China's top legislature convenes bi-monthly session

By: XinhuaFrom:English Edition of Xinhua | Updated: 2017-Aug-29 10:51
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Zhang Dejiang (C), chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC), attends a session of the 12th NPC Standing Committee, in Beijing, capital of China, Aug. 28, 2017. The session deals with draft laws on nuclear safety, promotion of small and medium-sized enterprises and the national anthem. (Xinhua/Yao Dawei)

BEIJING, Aug. 28 (Xinhua) -- China's top legislature opened a five-day bi-monthly session on Monday, with legislators scheduled to deliberate several draft laws, amendments and reports.

Zhang Dejiang, chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC), presided over the opening meeting Monday morning.

Legislators continued to review a draft law on nuclear safety highlighting international cooperation against nuclear terrorism. The draft also introduces a set of requirements on operators of nuclear facilities on adequate protection and medical examinations for employees.

A draft revision to a law on small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) is also under review. In its third reading, "to maintain the rights and interests of SMEs" was inserted into the first section as one of the law's objectives, and another clause added "the country protects the property rights and other rights and interests of SMEs and their investors." Financial institutions should serve SMEs in an efficient and fair manner, and they are encouraged to provide SMEs with tailored products and services, said the draft.

The draft law on the national anthem, submitted for its second reading, states that the song should be included in textbooks for primary and secondary school students. The draft bans use of the national anthem at funerals and other "inappropriate" private occasions, in commercial advertisements or as background music in public places. Despite the restrictions, the legislation encourages people to sing the anthem on appropriate occasions.

Draft amendment to the Unfair Competition Law, given a second reading, adds procedural requirements for government seizure of assets during investigations and makes changes to regulations on online competition. Operators cannot use technical means to influence decisions, nor to disturb or sabotage products and services legally provided by other operators, the draft stated.

A draft revision to the Standardization Law stresses the role of standards in industrial upgrades and economic restructuring. Submitted for its second reading, the draft supports company standards and group standards in key industries.

Two draft revisions of laws on courts and procuratorates are under discussion.

Compared with the current law, the draft revision of the Law on the Organization of People's Courts adds stipulations about maritime courts, intellectual property rights (IPR) courts and circuit courts of the Supreme People's Court.

The draft revision to the Law on the Organization of People's Procuratorates includes new provisions to meet the needs of supervisory system reform, which require major adjustments to procuratorates' power and personnel rules.

Both drafts spell out protection for judicial personnel carrying out their duties.

The lawmakers will also discuss proposals about draft amendments to eight laws including the Judges Law. A national exam for admission to the legal profession will be required for professionals other than judges, prosecutors, lawyers and notaries. These will include administrative reviewer and administrative adjudicators, legal advisors at governmental agencies, and law-related arbitrators.

The lawmakers also began to review a draft law on a tobacco leaf tax, replacing a regulation that has been in place since 2006. The draft stipulates a tax of 20 percent to be levied on tobacco leaf buyers, unchanged from the previous regulation.

A report on the enforcement of the Copyright Law was reviewed, suggesting information sharing between law enforcement and justice departments should be strengthened. The report asked for a nationwide system of copyright registration.

Legislators reviewed draft lists of members of electoral councils for choosing deputies from Hong Kong and Macao to the 13th NPC.

The session also reviewed a number of official appointments and dismissals.