|Zhang Dejiang (2nd R), chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC), attends a meeting of the seventh bi-monthly session of the 12th NPC Standing Committee with other lawmakers to review a draft report on the work of the NPC Standing Committee, which is to be submitted to the upcoming annual session of the NPC, in Beijing, capital of China, Feb. 26, 2014. (Xinhua/Wang Ye)|
BEIJING, Feb. 26 -- Members of China's top legislature on Wednesday described the legislature's work in the past year as "a good beginning" with improved efficiency and effects.
Members of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC) discussed a draft report on the work of the committee at a bi-monthly session, which runs from Tuesday through Thursday.
The report will be submitted to the NPC's annual session next month if adopted by the committee members.
Zhang Dejiang, chairman of the NPC Standing Committee, joined Wednesday's discussion of the report.
In the first year of the NPC's 12th five-year term, the Standing Committee has not only continued the good legacy of its predecessor but also added new elements, said Bai Zhijian at a panel discussion about the draft report.
The quality of legislation has been improved since the top legislature introduced new legislative methods, he said.
The public used to be informed and asked for opinion about a bill once, usually after its first reading. Last year, the legislature started to add one round of opinion soliciting after the second reading of a bill.
In another new move, outside experts and parties of interest were invited to evaluate bills before they were put to vote.
Through these methods, opinions from different sectors were pooled, helping lawmakers draft better motions, according to Bai.
The Standing Committee also increased the number of NPC deputies observing its bi-monthly session and gained more advice from deputies with expertise or from the grass-roots level, he added.
A number of lawmakers made proposals about the top legislature's work this year.
It should work to increase the staff and budget of local legislatures so they can better supervise local governments, said Luo Liangquan.
Luo also suggested that more training be given to inexperienced and grass-roots NPC deputies.
Wan E'xiang, vice chairman of the NPC Standing Committee, suggested that the top legislature put more effort into explaining the Constitution and laws.
"For the NPC, explaining the Constitution and laws is just as important as legislation. Currently, the top legislature has not done enough in this aspect," said Wan.
As more laws are issued and people's legal awareness increases, there will be increasing need for explanation of laws in legal practice, and the NPC should make arrangements to meet these needs, he said.
Also on Wednesday, a meeting for the chair and vice chairs of the committee was held, presided over by Zhang Dejiang.
The meeting heard a report on reviews regarding a motion to make Dec. 13 a national memorial day to commemorate those killed during the Nanjing Massacre, and designating Sept. 3 as "Victory Day of the Chinese People's War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression."
Lawmakers agreed at Tuesday's session that the two days should be set to better commemorate heroic martyrs in the war and all the people who contributed to victory in the conflict, as well as to recall the arduous resistance against Japanese militarists' aggression. They all suggested passing the draft decision during this NPC session.
The meeting also heard a report on examination of drafts on the agenda of the NPC annual session, the candidates for the session's presidium and secretary-general, as well as the list of observers at the session.
It decided that another meeting of the chair and vice chairs of the committee will be held to decide whether or not these drafts or motions should be put to vote at the closing meeting of the NPC's bi-monthly session on Thursday.