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Constitutional Amendments Approved

The annual session of the National People's Congress (NPC), China's top legislature, came to a close in Beijing Sunday afternoon after adopting the amendments to the Constitution and resolutions on a series of relevant documents.


The Second Session of the 10th NPC, which opened last Friday, received a total of 1,374 motions from NPC delegations and deputies, a record high since the introduction of a motion delivery system at the First Session of the Sixth NPC in 1983.


Most of the motions are about how to cope with protruding contradictions emerged from the endeavor for the economic and social development and protect the personal interests of the ordinary people, and approximately 60 percent of the motions are concentrated on the revision of laws and regulations or the improvement of the relevant legal system.


The Second Session of the 10th National People's Congress adopted resolutions concerning the Report on the Work of the Government delivered by Premier Wen Jiabao, as well as the reports on the Implementation of the 2003 Plan for National Economic and Social Development and on the Draft 2004 Plan for National Economic and Social Development, the reports on the Implementation of the Central and Local Budgets for 2003 and on the Draft Central and Local Budgets for 2004.


The session also adopted by ballot the resolutions concerning the Work Report of the NPC Standing Committee, as well as the work reports of the Supreme People's Court and the Supreme People's Procuratorate at the closing meeting.



Moreover, the decision of the NPC Standing Committee on accepting the requests of Hua Fuzhou and Zhang Geng to resign as NPC Standing Committee members was confirmed.


A total of 2,903 deputies attended the closing meeting. The amendments to Constitution were adopted with an overwhelming majority of 2,863 votes in favor, 10 against and 17 abstentions. Out of the 2,903 ballots issued, 2,891 were recovered, including an invalid one.


The clause on private property protection, proposed by the leading Communist Party of China, places private assets of Chinese citizens on an equal footing with public-sector property, and are "not to be encroached upon."


Other major points of the amendment to the Constitution include, among others, expression of "respecting for and protecting human rights, institution of the guiding role of the "Three Represents" important thought in national political and social life, expressions of coordinated development of material civilization and political and cultural progress, incorporation of the term "builders of socialism," and improvement of the land expropriation system.


Also included are expressions on the further clarification of the state policy toward non-public economic sectors, improvement of the social security system and the NPC's composition, stipulations on the state of emergency, on the functions of the presidency and on revision of the terms of government at township level, and stipulation on the national anthem.


Wu Bangguo said at the closing meeting that the Constitution constituted the core of China's legal system with Chinese characteristics, adding that "we should call on leading officials and state functionaries to study the Constitution meticulously, further increase their awareness of the constitution and strive to maintain its authority effectively and guarantee that the Constitution is implemented validly.


The closing meeting, held in the Great Hall of the People in downtown Beijing, was presided over by Wu Bangguo, chairman of the NPC Standing Committee and also an executive chairman of the session.


Hu Jintao, Jiang Zemin, Wen Jiabao, Jia Qinglin, Zeng Qinghong, Huang Ju, Wu Guanzheng, Li Changchun and Luo Gan, among others, cast ballots at the closing meeting.


(Xinhua News Agency March 14, 2004)


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