2. We worked in accordance with the law to issue decisions on a number of major issues.
The work of the NPC is an important part of the work of the Party and the country. We have upheld our commitment to the right political direction and to working with the big picture in mind. When faced with major issues and important matters, we demonstrated the courage to take on responsibility and the ability to fulfill duties, ensuring that the Party's propositions are turned into the will of the state through statutory procedures.
1) We promptly and appropriately dealt with problems related to the case of election bribery in Liaoning Province, working resolutely to uphold the authority and sanctity of the system of people's congresses.
The voting bribery case in Liaoning Province was the first major case of its kind to have occurred at the provincial level since the founding of the People's Republic of China. The perpetrators seriously violated Party discipline, state laws, and the requirements of the intra-Party electoral system and the electoral system of the people's congresses. After the deputies to the Liaoning Provincial People's Congress involved in the case had their qualifications revoked in accordance with relevant laws, those who were members of the Standing Committee of the Liaoning Provincial People's Congress were removed from their positions in accordance with the law. The Standing Committee of the Liaoning Provincial People's Congress, having had over half of its members removed, was unable to convene meetings and carry out its duties. In order to promptly and appropriately resolve this unprecedented and exceptional issue, the NPC Standing Committee acted on the basis of the Constitution and relevant legal principles to make creative institutional arrangements. At the provisionally convened 23rd meeting of the NPC Standing Committee on September 13, 2016, we deliberated and approved the report of the Credentials Committee to revoke, in accordance with the law, the qualifications of 45 NPC deputies elected by the Liaoning Provincial People's Congress for bribing voters. At the meeting, we also deliberated and approved a decision stipulating that the 12th Liaoning Provincial People's Congress shall set up a preparatory committee to exercise certain functions and powers on behalf of its Standing Committee and shall take charge of the preparatory work for the convocation of its Seventh Session.
Our handling of the Liaoning case in accordance with the law and Party discipline fully reflects the Party Central Committee's clear stand and strong resolve for advancing China's law-based governance and ensuring strict Party self-governance. No violation of our socialist democracy or rule of law in any form shall be tolerated.
2) We produced the interpretation of Article 104 of the Basic Law of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region in accordance with the law to firmly oppose any attempt at secession of Hong Kong from our country.
The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region is an inseparable part of the People's Republic of China. To attempt "Hong Kong independence" is to attempt secession, a serious violation of the "one country, two systems" principle, the Constitution of China, and the Basic Law of Hong Kong. The NPC Standing Committee, exercising power entrusted to it by the Constitution and the Basic Law, produced the interpretation of Article 104 of the Basic Law of Hong Kong. The interpretation clearly establishes that, as stipulated by Article 104, to "swear to uphold the Basic Law of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China and swear allegiance to the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China" is not only the exact phrasing that must be included in the oath prescribed by Article 104, but is also a legal requirement and condition for any person standing for election or taking up any position of public office specified in the Article. The interpretation clarifies the legal procedures that must be adhered to when taking the oath of office and the statutory content that must be included in the oath; it makes clear that anyone who violates this stipulation on oath taking is to be legally disqualified from assuming office and that any person who makes an oath insincerely or breaks their oath will be held legally responsible.
This interpretation fully demonstrates the Chinese central leadership's resolve in upholding the "one country, two systems" principle and its firm stand against any attempt at secession of Hong Kong from the Chinese nation; it embodies the firm will of 1.3 billion Chinese people, including those in the Hong Kong region, to safeguard their country's sovereignty, security, and developmental interests.
3) We issued the decision on carrying out trials for reform of the national supervision system to provide a legal guarantee for this major political structural reform.
As a major policy decision made by the Party Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core to improve the political structure, deepening reform of the national supervision system has a direct bearing on the big picture and is of immense and far-reaching significance for improving Party conduct, upholding integrity, and combating corruption and for modernizing China's governance system and capacity for governance. In order to build up experience before advancing this major reform throughout the country, the Party Central Committee has decided to launch trials in several localities. In line with the principle that "all major reforms must have a legal basis," the Chairperson's Council of the NPC Standing Committee produced a proposal in accordance with the law, which was carefully deliberated by the Standing Committee and resulted in the decision to carry out trials for reforming the national supervision system in Beijing and in Shanxi and Zhejiang provinces. The decision stipulates that supervisory committees shall be established in pilot areas to exercise supervisory functions and powers; that a supervisory committee shall be created by the people's congress at the same level, and be responsible to and overseen by the same-level people's congress and its standing committee as well as the supervisory committee at the next level up; and that supervisory committees shall supervise the exercise of public power by all government employees in their regions in accordance with the law and within the scope of their supervisory authority. It also stipulates that the applicability of certain stipulations in the Law on Administrative Supervision, the Criminal Procedure Law, the Organic Law of the Local People's Congresses and Local People's Governments, and other relevant laws shall be provisionally adjusted or suspended in order to ensure law-based, orderly advancement of the pilot reform.
3. We provided a legal guarantee for relevant reforms.
In working to bring legislation into line with China's reform, we revised and improved laws related to reform in a timely manner, issued decisions on relevant pilot reforms, and heard and deliberated reports on the progress of pilot reforms. We have thus been able to ensure that reform and rule of law complement and reinforce one another.
1) We revised multiple laws using a coordinated approach, in a continued effort to support the reform of the government review and approval system.
For specific articles from different laws that deal with similar issues or the same matter and need to be revised for the sake of a reform, our approach is to issue a decision for revisions to be made across laws by putting forward multiple drafts at the same time. This is an important method we adopt to promote the relevant reform through legislation. Over the past four years, using this approach, we have deliberated and approved 13 such revision decisions, revising 74 laws and decisions on legal issues. In 2016, we deliberated and adopted the decision to revise six laws at the same time, including the Energy Conservation Law and the Law on the Prevention and Control of Occupational Diseases, as well as the decision to revise 12 laws, including the Foreign Trade Law, the Customs Law, and the Coal Industry Law. We thus made consistent changes to their articles pertaining to government review and approval or verification of professional qualifications and related matters.
2) We issued authorization decisions in accordance with the law to provide legal basis for pilot reforms.
We authorized the Supreme People's Court and the Supreme People's Procuratorate to pilot a system of sentence bargaining in criminal cases in 18 cities including Beijing. Meanwhile, we reviewed our experiences with the pilot project of accelerated procedures for certain criminal cases that we authorized in 2014 to be carried out in these 18 cities, and incorporated this pilot project into the pilot sentence bargaining system to expand, improve, and continue running it under the new pilot system. We heard and deliberated the mid-term report of the Supreme People's Court on the pilot reform of the system of people's assessors, and that of the Supreme People's Procuratorate on the pilot reform for the filing of public interest litigation by procuratorates. We demanded that guidance and oversight be stepped up and a comprehensive evaluation of the results of these pilot reforms be made so as to accumulate experience for revising and improving relevant laws.
In order to ensure law-based advancement of the pilot reforms concerning a salary system for public servants based on both position and rank, incorporation of the maternity insurance into the basic medical insurance scheme, and the system of military officers, we deliberated and passed three separate decisions on making provisional adjustments to the applicability of certain stipulations in relevant laws, so as to guarantee that these pilot reforms are carried on in line with the rule of law.
3) We reviewed our experiences with pilot reforms and enabled the spread of applicable practices to more regions by revising and improving relevant laws.
We have remained committed to advancing reform on the basis of rule of law and strengthening the rule of law through reform. For reform measures that require preliminary trials, we shall authorize the necessary trials in accordance with the law; for reform measures that have proved to be effective in practice and are ready to be applied to other regions, we shall act in a timely manner to review these measures and revise and improve relevant laws accordingly. In 2013 and 2014 we issued two decisions authorizing the State Council to make provisional adjustments to items requiring government review as prescribed by certain laws in the pilot free trade zones in Shanghai, Guangdong, Tianjin, and Fujian. After considering the motion that the State Council had put forward on the basis of its thorough review of experiences gained from the trials, last year we made a coordinated effort to revise the Law on Foreign-Funded Enterprises and three other laws at the same time. We thus elevated the reform measures tested out in pilot free trade zones into provisions of law, and correspondingly terminated the two authorization decisions.