The annual session of China’s National People’s Congress (NPC) ended on March 16. While the message from the legislature was one of no change, there were signs of greater internationalization and of willingness to dissent. These might resurface in the run-up to the party congress later this year.
China’s legislature has no autonomous power to initiate legislation without the approval from the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). However, in recent years, it has provided a limited opportunity for concerns to be expressed over various political and social issues. Indeed, the issues that are permitted for discussion offer some insight into the themes the CCP leadership wants to promote.
The single most widely trailed reform this year was a new law offering equal protection for state-owned and private property. In the rush for development, arbitrary seizure or damage of property has become a major problem. NPC delegates made minor changes to the proposed law. Enforcement at local levels probably will continue to be a problem. [Full Text]