The draft Administrative Mandatory Law, China's first law to regulate government administration and prevent abuses of power, was submitted to the Standing Committee of China's National People's Congress (NPC), the country's top legislature, for a second reading on Wednesday.
According to the draft, no mandatory sanctions by the government can be carried out unless it is provided for by the law.
Such sanctions include restrictions on personal freedom, sealing up or sequestrating property, freezing bank accounts, and intrusions into private residences by force. Follow-up actions may include fines, auction of sequestrated property and transfer of funds from bank accounts.
To counter the widely-complained government intrusion on private property and the illegal checking of business account books, the draft law says the government body must show a legal basis in advance for its actions, otherwise "the related party has the right to refuse".
The draft says that mandatory sanctions should not be used if non-mandatory measures, like persuasion, could help achieve administrative goals.
It also says that sealing and sequestrating property, which is not involved in illegal deals, is strictly forbidden and restrictions on personal freedom should be immediately lifted as soon as administrative goals are achieved.
The draft law, once adopted, will mark the completion of China's legal framework concerning the behavior of the government.