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The National People's Congress

The National People's Congress ("NPC") and local people's congresses at all levels, formed through democratic elections, represent the people in exercising state power. People's congresses are the basic units of political power in China, and the NPC and its Standing Committee exercise the highest level of this state legislative power. The people's congress system is responsible for creating and supervising all administrative, judicial and procuratorial units at every level of government. The system was established following the meeting of people's congresses at different levels in 1953, and then convened in 1954 in the First National People's Congress.

Deputies to county and township people's congresses are directly elected. Deputies to people's congresses above the county level are elected by deputies at lower levels. The NPC deputies are supervised by delegates at lower levels, and are ultimately responsible to the people, who can recall them. The NPC is empowered to examine and approve the national economic and social development plans and the reports on their implementation. It is also responsible for examining and approving the state budget and the report on its implementation during its annual meeting.

All administrative, judicial, prosecutorial and military agencies and other state-level institutions are responsible to the NPC and supervised by it. The legislative powers of the NPC include electing the President of China, supervising the enforcement of the Constitution, amending the Constitution, enacting basic laws, deciding on the choice of the Premier of the State Council upon nomination by the President, electing the Chairman of the Central Military Commission and, upon nomination by the Chairman, deciding on the choice of all other members of the Central Military Commission, and electing the President of the Supreme People's Court. The NPC meets once a year for about two weeks. Between these sessions, its power is exercised by its Standing Committee, elected by NPC members, which is responsible to the NPC and reports its work to the NPC. The current Chairman of the NPC Standing Committee is Wu Bangguo.

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