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Special> NPC & CPPCC Sessions 2015> Latest Headlines
UPDATED: February 28, 2015
China's Top Legislature Ends Bi-monthly Session

After clearing way for rural land reform, China's top legislature ended its latest session on Friday to prepare for the upcoming annual parliamentary session.

Legislators agreed to suspend a number of laws in 33 localities to help pave the way for rural land reform. Under the pilot programs, rural construction land will enjoy the same rights and market price as other land, while the right of use for existing collectively-owned rural construction land can now be transferred, leased and traded for shares.

In addition, approval for building a rural dwelling was delegated to lower levels: townships can approve existing construction land, while counties can approve new construction land. Compensation, housing and social insurance must be properly managed for those whose land is expropriated, and authorities must provide training, pensions and medical care for those eligible.

Zhang Dejiang, chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC), stressed that that public ownership of land would not be changed, the "red-line" minimum of arable land would not be breached and farmers' rights were not undermined. He called for adequate supervision of the pilot programs which will run till the end of 2017.

The meeting also reviewed a bill on revisions to the Law on Promoting the Transformation of Scientific and Technological Achievements, aimed at making innovation profitable for research institutes and universities.

A draft of the Counterterrorism law including a new, narrower definition of the term "terrorism", was also reviewed, as was a draft report on the work of the NPC Standing Committee. Zhang Dejiang noted "new progress and achievements" by the committee in the past year.

"We will uphold democracy, handle proceedings in line with the law, and host the session in a democratic, uniting, pragmatic and endeavoring way," he said. Zhang also called for an NPC session in line with the CPC's frugality rules, and urged members of the standing committee to forge closer ties with other lawmakers to improve the quality of their work.

Friday's meeting appointed Chen Jining as Minister of Environmental Protection, replacing Zhou Shengxian, and approved two cooperation agreements with Ukraine and Turkmenistan and a consular agreement with the Republic of Korea.

Lawmakers approved the draft agenda of the annual session, a draft list of candidates for the session's presidium and secretary-general, and the list of observers for the session.

(Xinhua News Agency February 27, 2015)

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