China's top legislature starts standing committee session to review draft laws and revisions with new social situations

By Xu Yelu (Global Times) 08:37, December 26, 2023

The Standing Committee of the 14th National People's Congress, China's top legislature, started its seventh session on Monday to review multiple draft laws and law revisions. Experts say that the amendments to the legislation this time are highly targeted, aiming to meet the demands of new social situations, new issues, and new technologies, with a focus on how to improve standards to protect individual rights.

The session's agenda includes reviewing a draft revision to the Organic Law of the State Council, a draft revision to the Company Law, a draft amendment to the Charity Law, a draft food security law, a draft amendment to the Criminal Law, a draft emergency response management law, and a draft law on rural collective economic organizations.

Chinese lawmakers are considering an amendment to the Charity Law to guide charity organizations in regulating fundraising activities. According to the draft, governments at the county level and above should coordinate and guide competent departments in regulating and supporting the development of charity programs within the scope of their respective duties.

Regarding practical problems in running fundraising events, the draft refines provisions related to the cost of fundraising activities and cooperation in organizing public fundraising. The draft stipulates tighter rules for punishing lawbreakers. It adds provisions stipulating that those who are held accountable for relevant offenses be banned from serving as managers of charity organizations for one to five years.

The draft also specifies that individuals should seek assistance through online service platforms designated by the Ministry of Civil Affairs.

Experts said that the amendment to the Charity Law is aimed at addressing new situations and issues in society, such as crowd funding. The goal is to encourage everyone to help people in need of help and for businesses to fulfill their social responsibilities, while also addressing the technical and environmental challenges involved.

Another popular amendment that is getting a lot of attention is the food security law. According to Zang Tiewei, a spokesperson for the Legislative Affairs Commission of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, the draft , which was submitted for review, clearly focuses on the national food security strategy, improves the food supply system, and ensures that the people can eat enough, eat well, and eat with confidence. It also specifies the requirements to meet the diverse and high-quality nutritional needs of the people. The draft also makes amendments in areas such as reforming and improving the balance between cultivated land occupation and the compensation system, and fully mobilizing the enthusiasm of grain farmers.

As a populous country, food security is the most fundamental livelihood project and the most basic project for national security, Zhi Zhenfeng, a research fellow at the Institute of Law, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times on Monday. With the development of urbanization, many people have left the countryside, which is also an issue that the country needs to address.

Meanwhile, a draft of the emergency response management law was submitted for second review on Monday. The second draft of the law clearly defines the matters and information that should be included in warning alerts, and stipulates the establishment of a sound warning release platform and channels for rapid dissemination of warning information.

According to the second draft of the law, the release of warning alerts should clearly indicate the warning category, level, start time, possible affected areas, warning matters, measures to be taken, issuing unit, and release time. The country will establish and improve the platform for the release of emergency warning alerts, and timely and accurately release warning information to the public in accordance with relevant regulations. Broadcasting, television, newspapers, as well as internet service providers and telecommunications operators should establish channels for the rapid release of warning information in accordance with relevant national regulations, and timely, accurately, and free of charge broadcast or publish emergency warning information.

With the increasing integration and unity of society in the digital age, the impact of any sudden public event has become greater. Therefore, the standards for protecting individual rights need to be correspondingly raised, Zhi noted.

(Web editor: Tian Yi, Liang Jun)


Related Stories