The Legislative Decentralization in China in the Reform Era; Progress and Limitations
Auteur: Yang Feng
This book provides in-depth analysis on the spectacular expansion of the legal system in China, which results from the consistent decentralization reform in 1978. This book is composed of 8 chapters. Following the introductory chapter, Chapter 2 spells out that in China the decentralized legislative powers have become not only one of the most important source of authority of local governments but also an important means to exercise other decentralized powers, which serves to ensure a common market. Chapters 3 to 5 examine the legislative systems of the National People’s Congress, its standing committee, the State Council and local governments (provincial and city-level PC, PCSC and people’s governments). The 2015 revised Law on Legislation, on the one hand, grants legislative power to all city-level governments, representing the continuous trend of legislative decentralization; on the other hand, it largely reduces city-level legislative powers, reflecting an attempt to tighten the control of the exercise of the local legislative power. Chapters 6 and 7 evaluate two unique local legislative systems in autonomous areas and Special Economic Zones (SEZs) respectively. Contrary to the autonomous areas, where legislative power is underused, SEZs consistently expand their legislative power. As a result, by using such power, SEZs played a key role for introducing the legal system on the market economy in China. It ultimately gathered the momentum for turning the tide of contestation in the ideological, economic and policy domains in favor of a market system, and created conditions favorable for the market-oriented legislation at national level. Lastly, this book discusses the limitations of the reform and provides recommendations for future legislative development.