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Lawmakers to revise foreign trade law, discuss Constitutional amendments
( 2003-12-16 16:25) (Xinhua)

The Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC), China's top legislature, will discuss next Monday amendments to the country's 10-year-old foreign trade law in line with the new situation and demands after China joined the World Trade Organization (WTO) two years ago.

The amendments proposed by the State Council will include "major changes" to the existing foreign trade codes, according to a meeting of the Chairman and Vice-Chairmen of the NPC Standing Committee held in Beijing Tuesday.

The week-long legislative session will continue to examine three financial laws key to the reform of China's banking businesses, namely, the draft law on supervision and management of the banking industry, the draft amendments to the central bank law and draft amendments to the commercial bank law.

A treaty with Russia on the transfer of convicted persons and a treaty with Thailand on criminal justice assistance are also pending ratification by the legislature.

Draft Constitutional amendments to be discussed

According to an agenda made Tuesday, the upcoming week-long session will review proposals made by the CPC Central Committee on the amendments to the Constitution and deliberate draft amendments formulated based on the proposals.

The agenda was passed at a meeting of the NPC Standing Committee chairman and vice-chairpersons.

The existing Chinese Constitution, consisting of 138 articles in four chapters, was formulated in 1982 and was later amended three times, in 1988, 1993 and 1999 respectively.

The 1988 revisions said that the state permits the private economy to exist and grow within the limits prescribed by law.

The amendments in 1993 added to the Constitution the theory of building socialism with Chinese characteristics, adhering to reform, opening up and multi-party cooperation under the leadership of the CPC and the political consultation system.

And the latest revisions in 1999 enshrined the guiding role of Deng Xiaoping Theory. The rule of law has been stipulated as a national policy and the role of the private sector was further highlighted.

Other items listed on the agenda are:

-- Reports by the State Council on the progress of the massive project of diverting water resources from the South to the North of China and future plans, and on new developments relating to China's accession to the WTO two years ago;

-- Draft decision on convening the 2nd Plenum of the 10th NPC in March next year;

-- Report by a law inspection group of the NPC Standing Committee on the implementation of the Rural Land Contract Law across the country; and,

-- Several appointments and removals of official posts.

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