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NPC to Vote on Changes to Laws

Married people are prohibited from cohabiting with anyone other than their spouses, according to the contentious draft amendment to the existing Marriage Law which is likely to be voted on by national legislators on Saturday.

It is one of the 12 major changes in the latest version of the legislation.

Other changes touched upon domestic violence, marriage registration, announcement and property division in uncertified marriages, conditions for divorce and family property division upon divorce.

The draft amendments to the Marriage Law, together with another eight draft legislations, were presented to the national legislators yesterday when the 21st session of the Standing Committee of the Ninth National People's Congress (NPC) opened.

The draft, which has already been through two rounds of deliberations and the subject of public-opinion review, is likely to be voted on at the end of the session.

The lawmakers are also expected to vote on the draft amendment to the Law on the Management of Tax Revenue Collection, the draft trust law and the draft law on national defence education.

The draft amendment to the Law on the Management of Tax Revenue Collection has adopted over 80 changes on the basis of previous debates by the lawmakers in August, October and December of last year.

A draft legislation is usually passed after three readings by the national legislators, but some may go through further reading if the views of the lawmakers are strongly divided, according to the Law on Legislative Procedure.

The draft trust law will have no stipulations on trust companies because conditions are not yet ripe, according to Zhang Xuwu, vice-chairman of the NPC Legal Committee.

During the five-day meeting, lawmakers will go through a second round of deliberation on draft amendments to the laws on judges, public prosecutors, copyrights and trademarks.

The State Council yesterday proposed the first legislation on population and family planning to the top legislative body for its preliminary reading.

The law was designed to ensure the sustainable development of population and social and economic development, according to Zhang Weiqing, minister of the State Family Planning Commission.

The State Council reported to the lawmakers on their measures to increase the legal awareness of the public.

The Ministry of Justice is mainly responsible for implementing the educational campaign on legal knowledge among the public on a five-year basis.

The legislators will review three treaties signed by the government: an agreement with Laos on civil and criminal justice assistance, a treaty with the Philippines on criminal justice assistance and an agreement between China, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan on the juncture of their borders.

(China Daily 04/25/2001)

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Legislators Review Key Draft Laws



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