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Constitution Amendments to Be Discussed

Chinese lawmakers will start next Monday to discuss Constitutional amendments proposed by the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party (CPC).


According to an agenda released yesterday, the upcoming week-long session of the National People's Congress (NPC) Standing Committee will review proposals made by the CPC Central Committee on the amendments to the Constitution and deliberate draft amendments based on the proposals.


According to the agenda, the NPC Standing Committee will discuss amendments to the country's 10-year-old foreign trade law in light of the new situation and demands made on China after it joined the World Trade Organization (WTO) two years ago.


The amendments proposed by the State Council will include "major changes" to the existing foreign trade codes. The session will also continue to examine three financial laws key to the reform of China's banking businesses, namely, the draft law on supervision and management of the banking industry, the draft amendments to the central bank law and draft amendments to the commercial bank law.


A treaty with Russia on the transfer of convicts and a treaty with Thailand on criminal justice assistance are also pending ratification by the legislature.


Other items on the agenda:


Reports on the progress of the massive project to divert water resources from the south to the north of China and future plans. Reports will also touch on new developments relating to China's entrance to the World Trade Organization two years ago.


Draft decisions on convening the 2nd Plenum of the 10th NPC in March next year.


Reports by a law inspection group of the NPC Standing Committee on the implementation of the Rural Land Contract Law across the country.


Several appointments and removals of official posts.


The existing Chinese Constitution, consisting of 138 articles in four chapters, was formulated in 1982. It has been amended three times, in 1988, 1993 and 1999.


(Xinhua News Agency December 17, 2003)


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