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Top legislature sets year’s priorities

Deputies participate in the second plenary meeting of the third session of the 13th National People’s Congress at the Great Hall of the People on May 25, 2020 in Beijing. [Photo/Xinhua]

Public health, law-based governance among focal points in National People’s Congress deliberations

Ensuring full enforcement of the Constitution and speeding up public health legislation are prioritized tasks of the top legislature this year, according to a draft work report unveiled on Monday.

“Remaining committed to upholding law-based governance in Hong Kong and Macao, we will work to safeguard constitutional order in the two special administrative regions as stipulated in China’s Constitution and the basic laws, refine the system for interpreting the basic laws by the National People’s Congress Standing Committee, and establish a sound legal system and effective enforcement mechanisms at the national level for safeguarding national security in the two regions,” top legislator Li Zhanshu said in a work report to the third session of the 13th NPC.

Li, chairman of the NPC Standing Committee, delivered the work report at the session’s second plenary meeting. President Xi Jinping and other Chinese leaders attended the meeting at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Monday afternoon.

A draft decision on establishing and improving the legal system and enforcement mechanisms for the Hong Kong SAR to safeguard national security was deliberated at the session.

“I am confident that through the joint efforts of all deputies, we’ll be able to complete this important legislative task so as to provide a stronger legal guarantee for safeguarding our nation’s sovereignty, security and development interests as well as ensuring Hong Kong’s long-term prosperity and stability,” Li said.

He also said the top legislature will uphold the one-China principle, resolutely oppose and restrict separatist forces seeking “Taiwan independence”, and promote the peaceful development of cross-Straits relations on the basis of the 1992 Consensus.

Top legislator Li Zhanshu delivers the work report of the 13th NPC Standing Committee on May 25, 2020 in Beijing. [Photo by Feng Yongbin/China Daily]

Other work related to enforcement of the Constitution includes making a better interpretation of the Constitution, making progress in constitutional compliance inspection and promoting of public awareness of the Constitution, the report said.

Facing a challenging and complex international environment as well as formidable domestic development tasks, the top legislature has a busy legislative agenda this year.

Li said the NPC Standing Committee will prioritize public health legislation. “Drawing lessons from COVID-19 prevention and control efforts, we’ve formulated and implemented special plans for enacting or revising laws in an effort to strengthen the system of legal guarantees in the public health sector,” he said, adding that a total of 30 related laws will be formulated or revised.

Zhang Yesui, spokesman for the ongoing NPC session, said on Thursday that the formulation or amendment of 17 laws is expected to be finished within the year, and 13 others will be updated in due course.

It is hoped that the draft biosecurity law will be submitted for adoption by the end of the year, he said. The law is aimed at guarding against biological risks, promoting the development of biotechnology and serving as a pillar of the country’s biosafety system.

The Wildlife Protection Law will also be revised and reviewed in the second half of the year, Zhang said. The Law on the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases, the Frontier Health and Quarantine Law and the Emergency Response Law will also be updated, according to the work report.

China Daily – Xinhua

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