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Beijing Review Exclusive
Special> 11th NPC & CPPCC 2008> Beijing Review Exclusive
UPDATED: March 24, 2008 NO.13 MAR.27, 2008
Legislation Suggestions
The motions covered a wide range of issues in economics, politics and culture. Besides these motions, individual legislators all put forward various suggestions

During the First Session of the 11th National People's Congress (NPC) held on March 5-18, a total of 462 motions were received from NPC deputies. The motions covered a wide range of issues in economics, politics and culture. Besides these motions, individual legislators all put forward various suggestions.

Below are some motions and suggestions raised by the NPC deputies.

Legislation against domestic violence

This motion was put forward by a group of 30 NPC deputies from the Sichuan delegation, suggesting that the country should enact a law on preventing domestic violence to better protect the people's civil rights.

The motion says that from 2005 to 2007, the All-China Women's Federation received an annual average of 40,000 complaints about domestic violence, double the amount it received in 2000.

The Marriage Law, Law on the Protection of Rights and Interests of Women and Law on the Protection of Minors clearly forbid domestic violence. In addition, the Supreme People's Court issued a definition of domestic violence. But they lack punishments for abusers and make it difficult for victims to seek judicial intervention.

The motion also mentions that 25 provincial-level regions are issuing local regulations on preventing domestic violence.

The motion suggests that a law against domestic violence should contain five parts: general provisions, legal liabilities, judicial intervention, administrative measures and social relief.

Legislation on invasive alien species

This motion was put forward by a 30-deputy group from the Zhejiang delegation. It suggests that China enact a law to prevent invasive alien species from undermining the country's ecological safety.

The motion says that China now has more than 600 kinds of naturalized alien plants, including 108 kinds of alien weeds and more than 40 alien animals.

According to the motion, it should be clearly stated in the law that the evaluation and approval of introducing alien species should be strengthened and improved for uniform supervision and administration.

The motion also suggests a control system of invasive alien species be established, which focuses on forecasting, monitoring and controlling the species in early stages and quick response.

Legislation on banning smoking in public places

This suggestion was made by Zhou Jianyuan, Vice Dean of the Hubei Xiangfan Academy of Agricultural Sciences, who said that banning smoking in public places has become a worldwide trend.

In November 2003, China signed the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control that requires all signatory countries to provide for protection from exposure to tobacco smoke in indoor workplaces, public transport, indoor public places and, as appropriate, other public places.

Zhou suggested that to fulfill this commitment, China should enact corresponding laws or regulations that should include the following:

· A ban on smoking in all public places;

· A ban on smoking scenes in films, TV programs and other video programs;

· The posting of "No Smoking" signs in public entertainment places;

· The printing of "Smoking is harmful to your health" signs on cigarette packages; and

· A ban on cigarette advertisements on television and outdoor billboards as well as in newspapers and magazines.

Legislation on protecting personal information

This suggestion was put forward by Li Mingrong, Vice Procurator General of the Fujian Provincial People's Procuratorate. Li said that with the development of information technology, the improper collection, malicious use and handling of online personal information are disturbing individuals' privacy and threatening the safety of their property and reputation.

"It's urgent to protect personal information, which is necessary not only to protect people's rights, but also to promote the healthy development and e-governance and e-commerce," Li said.

The country should speed up legislation on protecting personal information, set up special institutions to manage this information, create a civil compensation system and protect citizens' private rights, he said.

Legislation on protecting intangible cultural heritage

This suggestion was made by Jiang Jian, head of the Shandong Qufu Hospital under China's Red Cross Society.

"Our country's intangible cultural heritage is being severely diminished," Jiang said. "Many folk cultural arts are facing the danger of disappearing or being forgotten.

"To inherit our intangible cultural heritage, we should enact a law on protecting them as soon as possible, so that a list of our intangible cultural heritage items can be established and an inheritance and protection system can be completed in a legal framework," she said.

Note: According to the Organic Law of the NPC and NPC rules for discharging its duties, a motion on issues within the power of the NPC can be raised by the presidium of the NPC, the NPC Standing Committee, special committees of the NPC, the State Council, the Supreme People's Court, the Supreme People's Procuratorate, a provincial-level delegation (of deputies) to the NPC or a group of at least 30 NPC deputies.

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