The National Assembly served as the Republic of China‘s supreme legislative body from 1947 until 2005. From 1949, Taiwan also used this name. China’s tricameral parliament was created by the National Assembly, along with the Control Yuan, the upper house, and the Legislative Yuan, the lower house. If it had been still in operation, the National Assembly would have had 3,045 members, making it the biggest parliamentary body in the world.
To the Republic of China’s 1947 Constitution, the National Assembly served as the constituent Assembly with the mandate to amend the country’s Constitution, just like other electoral colleges. It elected the President and Vice President.
In November 1947, the first National Assembly was elected, and it met in Nanking in March 1948. However, the Kuomintang-led Republic of China government retreated to Taiwan the following year after losing mainland China in the Chinese Civil War.
History of the China National Assembly
Early Republican Period of China
Calls for a National Assembly were included in the program of the revolutionaries who finally destroyed the Qing monarchy. Accordingly, the Qing tradition framed the primary gathering in 1910, yet it was practically frail and planned exclusively as a warning body. The Beiyang government established the bicameral National Assembly in the early Republican era.
The House of Representatives and Senate of the US Congress were referenced in the design. However, the National Assembly’s authority and reputation were undermined during the Warlord Era due to military interference with the Constitution.
1947 Constitution in China
The Constituent Assembly enacted a new constitution in 1946, and the first National Assembly met in Nanjing, the capital of China, in 1948. Aside from the KMT, the main lawful gatherings were the Majority rule Communist Faction and the Young Party.
Under the Constitution, the primary obligation of the Public Gathering was to choose the President and VP for terms of six years. In addition, if the President and Vice President failed to carry out their political responsibilities, it had the authority to recall or remove them from office. The “National Assembly Duties Act” states that the National Assembly can ratify constitutional amendments proposed by deputies of the Legislative Yuan and amend the Constitution with a two-thirds majority and at least three-quarters membership.
It could also alter the boundaries of a territory. The directives of Sun Yat-sen shaped the responsibilities of the Assembly’s deputies and the Assembly as a whole. A Presidium of the National Assembly ruled over the NA’s activities at the time, serving as a Soviet Union counterpart to the Supreme Soviet.
In 1949, mainland China was conquered by communists in the Chinese Civil War, prompting the relocation of the National Assembly and the entire ROC government to Taipei. The Assembly’s power to pass laws was suspended until at least half of the country’s counties were once more allowed to elect delegates through their County Assemblies.
There was only a six-year term allotted to the first National Assembly. However, the Kuomintang (KMT) leadership claims that because all Mainland provinces were in communist rebellion at the time of the mainland’s fall, new elections could not be held there. So, the Judicial Yuan decided that until new elections could be held, the original members of the National Assembly who represented communist-controlled areas had to stay in office. In ROC-controlled territories, elections for the National Assembly continued to take place.
Constitutional reforms in the 1990s
The same National Assembly that was elected in 1947 remained in power for 44 years until 1991, when a Second National Assembly was elected as part of a constitutional ruling. The Assembly was met with strong opposition, and its critics mockingly referred to it as the “ten-thousand-year congress [zh].”
Direct elections were held in December 1991 by the National Assembly shortly after constitutional reforms were approved. The Assembly’s other major function, which was to select the President and Vice President of the Republic of China, was eliminated when a 1994 constitutional amendment made it essentially a permanent constituent assembly. Direct races for the president, VP, and gathering were held all the while in Walk 1996.
Nonetheless, these changes conceded its new capabilities, for example, hearing the president’s Condition of the Country Address and endorsing the president’s selections of the stupendous judges and the tops of the Assessment and Control Yuans. These responsibilities are now in the hands of the Legislative Yuan as a result of the Assembly’s dissolution.
The Legislative Yuan would be linked to the Assembly’s election and term thanks to constitutional amendments approved by the Assembly in 1999. The public strongly objected to the fact that these amendments extended the terms of both bodies as part of their effect. Shortly after the presidential election in 2000, the People First Party was founded.
The two bigger parties, the Kuomintang and Democratic Progressive Party wished to keep the People First Party (PFP) out of the National Assembly. As a result, the elections for the National Assembly in 2000 were postponed. Instead, delegates would be chosen ad hoc through special elections based on proportional representation within six months of the Legislative Yuan making proposals for constitutional amendments, calling for the president or vice president to be impeached, or declaring a vote on changes to national borders. No such circumstance emerged from 2000 to 2004, and the Public Gatherings never met during this period.
Dissolution in China
The Legislative Yuan made a number of amendments on August 23, 2004, one of which was to dissolve the National Assembly. This proposal aims to give the people the authority to ratify constitutional and territorial amendments instead of the National Assembly. In accordance with the amendments, any subsequent proposed amendments must be approved by at least three-fourths of all members present in the Legislative Yuan.
After that, it would be published for a period of 180 days and then put to a referendum, where a simple majority of all eligible voters would ratify the amendments. As it became apparent that the Legislative Yuan would not approve the proposal, the Democratic Progressive Party withdrew a proposal that would have granted citizens’ initiative rights and the ability to propose constitutional amendments. A referendum on Taiwan’s independence may be forced by a small number of voters, according to opponents of such constitutional revisions, who said that keeping the 3/4 legislative vote requirement in place would lead to confrontation with the People’s Republic of China.
In contrast, maintaining the 3/4 legislative vote requirement would necessitate consensus among both the pan-green coalition and the pan-blue coalition for any constitutional amendment to be considered. As was done with the referendums that were decided upon concurrently with the presidential elections in March 2004, a party can obstruct an amendment by abstaining from the vote. This is made possible by the requirement that a majority of all voters approve the amendment.
Under the Constitution, at that point, the Public Gathering must then be chosen to think about these alterations. Initially, such consideration and eventual ratification of the constitutional amendments were regarded as a formality; however, in 2005, a number of unexpected complications emerged. The People First Party’s (PFP) poor performance in the 2004 Legislative Yuan election was the first.
Another unanticipated occurrence elevated the significance of the National Assembly elections on May 14, 2005, beyond what was anticipated: Following their trips to mainland China, KMT Chairman Lien Chan and PFP Chairman James Soong set up the election immediately. Even though the Democratic Progressive Party won a majority of the vote in the elections that took place on May 14, this resulted in the election turning into an opinion poll about relations with mainland China, which was something that the Democratic Progressive Party did not want.
Functions National Assembly of China
Under the 1947 constitution, the most important constitutional powers belonged to the National Assembly. All of its powers were transferred to the Legislative Yuan following a series of constitutional revisions known as Additional Articles of the Constitution in the 1990s and early 2000s, and the people of the free region practiced direct democracy.
In the sixth amendment of 2000, the procedure for ratifying a change to a national territory was changed so that Legislative Yuan made the proposal and the National Assembly, which was elected after the proposal, ratified it. In the seventh amendment of 2005, the citizens of the free area received final ratification authority.
The 1992 amendment (2nd) gave the citizens of the free area the power to choose the president and vice president, and the 1994 amendment (3rd) made it even clearer that this power came from “direct election.” See Official races in Taiwan.
In the 1994 amendment (3rd), the procedure for recalling the President and Vice President was changed to require that the National Assembly propose it and the citizens of the free area vote on it. In the 2000 amendment (6th), the procedure was changed to require that the Legislative Yuan propose it and the citizens of the free area vote on it.
The method for endorsement of protected alteration was changed to be proposed by Regulative Yuan and confirmed by Public Gathering chosen after the proposition has been made in the 2000 correction (sixth), and afterward, the last sanction power was moved to the residents of the free region in the 2005 revision (seventh).
In the 1997 amendment (4th), the procedure for impeaching the President and Vice President was changed to require a proposal from the Legislative Yuan and approval from the National Assembly. In the 2005 amendment (7th), the final decision-making authority was transferred to the Justices of the Judicial Yuan in the Constitutional Court.
Elections and terms National Assembly of China
The Republic of China’s Kuomintang-led administration relocated to Taiwan two years after the country’s initial election. The members’ terms were extended until “re-election is possible in their original electoral district” due to the Kuomintang’s insistence on claiming sovereignty over all of China.
In light of Taiwan’s rising majority rules system development, restricted valuable decisions were held in Taiwan beginning in 1969 and portions of Fujian from 1972. The members who were elected in 1948 served alongside those who were elected in these supplementary elections. Until a ruling by the Constitutional Court (Judicial Yuan) on June 21, 1991, which mandated that all members serving extended terms retire by the end of 1991, this situation persisted.
National Assembly sessions of China
Legislative Yuan, constitutional referendums, and the Constitutional Court of Judicial Yuan now perform the duties of the National Assembly.
Leaders of the National Assembly in China
Secretary-general in Assembly in China
The secretary-general is the de facto highest-ranking official when the Assembly is not in session. In addition to managing the Assembly’s employees, he or she is in control of the whole body. The Secretary-General may function as acting Secretary-General while the National Assembly is not in session.
Speaker and Presidium
Feature articles: Elections for the Taiwanese National Assembly in 1991, 1996, and 2005 saw the first and second national assembly’s elect a presidium as the head of the body.
A speaker was chosen by the 3rd National Assembly, and a vice-president was to lead the gathering. In 2005, the ad hoc National Assembly went back to electing a presidium as the head of the body.