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China’s legislative body to convene ninth session

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China’s legislative body to convene ninth session

Photo: Xinhua/ Li Tao

The Standing Committee of China’s National People’s Congress (NPC) convenes for its ninth session in Beijing today.

The NPC is China’s main legislative body. This meeting of its Standing Committee will see deliberations on several new laws, including on national defense education, energy security, customs duties and on streamlining academic degrees.

The draft revision of the National Defense Education Law includes ideological requirements on school education to “develop patriotic enthusiasm” in pupils and to strengthen Chinese citizens’ willingness and skills for defending the country. This comes amidst ongoing revisions and rapid development of China’s military force. Just last week, Chinese President Xi Jinping announced the creation of three specialized military units, responsible for cyber space, outer space and information warfare. Much of these military developments appear to be aimed at possible future conflicts around the South China Sea and Taiwan.

In addition, the proposed new Energy Law aims at enhancing China’s energy security in case of emergencies. Another proposed bill is the Atomic Energy Law, which places greater emphasis on the county’s rapidly increasing use of nuclear energy. China is not only the world’s largest producer of nuclear fuel, but also of nuclear weapons. Over the past five years, China has almost doubled its arsenal of nuclear warheads to around 500, and is expected to surpass 1,000 by 2030.

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The proposed laws are likely to be passed within this session or after minor revisions later this year. The national security-related bills are part of the NPC’s current focus on introducing new laws to strengthen China’s overall security. On top of the existing bills under consideration, additional national security laws will likely be introduced by the Standing Committee in its upcoming sessions.

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