Report on the Work of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress
– Delivered at the Second Session of the 13th National People’s Congress on March 8, 2019
Li Zhanshu, Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress
On behalf of the Standing Committee of the 13th National People’s Congress (NPC), I will now present to you a report on its work for your deliberation.
Let me begin with a brief review of our major initiatives over the past year.
The 13th NPC and its Standing Committee are serving in the historic period in which the timeframes of the two centenary goals converge. We therefore shoulder both a glorious mission and an enormous responsibility. Over the past year, the Standing Committee has earnestly studied and implemented Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era and the guiding principles from the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC). Under the leadership of the CPC Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core, and in line with plans made at the First Session of the 13th NPC, we have fulfilled our duties in accordance with the law, forged ahead, and got off to a good start.
I. We studied and implemented Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era to ensure that a correct political orientation was maintained in NPC work.
The Standing Committee made studying and implementing Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era the foremost political task, in order to thoroughly understand its scientific system, theoretical substance, and practical requirements and use it to equip our minds, guide our initiatives, and advance our work. In organizing study and discussion of the topic, we held seminars with participants from 31 provincial-level people’s congresses and relevant departments. We systematically studied General Secretary Xi Jinping’s important ideas on upholding and improving the people’s congress system, launching special research and introducing study requirements in order to deepen our understanding of the major theoretical and practical questions of what kind of people’s congress system should be upheld and improved in the new era, and how we should go about upholding and improving this system. Taking local conditions into account, people’s congresses at all levels carried out thorough studies and translated what they learned into action by effectively performing their duties and making progress with their initiatives.
Centered on studying and implementing the Party’s basic theories, line, and principles, we successfully organized Standing Committee seminars, holding a total of 10 seminars focused on studying General Secretary Xi Jinping’s major remarks on the Constitution, the rule of law, reform and opening-up, innovation-driven development, and ecological advancement, as well as the requirements he set forth for the legislative and oversight work of the NPC, thus making the Standing Committee better able to perform all its duties. With a large number of newly elected deputies, the intensity of deputy training has been stepped up. Over 1,300 deputies participated in training, accounting for 59 percent of the total number of new deputies. We organized separate study sessions for leading members of the standing committees of people’s congresses at the provincial, municipal, and county levels. A total of 3,200 people participated in these sessions, which essentially covered all people’s congresses at these levels.
Through consistent and in-depth theoretical study and strengthening of our minds, we have reinforced the conceptual foundations for upholding the authority and centralized, unified leadership of the CPC Central Committee, bolstered our confidence and determination in following the socialist path of political advancement with Chinese characteristics, and heightened our sense of responsibility and mission with regard to upholding and improving the people’s congress system.
II. We studied, publicized, and implemented the newly revised Constitution to generate new momentum for putting it into practice.
The CPC stands for the lawful and constitutional use of power. Upholding law-based governance and the lawful use of power begins with the Constitution. Since the 18th National Congress of the CPC, the Party Central Committee has featured enforcement of the Constitution prominently in the efforts to comprehensively advance the rule of law. General Secretary Xi Jinping made numerous important remarks on effective enforcement of the Constitution, and on three occasions put forward important instructions on carrying out activities for National Constitution Day. He also took the lead in performing the pledge of allegiance to the Constitution. These acts vigorously promoted the practices of consciously honoring, studying, observing, upholding, and applying the Constitution throughout society.
Under the leadership of the CPC Central Committee, the lofty task of revising the Constitution was completed at the First Session of the 13th NPC. With this revision, we confirmed the guiding position of Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era in China’s political and social activities, enriched provisions for upholding and strengthening the overall leadership of the CPC, refined the country’s fundamental tasks, objectives, and national leadership system enshrined in the Constitution, and established the national supervision system, thereby consolidating the institutional foundation for ensuring that our country enjoys lasting stability. In accordance with the arrangements of the Party Central Committee, the Standing Committee made studying, publicizing, implementing, and enforcing the Constitution a major political task, with particular emphasis placed on studying and informing people about the great significance and major content of the revision of the Constitution. With this task in mind, we organized seminars on thoroughly studying, publicizing, implementing, and enforcing the Constitution, arranged a symposium for the fifth National Constitution Day, set up special press conferences, and held meetings for giving lectures and reports. We also wrote theoretical articles, and encouraged all localities and departments to launch various types of activities for publicizing the Constitution and educating people about it. By doing so, we promoted the constitutional spirit, established the authority of the Constitution, and raised awareness of the Constitution, helping the spirit of the Constitution take root in the hearts of the people and win their sincere faith and support.
The Standing Committee took the lead in implementing the Constitution, and also strengthened oversight over its enforcement. In accordance with the newly revised Constitution, we decided upon the duties of the Constitution and Law Committee, which was newly established through institutional adjustment, and endowed it with additional responsibilities for ensuring and overseeing enforcement of the Constitution and interpreting the Constitution, thus providing enforcement of the Constitution with a stronger organizational backing. We have ensured that all normative documents are kept on record, that all documents on record are reviewed, and that all errors discovered in these documents are rectified. We have enhanced the inspection of constitutional compliance to ensure that all systems, principles, and rules enshrined in the Constitution are fully implemented. We reviewed 40 administrative regulations, 1,180 local statutes, and 18 judicial interpretations submitted for the record, examined 1,229 suggestions on our review work from citizens and organizations, and urged relevant parties to rescind or correct normative documents that conflicted with the Constitution or the law. By putting diligent effort into organizing pledges of allegiance to the Constitution, we boosted awareness of the Constitution among civil servants, so that they took the lead in becoming loyal supporters, conscious observers, and stalwart defenders of the Constitution.
Over the past year, we have made new progress in studying, publicizing, implementing, and enforcing the Constitution, thereby demonstrating its legal standing, authority, and efficacy. Throughout society, there is deeper awareness that the Constitution fully reflects the people’s common will, guarantees their rights, and safeguards their fundamental interests. The Constitution will surely exert a greater role as a fundamental legal guarantee for our efforts to secure a decisive victory in building a moderately prosperous society in all respects and to fully develop a modern socialist China.