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China to prioritize legislation on public health in 2020

(Xinhua)    08:28, May 26, 2020


The second plenary meeting of the third session of the 13th National People's Congress (NPC) is held at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, capital of China, May 25, 2020. (Xinhua/Liu Weibing)

BEIJING, May 25 (Xinhua) -- China's top legislature said Monday it will prioritize legislation on public health this year.

In its annual work report, the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC) said it plans to revise the Wildlife Protection Law, the Law on the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases, the Frontier Health and Quarantine Law, and the Emergency Response Law in 2020.

The report was delivered by Li Zhanshu, chairman of the NPC Standing Committee, to the ongoing third session of the 13th NPC for deliberation.

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak, the top legislature has performed its lawful duty, providing legal support for anti-epidemic efforts and economic and social development.

It issued a decision to completely ban the illegal trade and consumption of wildlife, and reached out to the public to clarify epidemic prevention and control laws, according to the report.

China currently has over 30 laws on public health, which have generally withstood the test of the COVID-19 epidemic and played a positive role, Zhang Yesui, spokesperson for the third session of the 13th NPC, told a press conference last week.

Zhang however noted that there are still some weak links and shortcomings in the legal framework, and the NPC Standing Committee will further strengthen China's public health legislation.

Lawmakers are expected to review and approve the country's biosecurity law within this year, according to Zhang. The draft biosecurity law went through a second reading in April.

Meanwhile, legislators will expedite revising the Wildlife Protection Law in the hope of submitting the revision for review in the latter half of the year, Zhang added.

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(Web editor: Liang Jun, Bianji)

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