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1st Ld-Writethru: Agenda set for China's legislative session

Xinhua, March 4, 2015 Adjust font size:

China's national legislators Wednesday elected a presidium and set the agenda for the legislature's annual session, which is to open Thursday.

A 172-member presidium was elected to take charge of the procedures of the third session of the 12th National People's Congress (NPC), which is scheduled to conclude on March 15, said Fu Ying, spokeswoman of the session, at a press conference Wednesday.

Li Jianguo was elected secretary-general of the session, she said.

National lawmakers will hear and deliberate the government work report and examine the reports on the national economic and social development plan as well as the central and local budgets.

They will also hear and deliberate the work reports of the NPC Standing Committee, the Supreme People's Court and the Supreme People's Procuratorate.

These six reports have been regular projects of the annual session for years.

The new arrangement this year is to review a draft amendment to the Legislation Law, which has been through two readings at the bi-monthly sessions of the NPC Standing Committee.

Only bills about the Constitution and very important laws will go to the annual full session while the other bills are heard and voted by the NPC Standing Committee members, which indicates the significance of the Legislation Law.

Regulating how a law is drafted and adopted by whom, the Legislation Law plays an essential role for the rule of law. The bill is shaped to streamline the law-making procedure, improve legislation quality and ensure the legitimacy of administrative power.

This year's session will take ten and half days, two days longer than the last one.

Besides the reason of reviewing the Legislation Law bill, extra time is given to lawmakers to discuss the budget report, Fu said.

There will be a number of high-profile press conferences on the sideline of the session including the one given by Premier Li Keqiang at the end of the session and others by ministers.

Some of panel discussions of NPC delegations will open to reporters. The measure was first adopted in 1995 and last year the press were present at about 30 panel meetings.

A preparatory meeting was held Wednesday morning to elect the session's presidium and secretary general and adopt the agenda, presided over by Zhang Dejiang, chairman of the NPC Standing Committee. The presidium held the first meeting after the preparatory meeting.

The presidium is composed of senior officials of the Communist Party of China (CPC), non-Communist parties, the All-China Federation of Industry and Commerce, personages without party affiliation, deputies from government agencies and people's organizations, and leading members of all the 35 delegations to the NPC session, including those from Hong Kong and Macao and the People's Liberation Army.

About 3,000 NPC deputies will attend the annual full session of the national legislature in Beijing. Endi