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National People's Congress
2004/03/08
          The National People's Congress (NPC) of the People's Republic of
          China (PRC) is the supreme organ of state power. Its permanent body
          is the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress.
             The National People's Congress and its Standing Committee
          exercise the legislative power of the state.
             The NPC is composed of deputies elected by the provinces,
          autonomous regions and municipalities directly under the central
          government, and the armed forces. All the minority ethnic groups are
          entitled to appropriate representation.
             Election of deputies to the NPC is conducted by the Standing
          Committee of the NPC.  The Number of deputies to the NPC and the
          manner of their election are prescribed by law.
             The NPC is elected for a term of five years. Two months before
          the expiration of the term of office of a National People's
          Congress, its Standing Committee must ensure that the election of
          deputies to the succeeding NPC is completed. Should exceptional
          circumstances prevent such an election, it may be postponed by
          decision of a majority vote of more than two-thirds of all those on
          the Standing Committee of the current NPC, and the term of office of
          the current NPC may be extended. The election of deputies to the
          succeeding NPC must be completed within one year after the
          termination of such exceptional circumstances.
             The National People's Congress meets in session once a year and
          is convened by its Standing Committee. A session of the NPC may be
          convened at any time when the Standing Committee deems this
          necessary, or when more than one-fifth of the deputies to the NPC so
          propose.  
             The NPC performs the following functions and powers:
             (1) To amend the constitution;
             (2) To supervise the enforcement of the constitution;
             (3) To enact and amend basic statutes concerning criminal
          offences, civil affairs, the state organs and other matters;
             (4) To elect the president and the vice-president of the PRC;
             (5) To decide on the choice of the premier of the State Council
          upon nomination by the president of the PRC, and to decide on the
          choice of the vice-premiers, state councilors, ministers in charge
          of ministries or commissions and the auditor general and the
          secretary general of the State Council upon nomination by the
          premier;
             (6) To elect the chairman of the Central Military Commission and,
          upon nomination by the chairman, to decide on the choice of all the
          others on the Central Military Commission;
             (7) To elect the president of the Supreme People's Court;
             (8) To elect the procurator-general of the Supreme People's
          Procuratorate;
             (9) To examine and approve the plan for national economic and
          social development and the report on its implementation;
             (10) To examine and approve the State budget and the report on
          its implementation;
             (11) To alter or annul inappropriate decisions of the Standing
          Committee of the NPC;
             (12) To approve the establishment of provinces, autonomous
          regions, and municipalities directly under the Central Government;
             (13) To decide on the establishment of special administrative
          regions and the systems to be instituted there;
             (14) To decide on questions of war and peace; and
             (15) To exercise such other functions and powers as the highest
          organ of state power should exercise.
             The NPC has the power to recall or remove from office the
          following person:
             (1) The president and the vice-president of PRC;
             (2) The premier, vice-premiers, state councilors, ministers in
          charge of ministries or commissions and the auditor-general and the
          secretary-general of the State Council;
             (3) The chairman of the Central Military Commission and others on
          the commission;
             (4) The president of the Supreme People's Court; and
             (5) The procurator-general of the Supreme People's Procuratorate.
             Amendments to the Constitution are to be proposed by the Standing
          Committee of the NPC or by more than one-fifth of the deputies to
          the NPC and adopted by a majority vote of more than two-thirds of
          all the deputies to the Congress.
             Statutes and resolutions are adopted by a majority vote of more
          than a half of all the deputies to the NPC.    
          The Standing Committee of the NPC is composed of the following:
             The Chairman;
             The Vice-Chairmen;
             The secretary-general; and
             members.
             Minority ethnic groups are entitled to appropriate representation
          on the Standing Committee of the NPC.
             The NPC elects, and has the power to recall, all those on its
          Standing Committee.
             No one on the Standing Committee of the NPC shall hold any post
          in any of the administrative, judicial or procuratorial organs of
          the State.
             The Standing Committee of the NPC is elected for the same term as
          the NPC; it performs functions and powers until a new Standing
          Committee is elected by the succeeding NPC.
             The chairman and vice-chairmen of the Standing Committee shall
          serve no more than two consecutive terms.
             The Standing Committee of the NPC performs the following
          functions and powers;
             (1) To interpret the Constitution and supervise its enforcement;
             (2) To enact and amend statutes with the exception of those which
          should not be enacted by the NPC;
             (3) To enact, when the NPC is not in session, partial supplements
          and amendments to statutes enacted by the NPC provided that they do
          not contravene the basic principles of these statutes;
             (4) To interpret statutes;
             (5) To examine and approve, when the NPC is not in session,
          partial adjustments to the plan for national economic and social
          development and to the state budget that prove necessary in the
          course of their implementation;
             (6) To supervise the work of the State Council, the Central
          Military Commission, the Supreme People's Court and the Supreme
          People's Procuratorate;
             (7) To annul those administrative rules and regulations,
          decisions or orders of the State Council that contravene the
          Constitution or the statutes;
             (8) To annul those local regulations or decisions of the organs
          of state power of provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities
          directly under the Central Government that contravene the
          Constitution, the statutes or the administrative rules and
          regulations;
             (9) To decide, when the NPC is not in session, on the choice of
          ministers in charge of ministries or commissions or the
          auditor-general and the secretary-general of the State Council upon
          nomination by the Premier of the State Council;
             (10) To decide, upon nomination by the Chairman of the Central
          Military Commission, on the choice of others on the Commission, when
          the NPC is not in session;
             (11) To appoint and remove vice-presidents and judges of the
          Supreme People's Court, members of its Judicial Committee and the
          president of the Military Court at the suggestion of the president
          of the Supreme People's Court;
             (12) To appoint and remove the deputy procurators-general and
          procurators of the Supreme People's Procuratorate, members of its
          Procuratorial Committee and the chief procurator of the Military
          Procuratorate at the suggestion of the Procurator-General of the
          Supreme People's Procuratorate, and to approve the appointment and
          removal of the chief procurators of the people's procuratorates of
          provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities directly under the
          Central Government;
             (13) To decide on the appointment and recall of plenipotentiary
          representatives abroad;
             (14) To decide on the ratification and abrogation of treaties and
          important agreements concluded with foreign states;
             (15) To institute systems of titles and ranks for military and
          diplomatic personnel and of other specific titles and ranks;
             (16) To institute State medals and titles of honor and decide on
          their conferment;
             (17) To decide on the granting of special pardons;
             (18) To decide, when the NPC is not in session, on the
          proclamation of a state of war in the event of an armed attack on
          the country or in fulfillment of international treaty obligations
          concerning common defense against aggression;
             (19) To decide on general mobilization or partial mobilization;
             (20) To decide on the enforcement of martial law throughout the
          country or in particular provinces, autonomous regions or
          municipalities directly under the Central Government; and
             (21) To exercise such other functions and powers as the NPC may
          assign to it.
             The chairman of the Standing Committee of the NPC presides over
          the work of the Standing Committee and convenes its meetings. The
          vice-chairmen and the secretary-general assist in the work of the
          Chairman.
             Executive meetings with the participation of the chairman,
          vice-chairmen and secretary-general handle the important day-to-day
          work of the Standing Committee of the NPC.
             The Standing Committee of the NPC is responsible to the NPC and
          reports on its work to the Congress.
             The NPC establishes an Ethnic Affairs Committee, a Law Committee,
          a Financial and Economic Committee, an Education, Science, Culture
          and Public Health Committee, a Foreign Affairs Committee, an
          Overseas Chinese Affairs Committee, a Committee for Internal and
          Judicial Affairs and Environmental and Resources Protection
          Committee, and such other special committees as are necessary. These
          special committees work under the direction of the Standing
          Committee of the NPC when the Congress is not in session.
             The special committees examine, discuss and draw up relevant
          bills and draft resolutions under the direction of the NPC and its
          Standing Committee.
             The NPC and its Standing Committee may, when they deem it
          necessary, appoint committees of inquiry into specific questions and
          adopt relevant resolutions in the light of their reports.
             All organs of state, public organizations and citizens concerned
          are obliged to supply the necessary information to those committees
          of inquiry when they conduct investigations.
             Deputies to the NPC and all those on its Standing Committee have
          the right, in accordance with procedures prescribed by law, to
          submit bills and proposals within the scope of the respective
          functions and powers of the NPC and its Standing Committee.
             Deputies to the NPC during its sessions, and all those on its
          Standing Committee during its meetings, have the right to address
          questions, in accordance with procedures prescribed by law, to the
          State Council or the ministries and commissions under the State
          Council, which must answer the questions in a responsible manner.
             No deputy to the NPC may be arrested or placed on criminal trial
          without the consent of the presidium of the current session of the
          NPC or, when the NPC is not in session, without the consent of its
          Standing Committee.
             Deputies to the NPC may not be called to legal account for their
          speeches or votes at its meetings.
             Deputies to the NPC must play an exemplary role in abiding by the
          Constitution and the law and keeping State secrets and, in
          production and other work and their public activities, assist in the
          enforcement of the Constitution and the law.
             Deputies to the NPC should maintain close contact with the units
          which elected them and with the people, listen to and convey the
          opinions and demands of the people and work hard to serve them.
             Deputies to the NPC are subject to the supervision of the units
          which elected them. The electoral units have the power, through
          procedures prescribed by law, to recall deputies whom they elected.
             The organization and working procedures of the NPC and its
          Standing Committee are prescribed by law.
             The first NPC was held in 1954. The first session of the 4th NPC
          was postponed due to the "Cultural Revolution" to the year 1975.


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