The National People's Congress (NPC) is the highest organ of State power of the People's Republic of China. Its main functions and powers include formulation of laws, delegating authority, policy formulation, and supervision of other governing organs.
I. Legislative Power:
The NPC has the right to enact and amend the Constitution of the People's Republic of China, and to enact and amend basic laws concerning criminal offenses, civil affairs, State organs, and other matters.
II. Delegating Authority:
The power to delegate authority allows the Congress to select, empower, and remove leadership and members of the highest State organs.
The NPC has the right to select the members of the Standing Committee of the NPC; to elect the president and vice-president of the People's Republic of China; to appoint and approve premier, vice-premiers, State councillors, minist ers in charge of ministries and commissions, auditor-general and secretary- general of the State Counci l; to elect the chairman of the Central Military Commission and decide other mem bers of the Commission; and to elect the president of the Supreme People's Cour t and the procurator-general of the Supreme People's Procuratorate. The NPC has the right to remove any or all members it elects and decides, and is therefore t he final authority among all State organs.
III. Policy Formulation:
The NPC has the right to examine and approve government reports; to exam ine and approve the plan for national economic and social development and report s on its implementation; to examine and approve the State budget and reports on its implementation; to approve the establishment of provinces, autonomous region s and municipalities directly under the Central Government; to decide on the establishment of special administrative regions and the systems to be instituted wi thin these regions; and to declare war and sign treaties of peace. It also exerc ises other functions and powers as the supreme State power.
IV. Supervision of Governing Organs:
The NPC has the right to supervise the implementation of the Constitution. According to the Chinese Constitution, the State Council, the Supreme People ' s Court and the Supreme People's Procuratorate are all invested by the NPC, are responsible to it, and supervised by it. The NPC's exercise of its supervisor y role is to oversee the actions of the government and other State organs on behalf of the people. This is an important guarantee for the normal and legal operation of the State apparatus.
Since 1954, the People's Republic of China has convened eight National People's Congresses.
Number Month/Year Chairman
1 Sept/1954 Liu Shaoqi
2 Apr/1959 Zhu De
3 Dec/1964 Zhu De
4 Jan/1975 Zhu De
5 Mar/1978 Ye Jianying
6 Jun/1983 Peng Zhen
7 Mar/1988 Wan Li
8 Mar/1993 Qiao Shi
9 Mar/1998 Li Peng
10 Mar/2003 Wu Bangguo
Under the current Constitution and related laws, the NPC holds a session on the first quarter of each year, convened by its Standing Committee. A single term of a NPC deputy is five years.
The NPC Standing Committee is the permanent supreme State organ of power and legislation. It exercises the highest State power and legislative power when the NPC is not in session. The Standing Committee is composed of 153 members, none of whom can assume an office in State administrative, judicial or procuratorial organs, so as to maintain a separation of powers and to better supervise these organs.
The NPC Standing Committee has the right to interpret the Constitution a nd supervises its implementation; enacts and amends laws, with the exception of laws relating to fields reserved for the NPC as a whole, partially supplements and amends laws enacted by the NPC when that body is not in session, and interprets laws. Since 1979, the NPC and its Standing Committee have enacted over 300 laws, and local people's congresses and their standing committees have drawn up m ore than 3,000 local rules and regulations.
(Source: People's Daily Online)