China's National People's Congress: Reform and its Limits
Legislative Studies Quarterly, Vol. 13, No. 3, pp. 343-74, August 1988
32 Pages Posted: 18 Apr 2008
Prior to 1976, legislatures did not play a significant role in Chinese politics. More recently, however, efforts have been made to revamp the Chinese legislative system and strengthen its centerpiece, the National People's Congress. This paper assesses the evolving role of the NPC by analyzing the legislative reform debates of 1979-1982 and by evaluating the pattern of changes accepted and rejected. The analysis shows that four long-standing obstacles to legislative development (manipulated elections, large size, perfunctory plenary sessions, and weak committees) have yet to be fully overcome. However, reforms in personnel selection, procedures, and committee structure are enabling the NPC to play a larger consultative and rationalizing role in the political system.
Keywords: China, legislatures, National People's Congress, elections, committees, size, bicameral
JEL Classification: K40, O54, P30
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation