Wu Bangguo, chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC), delivers a report on the work of the Standing Committee of the NPC during the third plenary meeting of the Fifth Session of the Tenth NPC in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, March 11, 2007.[Xinhua]
BEIJING, March 11 (Xinhua) -- The following is the full text of the Report on the Work of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC), delivered by NPC Standing Committee Chairman Wu Bangguo for deliberation at the Fifth Session of the Tenth NPC here on Sunday:
REPORT ON THE WORK OF THE STANDING COMMITTEE OF THE NATIONAL PEOPLE'S CONGRESS
Delivered at the Fifth Session of the Tenth
National People's Congress on March 11, 2007
Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress Fellow Deputies
On behalf of the Standing Committee of the Tenth National People's Congress (NPC) I now present this report on its work for your deliberation and approval.
Main Accomplishments of Last Year
We thoroughly put into practice the Scientific Outlook on Development and got off to a good start in the Eleventh Five-Year Plan in 2006. The Standing Committee last year followed the guidelines set out at the Fourth Session of the Tenth NPC in diligently carrying out its duties closely centered around the overall work of the Party and the government, making new achievements in all its work and making further contributions to the building of a moderately prosperous society in all respects and building a harmonious socialist society.
I. Further progress was made in legislative work.
The Standing Committee made further progress in its legislative work last year. It deliberated and approved 24 draft laws or decisions on legal issues, 14 of which were passed and 5 of which were submitted to this session for your deliberation and approval. This marks a solid step toward achieving the goals for this NPC's legislative work.
1. Appropriate solutions were found to some difficulties in legislation, the Law on Oversight was promulgated and implemented, and the draft Law on Property Rights was submitted to this session for deliberation and approval. The Law on Oversight, which is strongly political in nature, is related to the country's political system and system of government. Formulation of the Law on Oversight was one of the major legislative acts of the NPC. Work actually began on this law at the Sixth NPC and continued for the next two decades. The Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) paid close attention to the formulation of the Law on Oversight, listening to a number of special reports. General Secretary Hu Jintao presided over a forum of non-Party dignitaries to directly solicit opinions from the democratic parties, leaders of the All-China Federation of Industry and Commerce and persons without party affiliation and deliver an important speech. In his speech, he thoroughly elucidated the importance of strengthening the oversight work of people's congresses, fully analyzed the necessity of formulating the Law on Oversight, emphasized the major principles that must be observed in the formulation work, and clarified the orientation for formulating the law.
The Standing Committee showed a keen sense of responsibility to the Party and the people in listening to a wide range of opinions and carrying out numerous studies and discussions before making major revisions to the draft Law on Oversight on the basis of a review of actual experience. First, the regulatory scope of the Law on Oversight was clarified by changing the Law on Oversight by the People's Congresses to the Law on Oversight by the Standing Committees of the People's Congresses. Second, the form and procedures for oversight were improved, focusing on standardizing the areas that the standing committees of people's congresses at all levels showed most concern about and most hoped would be standardized.
Two main points were taken into consideration in making this revision: The first is that the Constitution already clearly defines the oversight functions and powers of the NPC and local people's congresses at all levels and the form and procedures for oversight. The other is that the Constitution categorically stipulates that the standing committees of people's congresses are responsible for exercising regular oversight over the people's governments, the people's courts and the people's procuratorates.
Moreover, what local governments were exploring ways to standardize was mainly the oversight work of the standing committees of people's congresses. It should be pointed out here that local governments had been making valuable explorations of the way to strengthen the oversight work of people's congresses for years, providing actual experience to help in formulating the Law on Oversight and making a positive contribution to the effort. The Law on Oversight adopted by the Standing Committee fully embodies the organic unity of the leadership of the Party, the position of the people as masters of the country and the running of the government according to the rule of law; correctly balances stronger oversight by people's congresses with the leadership of the Party; correctly balances stronger oversight by people's congresses with support for carrying out the work of the people's governments, the people's courts and the people's procuratorates in accordance with the law; upholds the principles of democratic centralism, collective exercise of functions and powers, collective decision making and acting in accordance with the law and prescribed procedures; and is in line with conditions in China and the actual work situation of people's congresses. The promulgation and implementation of the Law on Oversight reflects the collective wisdom of the NPC deputies, members of the Standing Committee, the deputies to local people's congresses at all levels, experts and scholars and is of great significance for standing committees of people's congresses at all levels in the lawful exercise of their oversight functions and powers, improving the oversight mechanism, strengthening and improving oversight work, making oversight more effective, and giving more play to the characteristics and strengths of the system of people's congresses.
People's congresses at all levels did a great deal of preparatory work for implementing the Law on Oversight. First, we carefully studied the important speech of General Secretary Hu Jintao through forums, seminars, study classes and other means and gained a thorough understanding of the essence of the Law on Oversight from the vantage point of adherence to the political development path of socialism with Chinese characteristics, thereby laying a solid ideological foundation for implementing the Law on Oversight. Second, local people's congresses at all levels screened all relevant local laws, regulations and decrees on compliance with provisions of the Law on Oversight to make those that already comply with the stipulations of the new law stronger and more detailed and to promptly revise those that are not. Third, the General Office of the Standing Committee worked out Certain Opinions Concerning Implementation of the Law on Oversight by Organs of the NPC, which sets out the division of labor and responsibility for implementation.
The Law on Property Rights is a basic law for standardizing property relationships, and has a supporting role in the socialist legal system with Chinese characteristics. Formulating the Law on Property Rights to improve the legal framework for the socialist property rights system with Chinese characteristics has great significance for adhering to the basic socialist economic system, developing the socialist market economy, safeguarding the vital interests of the masses, and stimulating the creativity of the entire society. In addition, the Law on Property Rights has so strong an economic, policy and technical character that it has been very difficult to formulate and pass, and it has attracted great interest throughout society. It has now been 13 years since work on the first draft was begun. The Standing Committee attached great importance to formulating this legislation, adopted a positive yet cautious attitude and put a great deal of energy into the work.
First, the law was deliberated numerous times. It was deliberated a further six times by the Standing Committee after it was deliberated by the Standing Committee of the Ninth NPC for the first time, a situation rarely seen in the history of Chinese legislation.
Second, opinions from a wide range of sources were solicited. We convened about a hundred forums and a number of discussion meetings so we could directly hear your opinions and those of people from all sectors of society, experts, scholars, and leaders of relevant central government departments. We released the full text of the draft law to obtain a wide range of opinions from all sectors of society, especially from the general public. There have been very few laws in Chinese history for which so many opinions have been sought from so many people.
Third, major revisions were made to the law. We made major revisions in the draft Law on Property Rights in accordance with the comments on it made by the Standing Committee during deliberations and comments expressed at the forums and discussion meetings and from other sources, and in line with the Constitution and other relevant laws. The revisions were mainly made in the following four areas:
1) The law was made to reflect the basic socialist economic system as fully and accurately as possible, which was taken into consideration during the entire legislation process.
2) Protection of state-owned assets was strengthened to address the current concerns of the general public over erosion of these assets.
3) The law was made to fully and accurately embody the basic policy of the Party for the countryside in the current stage to effectively safeguard the interests of rural residents.
4) The focus of the law was on standardizing practical routine matters urgently in need of standardization and issues of the greatest concern to the public.
We consistently emphasized the political orientation and the Chinese characteristics of the Law on Property Rights and the need to proceed from reality during the entire revision process for the draft law. The members of the Standing Committee and non-voting participants in meetings held by the Standing Committee all believe that the revised draft Law on Property Rights fully accords with the principles and policies of the Party introduced since the Third Plenary Session of the Eleventh Central Committee, fully embodies the stand of the Party and the will of the people, is in line with the conditions and specific situation of the country and is now basically mature. At its twenty-fifth meeting, the Standing Committee passed the draft Law on Property Rights by a large margin, and it has now been submitted to this session for your deliberation and approval.