National People's Congress
The NPC is the highest organ of State power in China. It is composed of NPC deputies who are elected from 35 electoral units according to the law. These units include people's congresses of provinces, autonomous regions, municipalities directly under the central government, the servicemen congress of the People's Liberation Army, the deputy election council of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, the deputy election council of the Macao Special Administrative Region and the Taiwan compatriots' consultation election council. Each congress is elected for a term of five years. A total of 2,977 deputies were elected to the 14th NPC before its first session began in Beijing on March 5, 2023. The NPC meets in session once a year. A session of the NPC may be convened at any time the Standing Committee deems it necessary or when more than one-fifth of the deputies to the NPC propose it.
Standing Committee of the NPC
The NPC Standing Committee is composed of a chairperson, several vice-chairpersons, the secretary-general and other members. They are all elected by the NPC from its deputies for a five-year term, the same as the NPC term. The Standing Committee shall exercise its functions and powers until a new Standing Committee is elected by the succeeding NPC. In the first session of the 14th NPC, 159 members of the 14th NPC Standing Committee were elected, and they have been performing their duties since March 2023. None of the NPC Standing Committee members may hold office in any of the State's administrative, supervisory, judicial or procuratorial organs. The chairperson and vice-chairpersons of the Standing Committee shall serve no more than two consecutive terms. Those who have served as Chairmen of the NPC Standing Committee since the founding of the People's Republic of China include: Liu Shaoqi, Zhu De, Ye Jianying, Peng Zhen, Wan Li, Qiao Shi, Li Peng, Wu Bangguo, Zhang Dejiang and Li Zhanshu. The Chairman of the 14th NPC Standing Committee is Zhao Leji. The chairperson of the NPC Standing Committee directs the work of the Standing Committee. The vice-chairpersons and the secretary-general assist the chairperson in his or her work. The chairperson, vice-chairpersons and secretary-general constitute the Council of Chairpersons, which handles the important day-to-day work of the Standing Committee. The NPC Standing Committee normally meets once every two months. It may hold interim meetings when there is a special need. The NPC Standing Committee is responsible to the NPC and reports to it on its work. The NPC has the power to alter or annul inappropriate decisions made by the Standing Committee and to remove its members from office.
Council of Chairpersons
The chairperson of the NPC Standing Committee directs the work of the Standing Committee. The vice-chairpersons and the secretary-general assist the chairperson in his or her work. The chairperson, vice-chairpersons and secretary-general constitute the Council of Chairpersons, which handles the important day-to-day work of the Standing Committee.
The NPC has 10 special committees. They are the Ethnic Affairs Committee, the Constitution and Law Committee, the Supervisory and Judicial Affairs Committee, the Financial and Economic Affairs Committee, the Education, Science, Culture and Public Health Committee, the Foreign Affairs Committee, the Overseas Chinese Affairs Committee, the Environmental Protection and Resources Conservation Committee, the Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee and the Social Development Affairs Committee. The NPC directs their work. When the NPC is not in session, the special committees are under the leadership of the NPC Standing Committee. Each special committee is comprised of a chairperson, several vice-chairpersons and other members. They are nominated by the Presidium of the NPC session from NPC deputies and are approved by the NPC. When the NPC is not in session, its Standing Committee may additionally appoint a number of vice-chairpersons and other members of special committees nominated by the Council of Chairpersons. The role of the special committees: Under the leadership of the NPC and its Standing Committee, the special committees research, deliberate, draw up bills or proposals related to their fields, and assist the NPC and its Standing Committee in legislation, supervision and other areas.
The committee examines the qualifications of deputies elected to the NPC. The committee has its own general office.