Chinese lawmakers on Monday decided to submit the revised draft property law for final approval at the parliament annual session, saying that the draft has been "well-considered" after more than 60 revisions.
"Lawmakers have agreed that enacting the property law is significant to uphold the basic socialist economic system, to regulate the order of the socialist market economy and to safeguard the immediate interests of the people," said Yang Jingyu, chairman of the Law Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC), when briefing deputies on the revisions.
The draft property law, which grants equal protection to state and private property, has been deliberated by nearly 3,000 lawmakers at the NPC annual session that began a week ago.
Members of China's top advisory body who gather in Beijing at their annual session running almost parallel to the NPC session also hold discussions over the draft law and made suggestions for further revisions.
"The Law Committee has made more than 60 revisions to the draft property law in accordance with the opinions of NPC deputies," said Yang at a meeting of the presidium, which decided by vote to submit it to the plenary meeting for approval.
The revisions range from relations between this law and the Guarantee Law to protection of the legitimate rights of members of a collective from being infringed upon by the decision made in the name of the collective or its leaders, according to Yang.
NPC deputy Xu Xianming, also president of the China University of Political Science and Law, said the Chinese-style socialist property system is decided by the country's basic economic structure, and a property law with distinct Chinese characteristics should thoroughly and accurately embodies the basic socialist economic system.
"The draft property law is in line with the Constitution and reflects an equal status and a just environment for fair competition among state-owned, collective and private enterprises," said Lu Baifu, a research fellow with the Development Research Center of the State Council, or Chinese cabinet, and a member of the NPC Finance and Economy Committee.
To most law experts of the country, the draft property law strengthens the protection of state-owned property, stipulating that illegal possession, looting, illegal sharing, withholding or destruction of state property is prohibited, to further prevent fraudulent acquisitions and mergers of state property.
Those who cause loss of state property shall bear legal liability, according to the draft property law.
As part of the draft civil code, the draft property law was submitted to the NPC Standing Committee for the first review in 2002 after nearly 10 years of preparations.
After an unprecedented seven times of reading, the NPC Standing Committee decided last December to put it for voting at the Fifth Session of the Tenth NPC, believing that the draft "represented a crystallization of the wisdom of the collective and was about to be mature".
The market economy requires that all subjects of the market enjoy the same rights, observe the same rules and bear the same responsibilities, said Wang Jiafu, a civil law expert with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.
"If different subjects of the market are not provided with equal protection, it will not be possible to develop the socialist market economy, nor will it be possible to uphold and improve the basic economic system of socialism," said Wang.
The draft property law is expected to be voted on by lawmakers on Friday, when the NPC session concludes.
(Xinhua News Agency March 13, 2007)