Legislative officials address media concerns

China’s lawmakers on Wednesday started to deliberate draft general provisions of a civil law, which, if adopted, will bring the country one step closer to having a long-awaited civil code. Read on to learn more about the draft general provisions of the civil law and NPC legislation work.
by Wang Shuya
On March 9, legislative officials meet the press to talk about draft general provisions of civil law and NPC legislation work. by Wan Quan/China Pictorial

On March 9, Zhang Rongshun and Xu Anbiao, vice-chairmen of the Legislative Affairs Commission of the National People's Congress (NPC) Standing Committee, and Wang Aili, director-general of the Office of Criminal Laws of the Legislative Affairs Commission of the NPC Standing Committee, took questions on the draft general provisions of the civil law and the legislative work of the NPC at a press conference for the Fifth Session of the 12th NPC in Beijing. The following are some highlights and key points of their answers.

Zhang stated that the draft general provisions of the civil law are to lay down basic principles as the first step for compiling a unified civil code, dubbed "an encyclopedia on social life". There are four highlights of the draft as follows: firstly, they advocate socialist core values; secondly, they strengthen protection on civil rights; thirdly, they extend the scope of civil subjects; fourthly, they are prospective & reflect the characteristics of the times.

Upholding China's Constitution and bearing allegiance to the country are "the most fundamental requirements" for lawmakers, Zhang said, while responding to a question on the draft methods for electing NPC deputies from Hong Kong and Macao special administrative regions.

The 12th NPC Standing Committee achieved great progress in legislative work in the past year. As 2017 is the last year of its term, the work to be done is difficult, said Xu Anbiao, when responding to questions raised by a journalist from Beijing Youth Daily. “We will adapt to the requirements of reform and economic and social development and prioritize those legislative projects which have been deployed by the central government to comprehensively deepen reform. Thus, after the adoption of the general provisions, we will step up our work on compiling individual books, which will be integrated into a unified civil code. In addition, we will also strengthen anti-corruption legislation and implement the Statutory Taxation Principle legislation work, etc.” said Xu.