The Relationship between the Central and Local Governments: from the Legislative Perspective

In China, the local governments are empowered to make local legislation in accordance with national laws. Local legislation then, to an extent became a powerful tool in the economic competition between local governments within China. On the one hand, to stimulate innovation and economic development, the central government allows the expansion of local legislation and encourages local governments to solve problems actively with local laws. On the other hand, the central government shows a degree of distrust on local governments and thus sets strict restrictions on local legislative authority. In addition, the record and review mechanism by the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress could also be treated as the pressure on local laws because the standards are vague so far and some local laws may be overruled in this course. Local legislatures are confronted with the predicament to follow the central instructions, avoid the repetition, and satisfy local democratic demands.