Wednesday, May 10, 2017

New Chinese regulation on military legislation

Headlining the Chinese Ministry of Defense's website on May 10 is a brief Xinhua story, informing the public that President (and Chairman of the Central Military Commission) Xi Jinping has issued an order authorizing the release of a newly approved regulation on military legislation.  The full text has not yet been issued.  The background for this regulation is Article 103 of China's 2015 Legislation Law:
The Central Military Commission enacts military regulations according to the Constitution and the laws.
The various headquarters, divisions, and military areas of the Central Military Commission , and the Chinese People's Armed Police Forces, may enact military rules consistent with their scope of authority in accordance with the relevant national laws and military decrees, decisions and orders.
Military regulations and rules are implemented within the armed forces.
The Central Military Commission shall formulate methods for enacting, amending and repealing military regulations and rules in accordance with the principles provided by this Law. 
This development was flagged in the 2014 Fourth Plenum Decision:
Complete military regulatory structures and systems that are adapted to the construction of a modern military and the demands of waging war, strictly standardize the powers and procedures to formulate military regulations and structures, bring all military normative documents into the scope of inspection, perfect inspection systems, strengthen the scientific nature, focus and applicability of military regulations and structures.
The English language version of the story is even briefer than the Chinese version:
BEIJING, May 10 (Xinhua) -- President Xi Jinping, who is also chairman of the Central Military Commission, has signed a decree that will release a regulation on military legislation.
The regulation, which took effect Monday, defines the rules for establishing military laws and regulations as well as the drafting of standard documents.
The regulation standardizes the formulation of military laws and regulations, spanning the drafting, submission, modification and issuance stages.
In addition, it regulates the review and compilation of records, and suggests measures to improve the management system for documents. 
The Chinese version states that there are 78 articles in the regulation.  Presumably it addresses many of the issues raised by Professor Zhang Jiantian in a 2014 article, particularly review of related legislation and conforms legislative authority with the post-reform organizational structure of the People's Liberation Army and Armed Police.

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