PRC Parliament Approves Changes to Speed Up 'Emergency' Laws

    PRC Parliament Approves Changes to Speed Up 'Emergency' Laws
    Last updated Mar 13, 2023
    Image credit: AsiaOne


    • According to Xinhua news agency, China's parliament on Friday approved changes to its Legislation Law, which dictates how laws are enacted, that will allow emergency legislation to be passed after a single review session.[1]
    • The change occurred during the 14th National People's Congress (NPC), held at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. NPC deputies also approved the national economic and social development plan for 2023 and the central budget for 2023.[2]
    • The powers granted by the amendment are to be applied only to the roughly 170-member NPC Standing Committee, the highest body of the national parliament. Readouts from a delegates' meeting called the decision an "important measure" to "improve" the quality and efficiency of legislation in China.[3]
    • Critics of China have argued that the move could erode public debate and scrutiny even further in the country. Julian Ku, a professor of constitutional law at Hofstra University, argued the move "may well be abused" without consultation or public notice.[4]
    • Previous draft laws and amendments required deliberation in at least two NPC Standing Committee meetings — which can take several months — with notable previous exceptions including the national security law imposed in Hong Kong three years ago.[5]
    • A final text has not been made public, and the latest draft of the amendment (published on March 5) did not define what defined an emergency situation for which the law could be used.[3]


    Pro-China narrative

    This amendment will help ensure that the drafting and updating of laws will bring PRC governance into the modern, coherent, and forward-looking 21st century. Rather than abide by the wishes of lobbyists as is the case in other countries, it will increase parliament's efficiency and capacity to strengthen moral and ethical standards in China. Laws exist to serve the people, and the decision to streamline this process makes compelling sense.

    Anti-China narrative

    Pres. Xi Jinping is a merciless man who has ruthlessly cracked down on civil society, academic freedom, and human rights in China. Parliament is only a rubber-stamping process and its legitimacy and competency cannot be taken seriously. While the leader of China and its Communist Party continues to make many problems for his country across the world, Xi has further cemented his illegitimate authority over the domestic legislative process.

    Nerd narrative

    There is a 50% chance that Xi Jinping will continue leading China in 2030, according to the Metaculus prediction community.

    Establishment split



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