BEIJING, Oct. 26 (Xinhua) -- The Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC), China's top legislature, wrapped up its bi-monthly session on Friday, passing a mental health law and amendments to eight existing laws.
President Hu Jintao signed presidential decrees to formally declare the decisions.
The mental health law, which was adopted after three readings, is expected to protect the rights of mentally ill people, reduce abuse and raise public awareness of mental disorders.
Under the law, there should be no infringement upon the dignity, personal safety or property of mentally ill people.
"The new law strictly standardizes the diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of mentally ill people," Wu Bangguo, chairman of the Standing Committee of the NPC, said while presiding over the closing meeting.
"It has put patients' rights and the public interest in unison," he said.
"The approval of the law is important for protecting the rights of the mentally ill, raising public mental health standards, promoting the development of mental health undertakings and maintaining social harmony and stability," Wu said.
To tackle inconsistencies in the Criminal Procedure Law, which was amended in March and will take effect next January, the top legislature also passed amendments to seven laws, such as the Prison Law, Lawyer Law and other related bills.
Wu urged relevant authorities to be well prepared to ensure the accurate and effective enforcement of the Criminal Procedure Law.
The top legislature also passed an amendment to the Postal Law.
The amendment stipulates that postal administrations under provincial level are responsible for the supervision and administration of postal services and markets within their jurisdictions, giving legal authorization for municipal administration.
Referring to a report on the reform of state-owned enterprises (SOEs), Wu stressed that the task of reforming the SOEs is still "onerous."
Wu said lawmakers at the session urged deepened reforms for state-dominated sectors while unswervingly sticking to a basic economic system at the primary stage of socialism.
The government should encourage SOEs to restructure their business, direct state assets toward more important industries, transform their business methods and boost themselves to the high end of the production and profit chain, Wu said.
Wu also called for tightened supervision and an improved budget system for state-owned assets.
In addition, the session approved the termination of Bo Xilai's post as NPC deputy. Bo was formerly secretary of the CPC Chongqing Municipal Committee and also a Political Bureau member.
As of Friday, the total number of NPC deputies stood at 2,972.
During the four-day session, the top legislature also reviewed two reports on the reform of the country's cultural system and government social assistance.
According to Wu, lawmakers called for continued reforms for the culture system. They urged the sector to create innovative content, build a public cultural service system and turn the sector into a pillar industry for the national economy.
Lawmakers also urged relevant departments to improve the government social assistance system and enhance social aid so as to safeguard the fundamental rights of poor people and ensure that all the country's people share the benefits of China's economic and social development.
The meeting also ratified two international documents, including the China-Tajikistan-Afghanistan agreement on the definition of the tri-junction point for national boundaries and the China-Thailand treaty on the transfer of sentenced persons.
At the closing session, the top legislature announced the removal of Zhang Jun from his post as vice president of the Supreme People's Court.Lawmakers also voted to appoint Su Jun as deputy director of the NPC Standing Committee's Budgetary Affairs Commission.
On Friday morning, the members of the NPC Standing Committee attended a lecture on environmental legislation and protection presided over by Wu.
BEIJING, Oct. 26 (Xinhua) -- The Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC), China's top legislature, will urge the State Council to enact regulations on halal food in a timely fashion, according to a report adopted on Friday.
The report, presenting results of deliberations by the Ethnic Affairs Committee of the NPC on the "bill on enacting halal food administration law," was adopted at the concluding meeting of the bi-monthly session of the NPC Standing Committee. Full story