The Standing Committee of the NPC is the permanent organ of the NPC. When the NPC is not in session, the Standing Committee performs the right of the highest organ of state power. It is responsible to and reports to the NPC.
1. The composition and term of office of the Standing Committee of the NPC
The Standing Committee of the NPC is composed of the Chairman, Vice Chairmen, Secretary-general and members.
Ethnic minorities are entitled to appropriate representation on the Standing Committee.
The NPC elects and has the power to recall members of the Standing Committee.
Those on the Standing Committee shall not serve in state administrative, judicial and procuratorial organs.
The term of office of the Standing Committee corresponds with that of the NPC and it shall exercise its power until a succeeding Standing Committee is elected by the succeeding NPC. The Chairman and Vice Chairmen of the NPC shall not serve more than two consecutive terms.
2. The functions and powers of the Standing Committee
The Standing Committee of NPC exercises the following functions and powers:
(1) to interpret the Constitution and supervise its enforcement;
(2) to enact and amend laws, with the exception of those which should be enacted by the NPC;
(3) to partially supplement and amend, when the NPC is not in session, laws enacted by the NPC provided that the basic principles of these laws are not contravened;
(4) to interpret laws;
(5) to review and approve, when the NPC is not in session, partial adjustments to the plan for national economic and social development or to the state budget that prove necessary in the course of their implementation;
(6) to supervise the work of the State Council, the Central Military Commission, the Supreme People's Court and the Supreme People's Procuratorate;
(7) to annul those administrative rules and regulations, decisions or orders of the State Council that contravene the Constitution or the law;
(8) to annul those local regulations or decisions of the organs of state power of provinces, autonomous regions, and municipalities directly under the Central Government that contravene the Constitution, the law or the administrative rules and regulations;
(9) to decide, when the NPC is not in session, on the choice of Ministers in charge of ministries or commissions, the Auditor-General or the Secretary-general of the State Council upon nomination by the Premier of the State Council;
(10) to decide, upon nomination by the Chairman of the Central Military Commission, on the choice of other members of the Commission, when the NPC is not in session;
(11) to appoint or remove, at the recommendation of the President of the Supreme People's Court, the Vice Presidents and Judges of the Supreme People's Court, members of its Judicial Committee and the President of the Military Court;
(12) to appoint or remove, at the recommendation of the Procurator-General of the Supreme People's Procuratorate, the Deputy Procurators-General and the procurators of the Supreme People's Procuratorate, members of its Procuratorial Committee and the Chief Procurator of the military procuratorate, and to approve the appointment or removal of the chief procurators of the people's procuratorates of provinces, autonomous regions, and municipalities directly under the Central Government;
(13) to decide on the appointment or recall of plenipotentiary representatives abroad;
(14) to decide on the ratification or abrogation of treaties and important agreements concluded with foreign states;
(15) to institute systems of titles and ranks for military and diplomatic personnel and of other specific titles and ranks;
(16) to institute state medals and titles or honor and decide on their conferment;
(17) to decide on the granting of special pardons;
(18) to decide, when the NPC is not in session, on the proclamation of a state of war in the event of an armed attack on the country or in fulfillment of international treaty obligations concerning common defense against aggression;
(19) to decide on general mobilization or partial mobilization;
(20) to decide on the imposition of martial law throughout the country or in particular provinces, autonomous regions, or municipalities directly under the Central Government; and
(21) to exercise such other functions and powers as the NPC may assign to it.
3. Organs of the Standing Committee
The Chairman of the Standing Committee of the NPC directs the work of the Standing Committee and convenes its meetings. The Vice Chairmen and the Secretary-general assist the Chairman in his work.
The Chairman, Vice Chairmen and Secretary-general constitute the Council of Chairmen which handles the important day-to-day work of the Standing Committee of the NPC.
The Standing Committee of the NPC establishes a deputy credentials examination committee to examine the credentials of the deputies to the current NPC through by-elections and those newly elected to the succeeding NPC.
The credentials examination committee is composed of the chairman, vice chairman and members, nominated from among the members of the Standing Committee by the Council of Chairmen and agreed upon by the plenary session of the Standing Committee.
The NPC establishes special committees to examine, discuss and draw up relevant bills and draft solutions under the direction of the NPC and its Standing Committee.
When the NPC is not in session, its special committees work under the direction of the Standing Committee of the NPC.
The 9th NPC has established nine special committees, namely the ethnic groups committee, the law committee, the finance and economic committee, the education, science, culture and health committee, the foreign affairs committee, the overseas Chinese committee, the civil and judicial affairs committee, the environment and resources protection committee and the agriculture and rural areas committee.
Normally, the special committees are chaired by Vice Chairmen or members of the Standing Committee of the NPC.
The NPC and its Standing Committee may, when they deem it necessary, appoint committees of inquiry into specific questions and adopt relevant resolutions in the light of their reports.