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China's top political advisors seek greater say and greater role

03-03-2014 17:15 BJT Special Report: China’s Leaders |
Special Report: 2014 NPC & CPPCC Sessions |

By CCTV reporter Han Bin

China’s top political advisors have begun their annual session. The Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, or the CPPCC, exercises democratic supervision. Members are chosen based on guidelines on diversity and nomination procedures. The CPPCC aims to have a wide representation from all walks of life, as it influences policy directions. But as CCTV reporter Han Bin finds out, there are many who think the organization could do better in carrying out its unique mission in China’s political arena.

It’s the annual political season in China. The nation’s top political advisors are gathering for the big conference. It’s a chance to make their voices heard.

Yu Zhengsheng, chairman of the National Committee of the
Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC),
delivers a report on the work of the CPPCC National
Committee's Standing Committee at the second session
of the 12th CPPCC National Committee at the Great Hall
of the People in Beijing, capital of China,
March 3, 2014. The second session of the 12th
National Committee of the CPPCC, the national
advisory body, opened in Beijing on March 3.
(Xinhua/Pang Xinglei)

"I think the government should take intensive, concrete measures to control the smog in China." said Cai Xiaohong, CPPCC Member.

"I hope the government could improve the public security system to better protect people’s lives." said Liu Zijing, CPPCC Member.

For its more than 2,000 members, the CPPCC is a channel for participation and consultation in and supervision of the Party and government’s work.

“We will build more and better platforms to expand the forms of democracy, increase the frequency of consultation, and get CPPCC members to speak willingly and feel free to speak the truth.” said Yu Zhengsheng, Chairman, 12th CPPCC National Committee.

Cai Xiaohong, CPPCC Member

Chairman Yu Zhengsheng stressed that nearly 100 percent of the over 5,000 proposals put forward by the members last year have been processed.

But many members complain that while they have received feedback, there has been less progress in actual implementation.

Cai Jiming served three terms. He’s been acknowledged as one of the most dissenting voices during the annual session and often been criticized for it. He wants members to focus on major issues and to strengthen the CPPCC’s supervisory power.

“The Party has the Disciplinary Inspection Commission; the government has the People’s Procuratorate, to carry out supervision. But the CPPCC lacks a specific mechanism to perform supervision.” said Cai Jiming, Former CPPCC Member, Institute of Economics, Tsinghua Univ.

Liu Zijing, CPPCC Member

China’s CPPCC members are chosen by recommendation rather than election. For this reason, many say the advisory body has become a club for the rich and famous. And the poor qualities of some members’ proposals have led outsiders to question their real contribution and role. So, many people are calling for a reform.

Professor Yu Jianrong says the CPPCC membership needs professional standards.

“We need to rethink the composition of the political advisory body. People should not take the CPPCC membership simply as an honor. The organization should become the agency of the government think tanks and a channel to voice people’s livelihood.” said Professor Yu Jianrong, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

Like Yu Jianrong and Cai Jiming, many feel the most important thing is better exercise of the CPPCC’s unique function. Chairman Yu Zhengsheng agrees, saying the advisory body requires institutional guarantees to standardize work. Which means the CPPCC should have a greater say, and a greater role to play.

Editor:James |Source: CCTV.com

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