China's top legislative body strengthened its copyright and patent laws, passed a series of measures to protect workers and ratified two treaties on terrorism when it met over the weekend.
Much of the work of the National People's Congress (NPC) was aimed at fixing laws related to the World Trade Organization to bring domestic practices in line with world rules, said Li Peng, chairman of the NPC's Standing Committee.
"The Committee's decisions to amend laws on copyright and trademarks will strengthen these areas," said Li at the conclusion of the session. "Together with last year's amendment to the patent law, we have revised the three major laws concerning the intellectual property rights to meet the needs of reform and opening up."
The NPC Standing Committee also approved the amendments to the Trade Union Law and passed laws to prevent and treat on-the-job illnesses and the use of maritime space.
"With the establishment and development of the market economy, China is witnessing profound changes on the economic and labor relations," Li said. "Meanwhile Chinese workers' status in their national and social lives should be enhanced and consolidated."
The amendment to Trade Union Law focuses on organizing trade unions and safeguarding workers' rights. It also urges workers to help maintain economic and technological development and social stability. These changes are effective immediately.
Amendments to the Trademark Law will become effective on December 1 and law on use of maritime space on January 1. A draft law on workplace illnesses becomes effective on May 1, 2002.
The NPC Standing Committee also ratified the International Convention for the Suppression of Terrorist Bombings and the Shanghai Convention on Combating Terrorism, Separatism and the Extremism. Li reiterated China's condemnation of any form of terrorism as well as of act aimed at separating the nation. Both threaten the safety of the public interest, he said.
The six-day meeting featured State Council's reports on social security reform and on the application of the monetary policy over the past three years.
(Xinhua News Agency October 29,2001)