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Judicial System Posted: 2002-05-14 13:19:19

The National People's Congress (NPC)

     The National People's Congress is the highest organ of State power in the People's Republic of China. Its main functions and powers include legislative power, appointing and removing power, decisive power and supervising power.

I. The State legislative power:

The NPC has the right to enact and amend the Constitution of the People's Republic of China, and to enact and amend basic laws concerning criminal offenses, civil affairs, the State organs and other matters.

II. The power to select, decide and remove the members of the high-level State organs and their power:

The NPC has the following rights:

--to select the members of the Standing Committee of the NPC;

--to elect the President and the Vice-President of the People's Republic of China;

--to decide on the choice of the Premier, Vice-Premiers, State Councilors, Ministers in charge of ministries or commissions, the Auditor-General and the Secretary-General of the State Council;

--to elect the Chairman of the Central Military Commission and, upon nomination by the Chairman,

--to decide on the choice of all other Members of the Central Military Commission;

--to elect the President of the Supreme People's Court and the Procurator-General of the Supreme People's Procuratorate.

--The NPC has the right to remove the Members it elected.

III. The decisive power of major State events:

The NPC has the right to examine and approve the report on implementing the plan for national economic and social development; to examine and approve the state budget and the report on its implementation; to approve the establishment of provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities directly under the Central Government; to decide on the establishment of special administrative regions and the systems to be instituted there; to decide on questions of war and peace; and other functions and powers as the highest organ of State power should exercise.

IV. The supervising power to other highest State organs:

The NPC has the right to supervise the implementation of the Constitution. According to the Chinese Constitution, the State Council, the Supreme People's Court and the Supreme People's Procuratorate are all created by the NPC, responsible to it and supervised by it. The NPC's exercise of its supervisory right is to supervise the government and other State organs on behalf of the people. This is an important condition safeguarding the normal operation of the State apparatus.

Under the current Constitution and related laws, the NPC holds a session on the first quarter of each year. convened by its Standing Committee. The NPC is elected for a term of five years .

The Standing Committee of the NPC is the permanent supreme State organ of power and legislation. It exercises the highest State power and legislative power when the NPC is not in session. The Standing Committee is composed of 153 members, none of whom can assume an office in State administrative, judicial and procuratorial organs, which is seen to be beneficial . The Standing Committee of the NPC exercises several main functions and powers. It interprets the Constitution and supervises its implementation, enacts and amends laws, with the exception of those which should be enacted by the NPC, partially supplements and amends laws enacted by the NPC when it is not in session, and interprets the laws. Since 1979, the Standing Committee of the NPC has enacted over 280 laws, and the standing committees of local people's congresses have drawn up over 3, 000 local rules and regulations .

The special committees, both permanent and provisional, are organs representing the NPC. When the NPC is in session, the main work of the special committees is to study, examine and draw up related motions. When it is not in session, they work under the direction of the NPC Standing Committee. Currently, there are eight permanent special committees, the Nationalities Committee, Law Committee, Financial and Economic Committee, Educational, Science, Culture and Public Health Committee, Foreign Affairs Committee, Overseas Chinese Committee, Committee for Internal and Judicial Affairs and Committee on Environmental and Resource Protection.

(The English translations are for reference only.)