The following is the full text of the Report on the Work of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC), which was delivered by Chairman Wu Bangguo of the NPC Standing Committee on March 9, 2009 for review at the Second Session of the 11th NPC and adopted on March 13:
Report on the Work of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress
Delivered at the Second Session of the Eleventh National People's Congress on March 9, 2009
Wu Bangguo, Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress
I have been entrusted by the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC) to present this report on its work for your deliberation and approval.
Main Accomplishments of Last Year
Faced with tremendous hardships and rigorous challenges in 2008, the Party Central Committee, with Comrade Hu Jintao as General Secretary, united with the people of all our ethnic groups and led them in working hard with one heart and one mind, completely winning a great victory in combating disasters and providing disaster relief, successfully hosting the Beijing Olympics and Paralympics, flawlessly accomplishing the Shenzhou VII manned space mission, solemnly commemorating the 30th anniversary of the reform and opening up policy, maintaining rapid economic growth, further improving the people's lives, maintaining overall social stability, enhancing China's international standing and making great new achievements in the cause of socialism with Chinese characteristics.
Last year was the first year in which the Standing Committee of the Eleventh NPC carried out its functions in accordance with the law. We fully implemented the guiding principles of the Seventeenth National Party Congress and the Third Plenary Session of the Seventeenth Central Committee, took Deng Xiaoping Theory and the important thought of Three Represents as our guide, thoroughly applied the Scientific Outlook on Development, and organically integrated the leadership of the Party, the position of the people as masters of the country and the rule of law. Focusing on the overall work of the Party and the state, we devoted a great deal of effort to resolving serious issues in economic and social development, exercised our functions and powers in accordance with the law, did our work energetically, and fully played our role as an organ of state power. Over the past year, we deliberated 15 draft laws, passed nine of them, heard and deliberated 13 work reports from the State Council, the Supreme People's Court and the Supreme People's Procuratorate, adopted three resolutions, investigated compliance with five laws, approved 13 treaties and accords China concluded with foreign countries and its accession to seven international conventions, and made decisions on and approved the appointment and removal of a number of employees in Chinese state organs, thus making further contributions to socialist economic, political, cultural and social development.
1. Giving full support to earthquake relief and post-earthquake recovery and reconstruction
The massive earthquake that hit Wenchuan in Sichuan Province on May 12 inflicted enormous damage to both lives and property in the quake zone and seriously affected the country's economic and social development. The earthquake elicited a sympathetic response from all the Chinese people. The NPC Standing Committee acted promptly, carried out the arrangements of the Central Committee diligently, took the characteristics of the NPC's work as its starting point, strengthened oversight and legislation, fully supported earthquake relief and post-earthquake recovery and reconstruction in the quake zone, and made full use of the political advantages of the socialist system which enables it to concentrate resources to accomplish large undertakings.
First, we promptly adjusted our work plan. The Chairperson's Council held a special session on May 22 to listen to the State Council's report on the earthquake. In order to focus on our work priorities and help the State Council concentrate on earthquake relief, the Chairperson's Council decided to adjust the work plan of the Standing Committee by putting deliberation of the State Council's report on earthquake relief and post-earthquake recovery and reconstruction and its proposed revisions of the central budget for 2008 on the agenda of the June meeting of the Standing Committee. It also decided to postpone deliberation of the 2007 central government final budget and the auditing report as well as the deliberation and approval of the final budget from the June meeting, where this is normally done, to the August meeting. In order to allow sufficient time to incorporate the useful lessons accumulated in carrying out earthquake relief, interim arrangements, and post-earthquake recovery and reconstruction into relevant laws, the Chairperson's Council decided to postpone the deliberation of the revised draft Law on Protecting Against and Mitigating Earthquake Disasters from June to October.
Second, we resolutely implemented the Party Central Committee's decision on collecting financial resources for earthquake relief. It was made clear at the Chairperson's Council meeting on May 22 that safeguarding the lives of people in the quake zone was paramount and that we needed to proceed from the actual earthquake relief situation in everything we did. It was proposed that the bulk of the central budget stabilization fund should be used to establish a fund for post-earthquake recovery and reconstruction in line with the principle of taking special measures in special situations. According to the proposal, the actual revenue and expenditures of the fund should be included in the central budget, which should be adjusted accordingly, and this plan should be submitted to the NPC Standing Committee for deliberation and approval in accordance with the law. According to the same proposal, before the plan to revise the budget was approved, the fund should be first financed through the central treasury to ensure timely allocation of funding for earthquake relief and post-earthquake recovery and reconstruction. In addition, the requirement was made that there should be strict auditing and oversight of the use of the funds, and it was suggested that any further funding required should be arranged in advance. At the meeting of the Standing Committee in June, we deliberated and approved the plan to revise the central budget for 2008, and reached agreement to establish a fund for post-earthquake recovery and reconstruction, thus providing funding guarantees for smooth progress in earthquake disaster relief and post-earthquake recovery and reconstruction. Another proposal was made that the relevant authorities should formulate a plan for post-earthquake recovery and reconstruction and specific measures for implementing it as soon as possible, clarify recovery and reconstruction policies, and adopt a variety of means to support reconstruction and help disaster victims to resume production.
Third, while throwing ourselves headlong into earthquake relief, we never lost sight of the importance of promoting economic and social development to ensure that the tasks for the whole year would be completed. The Standing Committee passed a special resolution on June 26 which positively appraised the remarkable achievements made in providing earthquake relief; fully endorsed the work of the State Council, local governments and all sectors of society; and called for continued efforts to do everything possible to rescue the injured, make appropriate arrangements for the disaster victims and effectively carry out post-earthquake recovery and reconstruction. During the meeting, members of the Standing Committee pointed out that the massive Wenchuan earthquake and the severe snow and ice storms in part of the south at the beginning of the year made it difficult to successfully carry out our economic work for the whole year. They added that when facing difficulties, it is even more important to follow the Central Committee's decisions and arrangements, provide earthquake relief while also promoting economic and social development, pay close attention to, promptly study and effectively solve the major problems arising in economic activity, and successfully provide earthquake relief and promote economic and social development. Standing Committee members also stressed the need to carefully prepare for the Beijing Olympics despite the disruptions to ensure it is a distinctive and high-level event.
Fourth, we completely revised the Law on Protecting Against and Mitigating Earthquake Disasters. After the revised version of this law was deliberated for the first time at the meeting of the Standing Committee in October, we released the full text to the public via major news media for comments, and received over 7,300 comments and suggestions in return. Special committees of the NPC promptly organized highly qualified personnel to conduct investigations in the quake zone and carefully listen to the comments of cadres and ordinary people providing earthquake relief on the frontlines. The Standing Committee considerably revised the draft law based on these comments to raise the earthquake resistance standards for building construction, especially for schools, hospitals and other public facilities, improve the emergency rescue system and strengthen the systems and measures for making interim arrangements and carrying out post-earthquake recovery and reconstruction.