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Draft property rights law to be discussed
By Ren Qing (China Daily)
Updated: 2004-10-23 00:25

The draft law on tangible property rights -- also known as real rights -- was submitted to national legislators for review Friday.

An elderly farmer cries in May in suburban Nanjing, capital city of Jiangsu Province, after learning her old house will be demolished to make way for urban expansion. There have been a growing number of violations of individual property in China due to lack of legal protection. Legal experts say the law on real rights to be voted at the annual session of the National People's Congress will ensure better protection of properties. [Newsphoto]

It forms a major part of a new civil code and fundamental property legislation.

During the six-day session of the Standing Committee of the 10th National People's Congress (NPC), which opened Friday, the lawmakers will also discuss draft laws to protect public order and tackle solid waste pollution.

Vice-Minister of Public Security Tian Qiyu explained the law on public order offences was drafted to punish wrongdoing, better protect citizens' rights and curb improper behaviour by police officers.

The legislators will hold their second round of discussions on the draft bankruptcy law and the draft amendment to the electoral law for the NPC and local people's congresses.

Real rights are property rights in general, such as real estate rights. They can also be attached to moveable property.

"The draft law on real rights will play an important role in clarifying property ownership, making full use of the property and protecting the rights' owners," said Hu Kangsheng, vice-director of the NPC Law Committee.

China will introduce preliminary elections for congress deputies if the amendment to the electoral law is adopted.

NPC deputies and deputies to the people's congresses of provinces, municipalities directly under the central government and cities divided into districts are elected by the people's congresses at the next lower level, according to the law.

Deputies to the people's congresses of counties, cities not divided into districts, municipal districts, townships, minority townships and towns are elected directly by their constituencies.

The law says candidates could be nominated by political parties or organizations or they could be nominated by groups of 10 or more voters.

The list of candidates in direct election would then be finalized through discussion by the electoral committee.

The draft amendment says the preliminary elections should be held when the electoral committee cannot reach a consensus.

Huang Weiping, director of the Institute of Contemporary Chinese Politics Research at Shenzhen University, said such a practice will help avoid back-door deals on deciding official candidates.

"Progress in the gradual reform of the electoral system will bring a brighter future for democracy," he said.

The law, adopted in 1979, covers elections to all levels of legislative bodies -- from the NPC to grassroots bodies -- and was amended in 1982, 1986 and 1995.

The top legislators will hear and discuss report from the Supreme People's Court and Supreme People's Procuratorate on improving their grassroots organs and reports on the implementation of Law on Compulsory Education and Trade Union Law during the session.

The State Council, the nation's cabinet, will also submit a report to the issue on the interest payments from a special treasury bond issued in 1998.

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