This thesis examines the development of the legislative system of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) shaped by decentralization reforms since 1979. This thesis is composed of 8 chapters.
Chapter 1 introduces the research topic, presents the research questions, theoretical framework and research methods, and discusses the limitations and areas for future study.
Chapter 2 describes the economic theory of decentralization and the case of China.
Chapter 3 discusses the legislative system of the NPC and the NPCSC. It first reviews the legal status of the national laws enacted by these two national organs.
Chapter 4 discusses the legislative system of the State Council. It first analyzes the legal status of the administrative regulation issued by the State Council (China’s cabinet) and the department rule issued by the State Council departments (ministries and committees).
Chapter 5 discusses the legislative system of provincial and city-level units.
Chapters 6 and 7 discuss the legislative systems of two types of special local units – the autonomous areas and Special Economic Zones.
Chapter 8 is the concluding chapter. It first generalizes four major areas of progress in China’s legislative system, namely, the creation of a decentralized multi-tier legislative system, clearer demarcation of legislative powers, the development of legislative democracy and the development of the pragmatic legislative approach. Then this chapter provides four major limitations that have materialized in the reform era. They are: inactive mechanisms for supervising legislation and addressing legislative conflicts, insufficient guarantee of local legislative authority, inactive legislative hearing and imbalanced legislation with the focus on economic affairs. Accordingly, relevant pragmatic recommendations for the future development of the legislative system are provided.

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R. de Lange (Roel) , Y. Li (Yuwen)
Erasmus University Rotterdam
Erasmus School of Law

Feng, Y. (2016, December 15). Legislative Decentralization in China in the Reform Era – Progress and Limitations. Retrieved from