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Functions of Top Advisory Body Greatly Improved
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The Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), China's top advisory body, abided by the No. 5 Document, which sets out the central tasks of the ruling Communist Party, strengthened its efforts in exercising political consultation and democratic supervision, and in the deliberation and administration of state affairs, a top CPPCC advisor said yesterday.

"I submitted a proposal last year to rehabilitate the Shangyou and Huichang reservoirs in Jiangxi Province. Now, over 13 million yuan has been allocated to the project," said Li Yonghai, vice chairman of the Chinese Association for Development of Old Revolutionary Areas, who was attending the 12-day annual session of the CPPCC National Committee, which concluded in Beijing today.

"At the First Session of the Tenth National Committee of the CPPCC, there were complaints that submitting proposals was ineffective because they were largely ignored. But things have changed since then, and more CPPCC members have been willing to speak out during this session."

Li added: "The role of the CPPCC has been strengthened."

Liu Qingzhu, an archaeologist from the Institute of Cultural Relics and Archaeology under the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, agrees.

In March 2006, 58 CPPCC members submitted a joint proposal calling for more efforts in the protection of the Beijing-Hangzhou Canal and the application for its listing as a World Heritage site. The Committee for Learning and Cultural and Historical Data of the CPPCC National Committee also organized an investigation conducted by 40 CPPCC members and scholars along the 2,500-km-long canal in May last year. They argued that the canal, like the Great Wall, should be given adequate protection. As a result of their efforts, the State Council and local governments of provinces along the canal acknowledged that it was a key cultural relic and was subsequently accorded national protection status.

Yang Baojian, a CPPCC member from Yunnan Province, explained that this was just one of the improvements in performing functions of the CPPCC in the past year.

According to Yang, the CPPCC actively studied innovative methods that optimize consultation processes. To achieve this, they held special consultative conferences in addition to the scheduled plenary sessions and consultative conferences of the Standing Committee. Last year, two such special consultative conferences were organized, the focus of which were West China development and carrying out the Medium- and Long-term Plan of Science and Technology Development. Senior officials of the State Council and related ministries exchanged views with CPPCC members and reached a consensus on issues relating to the enhanced development of West China's social cause, accelerating infrastructure construction in the region, optimizing and integrating scientific resources, and building a new mechanism of technology innovation. Consultation results were presented to the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, the State Council and other relevant ministries.

"The CPPCC seriously implemented the No. 5 Document, which sets out the central tasks of the Party and the country, strengthened its efforts in exercising political consultation and democratic supervision, and the deliberation and administration of state affairs," Yang said.

The No.5 Document, entitled "Opinions of the CPC Central Committee on Strengthening the Work of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference", was issued by the General Office of the CPC Central Committee on March 1, 2006. The document clearly states that the CPPCC is an important organ of multi-party cooperation and political consultation and stresses that the CPPCC will play a bigger role in participating in the management of state affairs in the future.

(China.org.cn by staff reporter Wu Nanlan, March 15, 2007)

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