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Monday, August 29, 2016, 11:22

Top legislature reviews raft of drafts

By Xinhua

BEIJING - China's top legislature started to convene its bi-monthly session on Monday, reviewing the proposal to review and ratify the Paris Agreement on climate change and other matters.

The session will also deliberate on draft laws on national defense transportation, the movie industry and traditional Chinese medicine (TCM).

Monday's opening meeting was chaired by Zhang Dejiang, chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC), and this 22nd session of the 12th NPC Standing Committee will last five and a half days.

During the period, legislators will study and discuss proposals, including a review of the draft amendments to the law on foreign-invested companies, and the law on protection of marine environment.

Legislators will also consider reports on national economic and social development, budget implementation, reform and development of higher learning, among others.

National defense transport

The draft law on national defense transport, which was deliberated for the second time on Monday, was ready to be submitted to China's top legislature for approval.

The new law, covering the use of railways, waterways and air routes for defense purpose, is expected to regulate the planning, construction, management and use of resources in transportation sectors, such as railways, roads, waterways, aviation, pipelines and mail services, for national defense.

The draft was submitted to the bi-monthly session of the National People's Congress (NPC) Standing Committee for the second time, which runs from Monday to Saturday.

"National defense transport is an important component of the state's economy and defense building," said a statement from the NPC Law Committee read to lawmakers on Monday's opening meeting of the bi-monthly session.

The law will follow the concept of integrating military and civilian resources, meet new demands from national defense and military reform and solve prominent problems in national defense transport, according to the Law Committee.

Enhanced supervision of TCM mulled

China' s top legislature is also reading a draft law on traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), which calls for stronger management of the industry.

The draft, now in its second reading, was submitted to the bimonthly session of the National People' s Congress (NPC) Standing Committee, which runs from Monday to Saturday.

Under the revised draft, pharmaceutical companies and TCM dealers must keep records of their purchases.

It also stresses stricter management of farms used in TCM herb cultivation, better environmental protection for regions growing herbs, enhanced safety during processing and improved research on TCM theories and techniques.

The draft also contains a general principle stipulating that China supports TCM studies, encourages innovation in TCM and promotes the application of such skills.

A new chapter on TCM studies was added to the revised draft.

The initial draft was first read in a bimonthly session in December 2015.

Please bargain

China is considering the piloting of plea bargains in criminal cases, as part of the efforts to find balance in criminal justice decisions.

The bi-monthly legislative session considered proposals allowing suspects and defendants to plead guilty in return for a lesser charge.

The measures will be piloted in 18 cities, including Beijing, Tianjin, Shanghai, Chongqing, Shenzhen, Xiamen and Guangzhou, according to the proposal submitted by the Supreme People's Court and Supreme People's Procuratorate to the National People's Congress (NPC) Standing Committee.

The pilot aims to "further improve criminal procedures, implement a policy that combines punishment with leniency, and more reasonably allocate judicial resources," according to a statement from the NPC Law Committee.

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