III. We strengthened and improved legislative work in the new era to provide legal guarantees for reform, opening-up, and stability.
Upholding integration between reform and the rule of law, the Standing Committee drew up its legislative program, held meetings on its legislative work and forums on local legislation, and made timely arrangements for legislative work. We formulated 8 laws, revised 47 laws, and adopted 9 decisions on legal issues and other major issues. These legislative items fell into three main categories according to their functions: first, promoting and ensuring the implementation of major decisions and arrangements through legislation with a focus on the overall work of the Party and the state; second, guaranteeing that major reforms have a legal basis through enacting and revising laws with a focus on comprehensively deepening reform; and third, bringing legislative tasks in key areas to a successful conclusion with a focus on accelerating efforts to establish a socialist rule of law system and build China into a socialist country governed by the rule of law.
The year 2018 marks the 40th anniversary of reform and opening-up. Our experience over these four decades has shown us that the rule of law is integral if we are to effectively perform our work in promoting reform, development, and stability, and that even greater emphasis must be placed on the rule of law as reform and opening-up pushes deeper. With a view to advancing reform, opening-up, and socialist modernization from this new historical starting point, the Standing Committee accelerated legislation in the economic sector for the purpose of refining the legal system for the socialist market economy. We revised numerous laws so as to promptly resolve the problem of legal provisions not matching up with the practical needs of development. A law-based environment is the best environment for doing business. The draft foreign investment law which we will deliberate at this session is a full reflection of new ideas, approaches, and measures in reform and opening-up, and will play an important role in lifting China toward a new stage of high-level opening-up in the new era.
The Standing Committee has already reviewed the draft twice, and we are confident that through the joint effort of all deputies, we will be able to bring this major legislative task to a successful conclusion. China's E-commerce market is the largest in the world, employing tens of millions of people and involving hundreds of millions of consumers. Enactment of the E-commerce Law represents an extremely important move for promoting the sound development of E-commerce, as well as protecting the legitimate rights and interests of consumers and ensuring fairness in this market. The consensus throughout all sectors of society is that this law will promote the healthy development of E-commerce by providing support, standards, innovative ideas, and guarantees, that it will protect the legitimate rights and interests of consumers, operators of E-commerce platforms, and people who run online businesses, and that it will ensure fair competition and orderin the market.
Meanwhile, revision of the Law on the Contracting of Rural Land has offered reassurance to contractors and operators of rural land and played a significant role in promoting agricultural and rural development by deepening reform of the rural land system and stabilizing and improving rural land contract relations through legal means. In addition, the Standing Committee formulated the Tax Law on Farmland Used for Nonagricultural Purposes and the Vehicle Purchase Tax Law, and revised the Company Law, the Civil Aviation Law, the Electric Power Law, the Port Law, and the Law on Corporate Income Tax, thereby facilitating reform and development in these areas.
Implementing the principles from the 19th National Congress of the Party and the Third Plenary Session of the 19th Party Central Committee, the Standing Committee revised laws and produced decisions to improve the laws for state institutions and organizations in accordance with the plan for deepening institutional reform approved at the First Session of the 13th NPC. We made a decision on adjusting the duties of administrative bodies in institutional reform of the State Council, an issue which touched upon legal provisions, and coordinated the revision of 316 articles of 32 laws involved in institutional reform, such as the Frontier Health and Quarantine Law. We also made a decision on the exercise of powers by the China Coast Guard to protect maritime rights and enforce maritime law, and formulated the Regulations on Firefighter Ranks. By doing so, we responded promptly to demands put forward through institutional reform for adjustment of the law, thus providing legal guarantees for the smooth implementationof institutional reform, and ensuring the orderly linkage of reforms and steady continuation of relevant work.
We revised the Civil Service Law, incorporated our practice in reforms concerning a salary system for public servants based on both position and rank into the law, and accelerated reform of the civil servant classification system. We revised the Organic Law of the People's Courts, the Organic Law of the People's Procuratorates, and the Criminal Procedure Law, formulated the People's Juror Law and the Law on International Judicial Assistance in Criminal Matters, and put forward decisions on the establishment of the Shanghai Financial Court and on several issues regarding litigation procedures for cases involving patents and other intellectual property rights. These steps consolidated and furthered our achievements in reform of the judicial system. We also revised the Organic Law of Villagers' Committees and the Organic Law of Urban Residents' Committees, thus improving primary-level governance systems.
Putting a people-centered approach into practice, the Standing Committee expedited legislation in the fields of social development and ensuring and improving living standards so as to safeguard the people's rights and interests and enhance public wellbeing through the rule of law, and advance the settlement of issues of greatest concern to the people through legal means. Compiling the civil code is a major legislative task that was put forward at the Fourth Plenary Session of the 18th CPC Central Committee. Building on our previous work, the Standing Committee sped up its efforts and drafted the individual books of the civil code, which consists of 1,034 articles in 6 books. We conducted an overall review as well as individual reviews of the draft books on contracts and torts, making solid progress toward the goal of completing the compilation of the civil code by 2020.
We revised the Personal Income Tax Law, advanced reform of the taxation system, and improved the tax structure, with about 80 million peoplealready exempted from paying taxes on their salary in accordance with the law. We revised the Social Insurance Law, and implemented the integration of maternity insurance and basic medical insurance for urban workers nationwide. Legislation in the medical and health care sector has a direct bearing on the fundamental interests of the general public. The Standing Committee has already conducted two reviews of the draft law on promoting basic medical and health care. Responding to the problems exposed in the Changsheng vaccine case, the Standing Committee put great emphasis on protecting the people's immediate interests through legal means, and expedited dedicated legislation on vaccine management, with preliminary review of the draft law on vaccine management already completed. Through the establishment of a legal system for vaccine oversight and control covering all stages of the process from R&D and production to distribution and inoculation, we devoted concrete efforts to protecting the lives and health ofthe public.
Stepping up our efforts to build an ecological civilization, we formulated the Law on the Prevention and Control of Soil Pollution, and revised laws including the Environmental Impact Assessment Law and the Law on the Prevention and Control of Environmental Noise Pollution, in an effort to improve the system of laws for strict environmental protection. The Law on the Prevention and Control of Soil Pollution provides strong legal guarantees for the campaign to clean up and preserve our soil. Together with the Law on the Prevention and Control of Air Pollution and the Law on the Prevention and Control of Water Pollution, it is part of a three-in-one legal network for protecting the environment through multidimensional controls.
The Standing Committee gave priority to safeguarding national security in legislative work. We formulated the Law on the Protection of Heroes and Martyrs, and revised the Anti-Terrorism Law and the National Intelligence Law, promoting the incorporation of core socialist values into legislation. By formulating and enacting the Law on the Protection of Heroes and Martyrs, we have encouraged people to carry forward the great deeds of heroes and martyrs and the spirit of patriotism, strongly opposed historical nihilism, and provided legal guarantees for fighting against acts that would smear and slander heroes and martyrs or distort and desecrate their legacy, and for safeguarding national security and ideological security in particular. This has been met with a positive response from all sectors of society. The formulation of the Law on the Protection of Heroes and Martyrs shows that justice and reason must prevail.
IV. We fulfilled our oversight duties in accordance with the law to better promote economic and social development and aid the advancement of reform tasks.
We exercised oversight in strict accordance with legally prescribed duties, statutory limits of authority, and procedures defined in law. While effectively exercising regular statutory oversight, we focused on deepening supply-side structural reform, aiding the three critical battles against potential risk, poverty, and pollution, resolving hotspot judicial issues pertaining to public wellbeing, and overseeing government budgets and state-owned assets. Over the past year, we heard and deliberated 24 work reports from the State Council, the Supreme People's Court, and the Supreme People's Procuratorate, inspected the enforcement of 6 laws, and conducted 3 special inquiries and 5 research projects on specific topics. Through these activities, we strived to guarantee effective enforcement of the Constitution and the law while helping the State Council, the National Commission of Supervision, the Supreme People's Court, and the Supreme People's Procuratorate improve their work in tangible ways.
The Standing Committee heard and deliberated work reports on national plans, budgets, final accounts, audits, and environmental protection measures, as well as on special topics such as science and technology, agriculture, education, medical and health care, the marine economy, and the rights and interests of overseas Chinese. The Party Central Committee issued the Opinions on Establishing the System for State Council Reporting to the NPC Standing Committee on the Management of State-owned Assets and the Guidelines on People's Congresses Expanding the Focus of Their Budget Review and Oversight to Cover Expenditure Budgets and Policy, entrusting new oversight duties to people's congresses.
The Standing Committee implemented the guiding principles of these documents, carried out research projects on specific topics, and for the first time deliberated the State Council's annual general report on the management of state-owned assets and its special report on the state-owned assets of financial enterprises, thereby adding another level of guarantee to ensure that state-owned assets are used and managed properly. At present, the standing committees of all 31 provincial-level people's congresses have established systems for reporting on the management of state-owned assets. We designated 153 NPC deputies with relevant expertise to participate in budget review, exerted the role of the online budget oversight system in monitoring the entire budgeting process, and worked to expand the focus of budget review and oversight to cover expenditure budgets and policy.
The Standing Committee inspected enforcement of six laws, including the Law on the Prevention and Control of Air Pollution, the Marine Environment Protection Law, the Law on the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases, the Law on Protecting against and Mitigating Earthquake Disasters, the Law on the Quality and Safety of Agricultural Products, and the Statistics Law. In the process, we identified not only work-related problems, but also defects and shortcomings within laws and regulations, thereby ensuring proper enforcement of the law. The Standing Committee held an additional meeting to hear and deliberate the enforcement inspection report for the Law on the Prevention and Control of Air Pollution, put forward a resolution on strengthening environmental protection across the board and advancing the fight to prevent and control pollution in accordance with the law, and released the names of 22 enterprises in which 38 problems were discovered through enforcement inspections, thus helping to drive the critical battle against air pollution deeper.
The standing committees of all 31 provincial-level people's congresses have completed the formulation and revision of regulations on air pollution prevention and control, all localities and departments have carried out comprehensive review of their normative documents concerning environmental protection, and standing committees of local-level people's congresses have revised 514 and abolished 83 relevant local regulations. In our inspections of enforcement of the Marine Environment Protection Law, we focused on prominent issues in 11 coastal provinces, such as the placement and management of points where pollutants are discharged into the sea, as well as the prevention and control of pollution from land-based sources. We controlled pollution through legal measures, and defended the blue of our seas and skies through the force of the law, thus winning the approval and support of the public.
The Standing Committee also carried out research projects on specific topics, such as the seventh five-year plan for increasing public knowledge of the law, ethnic minority education, poverty alleviation, rural vitalization, and local government debt in order to promote the resolution of major challenges in economic and social development.
The Standing Committee organized and conducted three special inquiries for deliberation on reports regarding enforcement inspection of the Law on the Prevention and Control of Air Pollution, the work of people's courts to ensure enforcement of rulings, the work of people's procuratorates to strengthen legal oversight on civil litigation and the execution of judgments, and the allocation and use of government funds for medical and health care. Relevant leading officials from the State Council, the Supreme People's Court, and the Supreme People's Procuratorate responded in person to inquiries from members of the Standing Committee and NPC deputies regarding issues in related fields that are the subject of widespread public concern. This was the first time that the Standing Committee conducted a special inquiry on the work of the Supreme People's Court and the Supreme People's Procuratorate.