Describe the composition and powers of National People’s Congress and also explain structure of legislative organs of China

(1) Introduction

The Constitution of China provides a constitutional structure of China. This constitutional structure consists of National. People’s Congress, Standing Committee of National People’s Congress, State Council, President and judiciary. The National People’s Congress is the Legislature or Parliament of China. It is the highest state organ of power. And National People’s Congress Standing Committee is the permanent organ of National People’s Congress. Both of them exercise legislative power of the state.

(2) Legislative Organs

According to Article 58 of the Constitution, National People’s Congress and National People’s Congress Standing Committee are the legislative organs of China:

  • (i) National People’s Congress
  • (ii) National People’s Congress Standing Committee

(i) National People’s Congress

National People’s Congress is Legislature of China:

  • (a) Composition or structure
  • (b) Powers & functions

(a) Composition Or Structure

Constitution provides for composition or structure of National People’s Congress:

  • (a-i) Unicameral legislature
  • (a-iii) Term
  • (a-iii) Extension of term
  • (a-iv) Members

(a-i) Unicameral Legislature

The Legislature of China is a unicameral legislature. It consists of one house and this house is National People’s Congress.

(a-ii) Term

According to Article 60, each National People’s Congress is elected for five years.

(a-iii) Extension Of Term

According to Article 60, the term of its office can be extended:

  • (x) Extraordinary circumstances
  • (y) Resolution
  • (z) Two-thirds of members

(x) Extraordinary Circumstances

If extraordinary circumstances prevent election of the next National People’s Congress, the term of current National People’s Congress can be extended.

(y) National People’s Congress Standing Committee

Its term is extended by a resolution.

(z) Two-Thirds Of Members

Such resolution must be supported by at least two-thirds of the members of the current National People’s Congress Standing

Committee.

(a-iv) Members

Its members can be explained in the following words:

  • (w) Deputies
  • (x) Total members
  • (y) Elections
  • (z) Presidium

(w) Deputies

According to Article 59, its members are called deputies.

(x) Total Members

The Constitution has not fixed the total number of its members:

  • (x-i) Prescribed by law
  • (x-ii) Fluctuating number
  • (x-iii) Ethnic minorities’ representation

(x-i) Prescribed By Law

Article 59 states that the number of deputies shall be.

(x-ii) Fluctuating Number

The number of its members keeps on fluctuating. The present National People’s Congress is thirteenth National People’s Congress and it has 2980 member.

(x-iii) Ethnic Minorities’ Representation

Article 59 describes that there should be an appropriate number of deputies from all ethnic minorities.

(y) Elections

The elections of deputies can be explained in the following words:

  • (y-i) Procedure
  • (y-ii) Indirect elections
  • (y-iii) Presiding
  • (y-iv) Time to complete election

(y-i) Procedure

Article 59 states that procedure for the election of the deputy shall be prescribed by law.

(y-ii) Indirect Elections

According to Article 59, the deputies are elected through indirect elections; they are elected by Provincial People’s Congresses.

(y-iii) Presiding

Article 59 states that the election of deputies shall be presided over by the National People’s Congress Standing Committee.

(y-iv) Time To Complete Election

Article 60 explains the time to complete the election of the deputies:

  • (p) Normal circumstances
  • (q) Extraordinary circumstances

(p) Normal Circumstances

In normal circumstances, the National People’s Congress Standing Committee is to complete the election of deputies to the next National People’s Congress two months prior to the completion of the term of office of the current National People’s Congress.

(q) Extraordinary Circumstances

The election of deputies to the next National People’s Congress must be completed within one year from the date when the extraordinary circumstances come to an end.

(z) Presidium

According to Article 61, presidium is to conduct the session of National People’s Congress:

  • (z-i) Election
  • (z-ii) Members
  • (z-iii) Who are its members?

(z-i) Election

National People’s Congress elects it.

(z-ii) Members

Its members are elected from among the deputies.

(z-iii) Who Are Its Members?

Typically, followings are its members:

  • (l) Leaders of the Communist Party of China and of the state
  • (m) Leaders of the central committees of non-Communist parties
  • (n) Leaders of the All-China Federation of Industry and Commerce
  • (o) Citizens with no party affiliations
  • (p) Leaders at national level in the government, the army and mass organizations
  • (q) Representatives from special economic regions and from Hong Kong and Macao
  • (r) Model workers
  • (s) Representatives of the armed forces
  • (t) Representatives of sectors like business, science and technology, education, culture, health, sport, religion and overseas Chinese
  • (u) Representatives of ethnic minorities with large populations
  • (v) Heads of delegations

(b) Powers & Functions

Articles 62 and 63 describe powers and functions of National People’s Congress:

  • (b-i) Article 62
  • (b-ii) Article 63

(b-i) Article 62

Article 62 narrates following powers and functions of National People’s Congress:

  • (h) Amendment of Constitution
  • (j) Enforcement of Constitution
  • (k) Enactment & enforcement of criminal, civil, state institutional & other basic laws
  • (l) Election of President & Vice President
  • (m) Powers regarding State Council
  • (n) Powers regarding Central Military Commission
  • (o) Election of chairperson of National Commission of Supervision
  • (p) Election of president of Supreme People’s Court
  • (q) Election of Procurator General of Supreme People’s Procuratorate
  • (r) Power regarding national economic & social development
  • (s) Power regarding budget
  • (t) Inappropriate decisions of National People’s Congress Standing Committee
  • (u) Establishment of provinces, autonomous regions & cities
  • (w) Establishment of special administrative regions
  • (x) War & peace
  • (y) Other powers
  • (z) Other functions

(h) Amendment Of Constitution

It has power to amend the Constitution of China.

(j) Enforcement Of Constitution

It possesses power to oversee the enforcement of the Constitution of China.

(k) Enactment & Enforcement Of Criminal, Civil, State Institutional & Other Basic Laws

It has power to enact and amend criminal, civil, state institutional and other basic laws.

(l) Election Of President & Vice President

It possesses power to elect the President and the Vice President of China..

(m) Powers Regarding State Council

It has following powers regarding State Council:

  • (m-i) Prime Minister
  • (m-ii) Vice Prime Minister & State Councilors
  • (m-iii) Ministers of ministries & ministers of commissions
  • (m-iv) Auditor General & Secretary General

(m-i) Prime Minister

The President makes the nomination and it is to decide on the successful candidate for the Prime Minister of the State Council.

(m-ii) Vice Prime Ministers & State Councilors

The Prime Minister of State Council makes nomination, and it is to decide on the successful candidates for Vice Prime Ministers and State Councilors.

(m-iii) Ministers Of Ministries & Ministers Of Commissions

The Prime Minister of State Council makes nomination, and it is to decide on the successful candidates for ministers of ministries and ministers of commissions.

(m-iv) Auditor General & Secretary General

Council makes nomination, and it is to decide on the successful candidates for the Auditor General and the Secretary General of the State Council.

(n) Powers Regarding Central Military Commission

It possesses following powers regarding Central Military Commission:

  • (n-i) Chairperson of Central Military Commission
  • (h-ii) Members of Central Military Commission

(n-i) Chairperson Of Central Military Commission

It is to elect the chairperson of the Central Military Commission.

(n-ii) Members Of Central Military Commission

The chairperson of the Central Military Commission makes nomination, and it is to decide on the successful candidates for other members of the Central Military Commission.

(0) Election Of Chairperson Of National Commission Of Supervision

It has power to elect the chairperson of the National Commission of Supervision.

(p) Election Of President Of Supreme People’s Court

It possesses power to elect the president of the Supreme People’s Court.

(q) Election Of Procurator General Of Supreme People’s Procuratorate

It has power to elect the Procurator General of the Supreme People’s Procuratorate,

(r) Power Regarding National Economic & Social Development

It possesses power to review and approve the plan for national economic and social development and the report on its implementation.

(s) Power Regarding Budget

It has power to review and approve the state budget and the report on its implementation.

(t) Inappropriate Decisions Of National People’s Congress Standing Committee

It possesses power to change or revoke inappropriate decisions of the National People’s Congress Standing Committee.

(u) Establishment Of Provinces, Autonomous Regions & Cities

It has power to approve the establishment of provinces, autonomous regions and cities directly under central government jurisdiction.

(w) Establishment Of Special Administrative Regions

It possesses power to decide on the establishment of special administrative regions and the systems that are to be instituted such regions.

(x) War & Peace

It has power to decide on issues concerning war and peace.

(y) Other Powers

It also possesses the powers that the highest state organ of power should exercise.

(z) Other Functions

It also performs the functions that the highest state organ of power should perform.

(b-ii) Article 63

Article 63 describes its power:

  • (r) President & Vice President
  • (s) Prime Minister, Vice Prime Ministers & State Councilors.
  • (t) Ministers of ministries & ministers of commissions
  • (u) Auditor General & Secretary General
  • (w) Chairperson & members of Central Military Commission
  • (x) Chairperson of National Commission of Supervision
  • (y) President of Supreme People’s Court
  • (z) Procurator General of Supreme People’s Procuratorate

(r) President & Vice President

It has power to remove President and Vice President of China from their offices.

(s) Prime Minister, Vice Prime Ministers & State Councilors

It possesses power to remove the Prime Minister, Vice Prime Ministers and State Councilors from their offices.

(t) Ministers Of Ministries & Ministers Of Commissions

It has power to remove the ministers of ministries and ministers of commissions from their offices.

(u) Auditor General & Secretary General

It possesses power to remove the Auditor General and Secretary General of the State Council.

(w) Chairperson & Members of Central Military Commission

It has power to remove the chairperson and other members of the Central Military Commission.

(x) Chairperson Of National Commission Of Supervision

It possesses power to remove the chairperson of the National Commission of Supervision.

(y) President Of Supreme People’s Court

It has power to remove the president of the Supreme People’s Court.

(z) Procurator General Of Supreme People’s Procuratorate

It possesses power to remove the Procurator General of the Supreme People’s Procuratorate.

(ii) National People’s Congress Standing Committee

National People’s Congress Standing Committee can be explained in the following words:

  • (a) Composition or structure
  • (b) Powers & functions

(a) Composition Or Structure

Constitution provides for its composition or structure:

  • (a-i) Composition
  • (a-ii) Term

(a-i) Composition

According to Article 65, it is composed of a chairperson. vice chairpersons, general secretary and members:

  • (u) Total number of members
  • (w) Ethnic minority deputies
  • (x) Prohibition for members
  • (y) Election of members
  • (z) Removal of members

(u) Total Number Of Members

The Constitution is silent regarding total number of its members.

(w) Ethnic Minority Deputies

There should be an appropriate number of ethnic minority: deputies who sit as its members.

(x) Prohibition For Members

Its members are prohibited from holding office in an administrative, supervisory, adjudicatory or procuratorial organ of the state.

(y) Election Of Members

National People’s Congress elects its members.

(z) Removal Of Members

National People’s Congress has power to remove its members from the office.

(a-ii) Term

Article 66 provides for its term:

  • (x) Term of National People’s Congress Standing Committee
  • (y) Term of Chairperson & vice chairpersons

(x) Term Of National People’s Congress Standing Committee

Term of each National People’s Congress Standing Committee is five years.

(y) Term Of Office Of Chairperson & Vice Chairpersons

Its chairperson and vice chairpersons cannot serve for more than two consecutive terms.

(b) Powers & Functions

Its powers and functions can be explained in the following words:

  • (b-i) Article 59
  • (b-ii) Article 60
  • (b-iii) Article 64
  • (b-iv) Article 67

(b-i) Article 59

Article 59 states that it is to preside over the election of deputies to the National People’s Congress.

(b-ii) Article 60

Article 60 describes some of its powers and functions:

  • (x) Postponement of election & extension of term
  • (y) Time to hold elections

(x) Postponement Of Election & Extension Of Term

If extraordinary circumstances prevent an election of the next National People’s Congress, the election can be postponed and the term of office of the current National People’s Congress can be extended by a resolution, which is supported by at least two-thirds of the members of the current National People’s Congress Standing Committee.

(y) Time To Hold Election

(y-i) Normal Circumstances

In normal circumstances, the National People’s Congress Standing Committee is to complete the election of deputies to the next National People’s Congress two months prior to the completion of the term of office of the current National People’s Congress.

(y-ii) Extraordinary Circumstances

The election of deputies to the next National People’s Congress must be completed within one year from the date when the extraordinary circumstances comes to an end.

(b-iii) Article 64

Article 64 empowers it to propose amendments to the Constitution.

(b-iv) Article 67 

Article 67 narrates its following functions and powers:

  • (c) Interpretation & enforcement of Constitution
  • (d) Enactment & amendment of laws
  • (e) Interpretation of laws
  • (f) Work of state institutions
  • (g) Revocation of administrative regulations, decisions &orders
  • (h) Revocation of local regulations & state organs resolutions
  • (J) Appointment or removal of vice chairpersons & members of National Commission of Supervision
  • (k) Appointment or removal of vice presidents & judges of Supreme People’s Court
  • (l) Appointment or removal of Adjudicatory Committee members of Supreme People’s Court
  • (m) Appointment or removal of president of Military Court
  • (n) Appointment or removal of deputy procurators general of Supreme People’s Procuratorate
  • (o) Appointment or removal of Pocuratorial Committee members of Supreme People’s Procuratorate
  • (p) Appointment or removal of chief procurator of Military Procuratorate
  •  (q) Appointment or removal of chief procurators of people’s procuratorates of provinces, autonomous regions & cities
  • (r) Appointment or removal of plenipotentiary representatives abroad
  • (s) Ratification or abrogation of treaties & important agreements
  • (t) Systems of titles & ranks
  • (u) National medals & titles of honor
  • (w) Granting of special pardons
  • (x) National or local mobilization
  • (y) State of emergency
  • (yy) Other functions
  • (z) Other powers
  • (zz) Functions & powers when National People’s Congress is not in session

(c) Interpretation & Enforcement Of Constitution

It interprets the Constitution and oversees its enforcement.

(d) Enactment & Amendment Of Laws

It enacts and amends laws, which are other than those that National People’s Congress should enact.

(c) Interpretation Of Laws

It interprets the laws.

(f) Work of State Institutions

It oversees the work of the State Council, the Central Military Commission, the National Commission of Supervision, the Supreme People’s Court and the Supreme People’s Procuratorate.

(g) Revocation Of Administrative Regulations, Decisions & Orders

It revokes administrative regulations, decisions and orders, which the State Council has formulated and are in conflict with the Constitution or laws.

(h) Revocation of Local Regulations & State Organs Resolutions

It revokes local regulations and resolutions, which have heen formulated by the state organs of power in provinces, autonomous regions and cities directly under central government jurisdiction and are in conflict with the Constitution, laws, or administrative regulations.

(j) Appointment Or Removal Of Vice Chairpersons & Members Of National Commission Of Supervision

It appoints or removes vice chairpersons and members the National Commission of Supervision.

(k) Appointment Or Removal Of Vice Presidents & Judges Of Supreme People’s Court

It appoints or removes vice presidents and judges of the Supreme People’s Court.

(l) Appointment Or Removal Of Adjudicatory Committee Members Of Supreme People’s Court

It appoints or removes Adjudicatory Committee members of the Supreme People’s Court.

(m) Appointment Or Removal Of President Of Military Court

It appoints or removes the president of the Military Court.

(n) Appointment Or Removal Of Deputy Procurators General of Supreme People’s Procuratorate

It appoints or removes deputy procurators general and procurators of the Supreme People’s Procuratorate.

(o) Appointment Or Removal Of Pocuratorial Committee Members Of Supreme People’s rocuratorate

It appoints or removes the Procuratorial Committee members of the Supreme People’s Procuratorate.

(p) Appointment Or Removal Of Chief Procurator of the Military Procuratorate

It appoints or removes the chief procurator of the Military Procuratorate.

(q) Appointment Or Removal Of Chief Procurators Of People’s Procuratorates Of Provinces, Autonomous Regions & Cities

It approves the appointment or removal of chief procurators of the people’s procuratorates of provinces, autonomous regions and cities directly under central government jurisdiction.

(r) Appointment Or Removal Of Plenipotentiary Representatives Abroad

It decides on the appointment or removal of plenipotentiary representatives abroad.

(s) Ratification Or Abrogation Of Treaties & Important Agreements

It decides on the ratification or abrogation of treaties and important agreements, which have been concluded with foreign countries.

(t) Systems Of Titles & Ranks

It stipulates systems of titles and ranks for military and diplomatic personnel and other field-specific title and ranking systems.

(u) National Medals & Titles Of Honor

It stipulates national medals and titles of honor and decides on their conferment.

(w) Granting Of Special Pardons

It decides on the granting of special pardons.

(x) National Or Local Mobilization

It decides on national or local mobilization.

(y) State Of Emergency

It decides on entering a state of emergency nationwide or in particular provinces, autonomous regions or cities directly under central government jurisdiction.

(yy) Other Functions

It performs other functions that National People’s Congress gives to it.

(z) Other Powers

It exercises other powers that National People’s Congress gives to it.

(zz) Functions & Powers When National People’s Congress Is Not In Session

Followings are its functions and powers when National People’s Congress is not in session:

(zz-i) Partial supplementation & amendment of laws

(zz-ii) Plan for national economic & social development & state budget

(zz-iii) Ministers of ministries & ministers of commissions

(zz-iv) Auditor General & Secretary General of State Council

(zz-v) Members of Central Military Commission

(zz-vi) Declaration of state of war

(zz-i) Partial Supplementation & Amendment Of Laws

It partially supplements and amends laws, which National People’s Congress has enacted. However, it is to do it without conflicting with the basic principles of these laws.

(zz-ii) Plan For National Economic & Social Development & State Budget

It reviews and approves partial adjustments to the plan for national economic and social development and the state budget.

(zz-iii) Ministers Of Ministries & Ministers Of Commissions

It decides on successful candidates for ministers of ministries and ministers of commissions.

(zz-iv) Auditor General & Secretary General Of State Council

It decides on successful candidates for the Auditor General and the Secretary General of the State Council.

(zz-v) Members Of Central Military Commission

It decides on successful candidates for members of the Central Military Commission.

(zz-vi) Declaration Of State Of War

It decides on declaring a state of war.

(3) Conclusion

It can be finally stated that National People’s Congress is a unique legislature or parliament due to some reasons. It is unique legislature because it is the largest parliamentary body in the world due to its large membership. It is unique parliament because it works according to Chinese style of separation of powers.

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