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People's congress system, NPC
Updated: 2004-03-04 13:53

The people's congress system is the fundamental political system of the People's Republic of China (PRC), the organizational form of the state power of the people's democratic dictatorship in China, and the system of government of the country.

The system most directly reflects the nature of the PRC, indicating the status of the Chinese people of various nationalities as masters in the country's political life.

The NPC is the highest institution through which the Chinese people exercise their state power.

In 1953, China held people's congresses at different levels. In 1954, the First National People's Congress (NPC) was convened, marking the establishment of the people's congress system.

The NPC exercises legislative power, amends the Constitution and supervises its enforcement, formulates and amends basic statutes and other laws; elects and decides on leading personnel of state-level administrative, judicial, procuratorial and military bodies, and has the right to recall them; examines and decides on fundamental, long-term and key issues.

All administrative, judicial, procuratorial and military organs and other state-level institutions are responsible to the NPC and supervised by it.

The NPC Standing Committee, the permanent organ of the NPC, is elected by the NPC and exercises the legislative power of the state together with the NPC. Liu Shaoqi, Zhu De, Ye Jianying, Wan Li, Qiao Shi and Li Peng successively served as chairmen of past NPC Standing Committees. Wu Bangguo is chairman of the Tenth NPC Standing Committee.

Among the nine terms of the NPC, eight have special committees except the Fourth NPC, which was in sessions during the "Great Cultural Revolution" (1966-1976).

The Tenth NPC has established nine special committees: the Financial and Economic Committee; Ethnic Affairs Committee; Law Committee; Committee for Internal and Judicial Affairs; Education, Science Culture and Health Committee; Foreign Affairs Committee; Overseas Chinese Affairs Committee; Environment and Resources Protection Committee; and Agricultural and Rural Affairs Committee. These committees are permanent bodies under the leadership and supervision of both the NPC and its Standing Committee.

The NPC's delegation to the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) is known as "the NPC Delegation." On Dec. 8, 1983, the Third Meeting of the Sixth NPC Standing Committee decided to join the IPU. In April 1984, the IPU Council's 134th meeting made an official announcement to accept the NPC Delegation as its member.

The NPC Delegation aims to promote mutual understanding and friendly exchanges with parliamentary members of different countries, develop friendship and cooperation with peoples of different countries, and safeguard world peace. Enditem nnnn Backgrounder^BEIJING, March 4 (Xinhua) + The legislative powers of the National People's Congress (NPC) and its Standing Committee are defined by the Constitution of China.

According to the Constitution, the NPC exercises the following legislative powers:

-- To amend the Constitution (In China, amendments to the Constitution are to be proposed by the Standing Committee of the NPC or by more than one-fifth of all deputies to the NPC and adopted by a majority affirmative vote of more than two-thirds of all the deputies);

-- To enact and amend basic statutes concerning criminal offenses and civil affairs;

-- To enact and amend statutes concerning State organs, which generally refer to various kinds of organic laws; and

-- To enact and amend basic statutes concerning other matters, such as laws on election, nationality and marriage.

The NPC Standing Committee exercises the following powers:

-- To enact and amend statutes other than those that must be enacted by the NPC;

-- 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;

-- To interpret the Constitution and statutes;

-- To annul administrative rules and regulations, decisions and orders of the State Council that contravene the Constitution or the statutes; and

-- To annul local regulations or decisions of the organs of state power of provinces, autonomous regions and centrally- administered municipalities that contravene the Constitution and the statutes or the administrative rules and regulations.

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