ISSUES2015 No.2
Editor’s Note: The idea of building China into a socialist rule-of-law country was firstly put forward on the 15th CPC National Congress in September 1997 and it has now become one of China’s fundamental strategies for governing the country. The Fourth Plenary Session of the 18th CPC Central Committee held in October 2014 further confirmed China’s goal of forming a system serving the socialist rule of law with Chinese characteristics and building a country under the socialist rule of law, which requires for the development of a complete legislation system, an efficient implementation system, a rigorous supervision system, and a powerful guarantee system. There is no doubt that legislation is the first step approaching the goal of rule of law. In the field of urban-rural planning, China has seen great achievements of planning legislation since its initiation in the 1980s, along with the successive promulgation of Urban Planning Regulations in 1984, City Planning Law in 1989, and Urban and Rural Planning Law in 2007, as well as the issuing of a large number of regulations, rules, measures, and methods in the past three decades. However, the great achievements cannot cover the dissatisfaction of the legislation system of urban-rural planning. First of all, the system itself is not complete, even regarding the legislations at the national level. For example, the Regulations on Implementing the Urban and Rural Planning Law is not formulated yet and the lack of detailed regulations on how to put in force the law inevitably leads to differentiated interpretation and enforcement of the legal descriptions in various localities. Secondly, the prevailing law and regulations are mostly department-based and -oriented and not very well interrelated with other laws and regulations concerned. They do not even make a clear description on the relationship between urban-rural plans and other kinds of spatial plans, such as socio-economic development plans, land use plans, environment protection plans, etc., which usually leads to unnecessary conflicts and confusions in practice. Thirdly, although the City Planning Law has already been replaced by the Urban and Rural Planning Law since 2008, some of the prevailing regulations based on the City Planning Law are not updated and revised in time, being often in conflict with the Urban and Rural Planning Law and leading to confusions in practice. All these problems are only a small part of the dissatisfaction of the actual legislation system of urban-rural planning, which harms not only the efficiency but also the authority of the law. It implies that China still has a lot to do to complete and perfect its legislation system of urban-rural planning, in order to better meet the requirement of the socialist rule of law in the field of urban-rural planning.

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