Jiang Zemin's vision for the party is set to be included, say legal scholars The National People's Congress Standing Committee will discuss amendments to the national constitution next week, including proposals regarding political theory, human rights and private property. A six-day session will begin on Monday in Beijing and committee members will review about a dozen amendments. NPC chairman Wu Bangguo chaired a meeting yesterday to prepare for the discussions next week, Xinhua reported. Legal scholars who have followed the drafting of the amendments said party leaders wanted to write Jiang Zemin's Theory of the Three Represents into the constitution. The theory, which was put forward by Mr Jiang in 2000, states that in the new era, the Communist Party should represent the broad interest of the masses, the productive forces and advanced culture. It was considered an attempt by Mr Jiang and his followers to extend the influence of the party to cover not just the working class but also private entrepreneurs, white collar workers and other elites. On human rights, amendments will highlight China's commitment in protecting citizens' rights. Academics said private property was a controversial component because law drafters wanted to strike a balance between the protection of personal wealth and the proletarian roots of Marxism. However, some scholars said the amendments would follow the principle of 'preferring small revisions to big changes' because party leaders believed the constitution was fundamentally sound. The amendment process will take months and a final draft will be put forward to the full NPC annual conference next March for a vote. China has been revising its constitution almost every five years. Although the power to revise the constitution rests with the NPC, congress members traditionally follow what the Communist Party advises. Other issues on next week's agenda included a review of five draft legislations on banking and foreign trade, an extradition treaty between China and Russia, and also a judicial agreement with Thailand. Xinhua said there would be 'substantial changes' to the nine-year-old foreign trade law to bring it in line with 'requirements of the present days'. 'Since the Foreign Trade Law was promulgated in 1994, China's foreign trade developments have witnessed great changes,' it said. 'This was most evident after China joined the World Trade Organisation in November 2001. Many provisions of the Foreign Trade Law are no longer suitable for our future developments and need revisions.' China has been praised by its trading partners for making significant changes to its legislation and regulations to fulfil commitments it made in joining the WTO two years ago. The Standing Committee will also discuss various inspection reports by NPC members on subjects such as lease of farmland and progress of a water diversion project currently underway in northeast and east China.