Legislation will be 'people centered'
A police officer promotes telecom fraud awareness among residents in Wuxi, Jiangsu province, in April, 2021. [Photo by Zhu Jipeng/for China Daily]
Editor's Note: Starting today, China Daily is publishing a series of stories focusing on some major issues expected to be discussed at the upcoming two sessions－the annual sessions of the National People's Congress and the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, the biggest annual political event in China. Some stories will also look at how national legislators and political advisers perform their duties.
National legislator looking forward to birth of country's first anti-fraud law
For Li Zongsheng, a lawyer from Northeast China's Liaoning province, his biggest expectation this year in national legislation is to see the birth of the country's first anti-fraud law.
Li, also a deputy to the National People's Congress, the country's top legislature, has kept following the draft since it was submitted to the NPC Standing Committee for first review in October, as he believes that such a law is highly essential, "as the issue is closely related to everyone".
Li said he is eager to discuss the draft law and his legislative ideas with other national legislators during the upcoming NPC annual session, which is scheduled to kick off in Beijing on March 5.
In Li's view, solving problems that the public is most concerned about through the legislation is the obligation of national legislators."The lawmaking comes from the people, and should be for the people," he said, adding that a few laws unveiled last year are the proof of the "people-centered concept".
In August, for example, the NPC Standing Committee adopted the Personal Information Protection Law, clarifying that those handling personal data should inform users and get permission from the data owners before collecting, storing, using, processing, transferring, disclosing, providing or deleting the data.
The law, which came into effect in November, prohibits information handlers from excessively collecting users' data, and also draws a clear line for internet operators on their use of advanced technologies.
"Many residents, including myself, were usually troubled with information or marketing promotions sent by internet platforms via automated programs," Li said. "But under the law, the data processors are ordered to offer options for users to reject such automatic notification."
Similarly, the Anti-Food Waste Law, which took effect in April, had also been widely watched, as it responds to public complaints about those who attempt to attract online views by eating excessive food on livestreaming platforms.
Under the new law, people who make and broadcast programs or videos on binge eating and who do not correct their behaviors after being reminded by cyberspace administrations will be fined up to 100,000 yuan ($15,800).
Li said he hopes more laws, including the anti-fraud one, could work effectively to meet people's demands.
At the NPC annual session, some 3,000 deputies like Li will review annual work reports of the central government, the NPC Standing Committee, the top judicial authorities, and discuss the annual plan for economic and social development as well as the central and local budgets.
This year, a draft amendment to the Organic Law of the Local People's Congresses and the Local Governments will also be deliberated at the NPC session, according to a decision made by the NPC Standing Committee in December.
Additionally, a draft decision on the number of deputies to the 14th NPC and their election, with two draft methods for the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and the Macao Special Administrative Region to elect their deputies to the 14th NPC, is also expected to be reviewed at the session.
As the highest organ of State power and the top legislative body in China, the NPC and its standing committee are not only responsible for determining major State issues by legislation, but also supervising the government and judicial system by hearing work reports and conducting law enforcement inspections.
Fu Yuhang, an NPC deputy from Sichuan province, said that conducting inspections to see whether existing laws have been effectively enforced is a crucial job for the top legislature to help solve social problems.
"Such law enforcement inspections can not only help legislators find loopholes or improprieties in legislation, but also push relevant parties, such as government departments, enterprises and individuals, to strictly follow the law and correct their behaviors," said Fu, also an environmental engineer and a college teacher.
In the past five years, the NPC Standing Committee has frequently inspected the enforcement of environment-related laws."It shows the top legislature has attached great importance to pollution prevention, something closely related to everyone, and such inspections can also help them improve legislation in the sector," she said.
Expressing her expectation to join a national inspection on environmental laws, Fu added she will also share what the top legislature does with her students, helping youngsters learn more about the top legislature.