By Ni Yi, Zhang Cong, People’s Daily
The “two sessions” in China, namely the annual sessions of China’s top legislature and political advisory body, offer a window into the dynamism and strength of the country’s whole-process people’s democracy.
During the just-concluded annual sessions of the 13th National People’s Congress (NPC), China’s top legislature, and the 13th National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), the country’s top political advisory body, nearly 5,000 NPC deputies and CPPCC members gathered in Beijing to perform their duties by submitting motions and proposals and making suggestions on major political and social issues of the country under the banner of democracy.
NPC deputies and CPPCC members stressed that it’s necessary to maintain and improve institutions, standards and procedures of law-based socialist democracy, continuously promote the construction of the whole-process people’s democracy, and make sure that the principle of the people being masters of the country is manifested in the Party’s governance policies and measures, in all aspects of the work of Party and state organs at all levels, and in the efforts to meet the people’s expectations for a better life.
China’s whole-process people’s democracy fully represents the people’s will, protects their rights and unleashes their potential to create, pointed out Go Khok, mayor of Lhasa, capital city of southwest China’s Tibet autonomous region, and a NPC deputy.
The journey of Tibet is a vivid demonstration of the practice of the whole-process people’s democracy, he said, referring to the region’s journey from its peaceful liberation when people of all ethnic groups became the masters of the region to its historically getting rid of poverty and comprehensively building a moderately prosperous society since the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) held in 2012.
In recent years, Lhasa has consulted the people on governance, learned about their needs and sought their advice to ensure that various links of decision-making, enforcement and oversight take into consideration the people’s opinions and are under the people’s supervision, according to him.
“All the suggestions I made were appreciated by and received responses from relevant authorities,” said Tong Luwen, a NPC deputy as well as director of the academic center under the Party school of the CPC committee of Zhangjiajie city, central China’s Hunan province. The system of people’s congresses is an important institutional vehicle for realizing whole-process people’s democracy in China, Tong noted.
Tong has gained a deep understanding of the institutional advantages of the system of people’s congresses in the execution of her duties. By integrating the leadership of the CPC, the people’s status as masters of the country and the rule of law, China has fully tapped into the characteristics and strengths of its political systems, she pointed out.
“As a Party school teacher, I will continue to help people understand better the whole-process people’s democracy and make it more deeply rooted in people’s heart,” she said.
The essence of the people’s democracy is that the people get to discuss their own affairs, noted Wang Meihua, a member of the CPPCC National Committee as well as deputy chief engineer of Shanghai Construction Group (SCG).
Wang recalled that when discussing comprehensive renovation and installation of elevators in old residential areas, residential communities asked local residents to join consultations and eventually worked out plans that satisfied everyone.
“It made me understand better that China’s whole-process people’s democracy works and has gained the people’s earnest support and won wide popularity among the people,” Wang said.
“Making the people participants in and beneficiaries of decision-making enables us to carry out our work more easily and help people embrace prosperity,” said Zhang Jiaxiang, a NPC deputy and secretary of the Party branch in Zhanghe village, Xichuan county, Nanyang city, central China’s Henan province.
According to Zhang, the village selects one villagers’ representative from every 10 to 15 households, who not only participates directly in the decision-making for village affairs, but has a duty to explain the village’s decisions to every villager he or she represents and convene meetings for villagers to discuss major affairs.
Through the joint participation of villagers, road hardening, sewage treatment, environmental management and infrastructure construction have been advanced in the village in an orderly and efficient manner in recent years.
“Whole-process people’s democracy enables people to fully get involved in the political life, from the formulation of national laws to grassroots affairs including improvement in villages’ environment and appearance,” said NPC deputy Zhang Tianren, also secretary of the CPC committee of Xinchuan village, Changxing county, Huzhou city, east China’s Zhejiang province.
Xinchuan village, which has vigorously carried out projects to build beautiful countryside in recent years, always seeks villagers’ opinions and suggestions for living environment upgrading through meetings and door-to-door visits to villagers.
Residents have greatly supported and actively taken part in relevant projects, Zhang noted, adding that some villagers voluntarily sacrificed a piece of land in their yards for the expansion of roads and smooth proceeding of these projects.
“We didn’t duplicate Western models of democracy, but created whole-process people’s democracy instead, which integrates process-oriented democracy with results-oriented democracy, procedural democracy with substantive democracy, direct democracy with indirect democracy, and people’s democracy with the will of the state,” said Song Chunpeng, a member of the CPPCC National Committee and also principal of Henan University.
Enabling the 1.4 billion Chinese people to become true masters of the country and enjoy extensive rights and freedoms, the whole-process people’s democracy represents China’s significant contribution to the political progress of humanity, Song added.