Participants pay a silent tribute to the martyrs and compatriots who fell victim to the COVID-19 pandemic while attending the third session of the 13th National People's Congress in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Friday. WANG YUGUO/XINHUA
China's first draft civil code, which is under review at the annual session of the top legislature, is essential to comprehensive advancement of the rule of law and will offer stronger protection of people's fundamental interests, national lawmakers said.
A key political and legislative task raised by the central leadership, the draft, with 1,260 articles, has been submitted to the third session of the 13th National People's Congress.
"Since the founding of the People's Republic of China, generations of Chinese people have yearned for a civil code that they could truly call their own," said Wang Chen, vice-chairman of the NPC Standing Committee, while explaining the draft to national lawmakers on Friday.
He said the Communist Party of China and the government had begun work on formulating a civil code on four occasions.
"Through years of hard work many achievements have been made in China's development of civil law, laying solid foundations for the formulation of a civil code," he said. "As we embark on a new journey to uphold and improve the Chinese socialist system and modernize China's national governance system and capacity for governance, compilation of the civil code is a move that will have great and far-reaching significance."
The compilation of a civil code is also a necessity for improving the basic socialist economic system and promoting high-quality economic development, as well as for enhancing public well-being and protecting the fundamental interests of the people, he said.
Wang said the civil code would be the first law of the People's Republic of China defined as a code.
The full text of the draft consists of general provisions and six sections on property, contracts, personality rights, marriage and family, inheritance, and torts.
Li Zongsheng, a lawmaker from Liaoning province, said the draft code will give stronger legal support to people's personal and property rights after its adoption.
"It's the right time for our country to have such a civil code, as our legislative capacity is strong enough," said Li, also deputy head of the Liaoning Lawyers Association.
"I believe having such a code will contribute to business resumption and prosperity, especially in the current critical moment of epidemic control and economy recovery."
Xiao Shengfang, another NPC deputy and a lawyer from Guangdong province, said on Friday that the civil code responded to public concerns and offered answers to many important issues people are concerned about.
For example, the draft code prohibits people from throwing objects from high-rise buildings. Other hot issues, including stronger protection of personal information and banning loan-sharking, have also been written into the draft.