. All this made punishment better fit the crime so that the Criminal Law can better play its role in punishing crime, educating and reforming criminals, and preventing and reducing crime.

  The Standing Committee formulated the People's Mediation Law to incorporate into law the good experiences and practices that were accumulated in mediation work over the years, improve the legal basis of the people's mediation system, clarify the relationship between people's mediation and other mechanisms for settling disputes, and strengthen support and guarantees for people' s mediation work. This law is beneficial for making the most of the unique features and advantages of the people's mediation system, better settling disputes among the people, resolving social conflicts, and promoting harmony and stability.

  The Standing Committee also formulated the Vehicle and Vessel Tax Law, the Intangible Cultural Heritage Law, the Law on the Application of Laws to Foreign-Related Civil Relationships, and the Law on the Protection of Petroleum and Natural Gas Pipelines; revised the Administrative Supervision Law, the Water and Soil Conservation Law, the Law on Protecting State Secrets, and the Law on Officers in the Reserve Forces; made the decision to approve the amendment to Annex I of the Basic Law of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region - Method for the Selection of the Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region; and kept on file the amendment to Annex II of the Basic Law - Method for the Formation of the Legislative Council of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and Its Voting Procedures.

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Source: Xinhua 2011-03-18Editor: Shen
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