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Deliberation on Fundamental Law Highlights NPC Annual Session : Spokesperson
   2016-03-04 21:07:47    CRIENGLISH.com      Web Editor: Guo Yan

Fu Ying, spokesperson for the fourth session of China's 12th National People's Congress (NPC), attends a press conference on the session at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, capital of China, March 4, 2016. The fourth session of the 12th NPC is scheduled to open in Beijing on March 5. [Photo: Xinhua]     

The spokesperson for China's top legislative body has previewed the highlights and hot topics to be discussed during the 12th National People's Congress - the NPC annual session that starts on Saturday.

 

Fu Ying, the spokesperson for the annual session of the legislative body, says China is drafting a fundamental Civil Code and the general rules of the draft are expected to be submitted to the top legislature in June.

"A two-step approach will be taken. The first one is to formulate the general provisions of civil law, and the second is to conduct a comprehensive consolidation of all civil laws. Now a draft on the general provisions is up and ready for public consultation. From what I heard before this press conference, it will be ready and submitted to the Standing Committee of the NPC for deliberation in June."

She adds that all information will be publicized during the deliberation, and all attention and suggestions are welcomed.

Fu says the Civil Code is a fundamental law for managing civil affairs and at its core is the protection of private rights.

The draft rules of the Civil Code have been worked out and the top legislature is soliciting opinions on them.

In responding to questions on discipline violations, the spokesperson highlights that China will continue to step up its efforts to make and amend laws to fight corruption.

China's discipline authority announced earlier that Wang Min, a senior national legislator, is being investigated on suspicion of serious violations of Party discipline.

Wang is vice chairman of the Education, Science, Culture and Public Health Committee of China's top legislative body.

The announcement came just hours before the news briefing.

Fu says the case is one example of how far-reaching the country's ongoing campaign against corruption is.

"I think it shows there are no 'dead corners' for our anti-corruption efforts. Any NPC deputies, both at the national and local levels, who violate discipline or break the law will be investigated by disciplinary authorities and brought to justice. Statistics show that so far, 43 NPC deputies for this session have resigned and another 23 have been dismissed. Quite a few of them resigned or were dismissed due to their involvement in illegal activities or activities that violated discipline," said Fu.

Fu Ying also says a new bill to regulate overseas non-governmental organizations in China is being amended.

She notes that lawmakers have extensively solicited opinions and suggestions, both inside and outside of China.

"The draft law has been released online for collecting opinions from both inside and outside China. Since the law will involve rights and interests of overseas NGOs and also individuals in China, the Committee gathered suggestions from representatives of NGOs and foreign institutions. We've also organized a special seminar on this issue with German NGOs. The lawmakers are combing through various suggestions and advice to make it perfect."

Statistics show there are more than 7,000 overseas NGOs operating in China, mainly in sectors such as environment, science, education and culture.

Fu says the purpose of the law is not to restrict the lawful and helpful activities of NGOs in China, but to provide a sound legal environment.

On the issue of China's infrastructure construction on islands in the South China Sea, the spokesperson says the militarization of the region is definitely not the aim of the Chinese government. But she has questions about the role of the US on this particular issue.

"First, Chinese authorities believe that it's not good for the United States to make a show of force by sending warships to the Nansha reefs. The United States has said that it will not take sides on the issue of the South China Sea, but what it has done in the region is quite questionable."

She says Chinese government is ready to develop the region together with neighbouring countries on the basis of China's sovereignty on the South China Sea and safeguarding regional peace and stability.

The spokesperson points out that China's defense budget will grow by a lower rate of about seven to eight percent this year.

"China's defense budget is determined based on two major considerations. The first is China's defense building requirements and the second is the country's socioeconomic development situation as well as fiscal revenue."

The exact figure will be released in a budget report during the upcoming session.

China's defense budget rose by 10.1 percent last year.

A growth rate within the range that Fu mentioned may be even lower than the number in 2010, when the figure stood at 7.5 percent.

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