Highlights: China's national legislature holds second plenary meeting of annual session
The fourth session of the 13th National People's Congress (NPC), China's national legislature, started its second plenary meeting on Monday at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing with Chinese President Xi Jinping and other Chinese leaders in attendance.
Li Zhanshu, chairman of the NPC Standing Committee, delivered an annual work report of the NPC Standing Committee to the meeting where he reviewed the top legislature's work achievements in 2020 and also highlighted some key proposals for this year.
Li said the NPC will unswervingly safeguard China's national sovereignty, security and development interests in accordance with the law, and keep providing legal protections to questions related to the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR).
"The NPC will continue to perform its legally mandated duties and provide legal safeguards for ensuring constitutional order in Hong Kong, countering forces seeking 'Hong Kong independence,' ensuring that patriots administer Hong Kong, and maintaining long-term prosperity and stability in the region," Li said.
A decision on improving the electoral system of the HKSAR will be made during its ongoing annual session which will conclude on March 11.
Li said the NPC will accelerate legislation relating to external affairs and develop a more complete system of laws and regulations related to external affairs.
The work will include "upgrading the legal tool kit for meeting challenges and guarding against risks in order to oppose foreign sanctions, interference, and long-arm jurisdiction," he told lawmakers.
Legislative efforts on public health
The NPC will continue its work plan for enacting and revising laws to strengthen the legal safeguards for public health, Li said.
The NPC Standing Committee will formulate a law on responding to public health emergencies and revise several laws including the Wildlife Protection Law, the Frontier Health and Quarantine Law, and the Practicing Physicians Law.
In the report, Li also hailed the NPC's work related to public health last year responding to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic and targeting the legal weaknesses exposed in the nation's fight.
"Up to now we have completed the revision of the Law on Animal Epidemic Prevention along with five other pieces of legislation," Li said. "And by the end of this year, we will have completed a further 11 objectives including revising the Wildlife Protection Law, the Practicing Physician Law, and the Law on Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases."
During Monday's meeting, lawmakers also heard the work report of the Supreme People's Court delivered by its president Zhou Qiang and the work report of the Supreme People's Procuratorate delivered by Procurator-General Zhang Jun.