Equal rights, equal rules under new law

By Cao Li (China Daily)
Updated: 2007-03-17 06:30

China's top legislature adopted the landmark Property Law on Friday after a 14-year-long debate and one of the most complicated legislative processes in the country.

Also adopted is the Corporate Income Tax Law, which gives equal footing to domestic and foreign-invested companies and a reduction in the general corporate tax rate.

Among the 2,899 legislators who attended the closing ceremony of the National People's Congress' (NPC) 2007 session, 2,799 voted for the law, with 52 against and 37 abstaining. The 247-article law, which will come into effect on October 1, 2007, defines the citizen's rights in a wide range of economic activities, from owning a piece of land or house to using a parking space.

The newly enacted law guarantees equal rules and rights for property owners of the State, collectives and individuals.

It is the first time in China that the protection of private properties, a concept already enshrined by the Chinese Constitution, has been written into a specific law.

"The Property Law is a new milestone in the country's progress in its economic reform," Li Weizu, a legislator from Chongqing, said.

The NPC, with more than 97 percent support rate, on Friday also approved the new Corporate Income Tax Law, which will take effect on January 1, 2008.

(China Daily 03/17/2007 page1)

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