IP and Law

Fun at the CPPCC

Should CCTV follow the American model and retire its anchors?

China's legislative advisory body, the CPPCC, closed yesterday after putting 4898 proposals on record. We can thank the 2280 members who worked so hard to submit these fine recommendations and to winnow the original 5030 proposals down to a more manageable number.

Or rather, we can thank the 1892 who bothered to show up. A total of 388 members were absent from the sessions, and only 220 of these had asked for a leave of absence, leaving 168 members who just skipped out on their sacred duties to the state. Zhang Yimou and Gong Li, off engineering China's next Oscar win, were the most public of these absences (they asked for permission, however).

Despite all of the clamor over major issues like condemning Taiwan, strengthening rural education, or reforming the property tax system, many of the the members who attend the annual sessions end up turning their attention to smaller issues. Last year, for example, the breakout proposal resulted in regulations prohibiting lip-synching in live concerts.

This year, prize for the strangest proposal goes to a recommendation to legislate gold-digging. OK, it's really a show of concern by sixteen delegates for Chinese women who find themselves married to foreign men who can no longer provide for them, and who have no financial means to return to China. The proposal would add provisions to current marriage law that would require foreign men to prove that they have a certain level of assets and income before being allowed to marry Chinese women.

Several more proposals of interest (some of these may be among the rejected 3%):

  • "Chinese Yuan" proposal: Replace Mao's image on Chinese banknotes with Sun Yatsen and Deng Xiaoping. The official name of the money could be changed to "Chinese Yuan" from "Renminbi."
    Related: "Small Change" proposal: Eliminate small denominations of money.
  • "Urban Shower" proposal: Promote the construction of low-cost bathhouses in cities to serve the people.
  • "CCTV Anchor" proposal: Swap the current Evening News anchors, who are getting along in years, with younger, fresher faces.
  • "Official Weight" proposal: To cut down on government officials wasting public money on lavish banquets, create an Administrative Ethical Code that includes a weight limit for public servants.
  • "Peasant TV" proposal: Zhao Benshan thinks that the current national rural TV channel is not enough to satisfy the entertainment needs of China's non-urban population.
  • "College Admission" proposal: Sure, there's good reason to reform the college entrance exam system. But Yin Hongfu has very specific suggestions: 60-70% from the exam, 20% from social service, 5-10% from creativity (which under special circumstances - champions, inventors, and such - may weigh as much as 50%).
  • "Child Actor" proposal: Ban children from acting in commercials.
  • "Beauty Economy" proposal: Regulate beauty contests to limit the value society places on outward appearance.

Citations follow.

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