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The People's Congress SystemNational People's Congress
2004/10/27

The NPC is the highest organ of State power. It exercises the legislative power, the power to make appointments and removals, the power to make decisions, and the power of supervision.

I. Legislative Power of the State:

The NPC has the power to amend the Constitution, and to enact and amend basic laws governing criminal offenses, civil affairs, the State organs and other matters.

II. Power to Make Appointments and Removals:

The NPC enjoys the power to elect, decide on and remove leaders and members of the highest State organs.

The NPC has the power to elect the members of its Standing Committee, and the president and vice presidents of the PRC; decide on the choice of the premier and vice premiers of the State Council, state councilors, ministers in charge of ministries or commissions, the auditor-general, and the secretary general of the State Council; elect the chairman of the Central Military Commission (CMC) and decided on the choice of all other members of the CMC; and elect the president of the Supreme People's Court and the procurator-general of the Supreme People's Procuratorate. It has the power to remove from office any or all the members of the highest State organs it has elected or decided on.

III. Power to Make Decisions:

The NPC has the power to examine and approve the plan for national economic and social development and the report on its implementation; examine and approve the State budget and the report on its implementation; approve the establishment of provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities directly under the Central Government; decide on the establishment of special administrative regions and the systems to be instituted within them; decide on questions of war and peace; and exercise such other functions and powers as the highest organ of State power should exercise.

IV. Power of Supervision:

The NPC has the power to supervise the enforcement of the Constitution. The Constitution stipulates that the State Council, the Supreme People's Court and the Supreme People's Procuratorate are created by the NPC, and are therefore supervised by and responsible to it. The NPC's exercise of this supervisory power is to oversee the government and other State organs on behalf of the people. This is an important guarantee for the normal operation of the State apparatus and administration according to law.

Since 1954, the PRC has convened nine National People's Congresses:

NPC
Convening Month/Year
Number of Deputies

Chairman of the NPC Standing Committee

1st
Sept.1954
1,226
Liu Shaoqi
2nd
Apr.1959
1,226
Zhu De
3rd
Dec.1964
3,040
Zhu De
4th
Jan.1975
2,885
Zhu De
5th
Mar.1978
3,497
Ye Jianying
6th
June.1983
2,978
Peng Zhen
7th
Mar.1988
2,970
Wan Li
8th
Mar.1993
2,898
Qiao Shi
9th
Mar.1998
2,987
Li Peng
10th
Mar. 2003
2,951
Wu Bangguo

Under the current Constitution and related laws, the NPC meets in session in the first quarter of each year, convened by its Standing Committee. The NPC is elected for a term of five years.

The NPC Standing Committee is the permanent body of the highest organ of State power and legislation. It exercises the highest State power and legislative power when the NPC is not in session. The Ninth NPC Standing Committee has 134 members. No one on the NPC Standing Committee shall hold any post in any of the administrative, judicial or procuratorial organs of the State, so as to better supervise these organs.

The NPC Standing Committee has the power to interpret the Constitution and supervise its enforcement; enact and amend laws, with the exception of those that should be enacted by the NPC; partially supplement and amend laws enacted by the NPC when the latter is not in session; and interpret laws.

The NPC special committees are permanent working bodies of the NPC. When the NPC is in session, the main work of the committees is to examine, discuss and draw up relevant motions. When the NPC is not in session, the special committees work under the direction of the NPC Standing Committee. The Ninth NPC has under it nine special committees covering ethnic affairs, law, internal and judicial affairs, finance and economy, education, science, culture and health, foreign affairs, overseas Chinese affairs, environmental and resources protection, and agriculture and rural affairs.

The current chairman of the NPC Standing Committee isWu Bangguo.

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