Home / News Type Content Tools: Save | Print | E-mail | Most Read | Comment
Expert Hearings Give Voice, Solve Problems
Adjust font size:

In his government work report delivered at the ongoing Third Session of the National People's Congress (NPC) and Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, Premier Wen Jiabao underscored the importance of dealing with petitions effectively to avoid social divisions.

The report said government should "handle disagreements promptly and properly solve problems put forward by the people."

Grassroots deputies said many local governments have changed their attitude toward group disturbances, which are usually caused by disillusionment or loss of confidence in their ability or willingness to deal with complaints.

Most people are reasonable and understanding -- they make petitions only when they find unfairness in governments' judgments and not for the sake of it, said NPC deputy Wang Xiaojiang, Party branch secretary of Xihuafeng Village, Jiaozuo City in the central province of Henan.

Some local governments have failed to properly deal with the concerns of common people, resulting in a loss of credibility. When this happens, small incidents easily turn into serious disturbances, said deputy Deng Zhifang, who works at the Luoyang White Horse Weaving Shuttle Factory in Henan.

In the second half of 2004, there were some relatively large-scale disturbances in places such as Chongqing, Sichuan and Henan that aroused much debate. Some experts said they revealed a degree of social division and conflict between the common people and government officials that would obstruct the road to a harmonious society.

While central government is seeking ways to facilitate feedback on social conditions and to solicit public opinion, and urging government officials to actively seek out problems instead of common people having to constantly make appeals, grassroots bodies are also looking for effective petition systems.

Jiaozuo began implementing its "expert hearing" system last year to help those who often have to make petitions to the central government solve their problems, and this has proved effective, said Wang Xiaojiang.

Wang said they are attended by lawyers, law enforcement officials and judicial officials, local government leaders, representatives who know the petition's background and NPC deputies.

During the hearings, lawyers play a key role, said Wang. They first determine the legal validity of petition cases. If invalid, they will try to solve the problem through mediation, and if valid, the hearing representatives will consult together and the courts will place the case on file for further investigation.

Such hearings can now be seen taking place in the surrounding counties and villages. Frequent petitioners have a place to air their grievances, and find their problems more smoothly solved, said Wang, who has attended three county-level expert hearings.

After losing lawsuits and making many petitions, people can be left in bad financial situations and end up resenting the government.

Expert hearings shorten the distance between petitioners and government, exploring the background of their problems and helping solve their economic difficulties. They also undermine the impression that government officials protect each other against the people's interests, said Wang.

The State Bureau for Correspondence and Visitation has shown great interest in the expert hearing system and may promote it nationwide.

The quality of government officials is the most important factor, said Sun Gui, Party branch secretary of Longquansi Village, Pingdingshan City, also in Henan.

He said petitions show that problems exist in government work, and that only with grassroots officials actively seeking petitions can these problems be effectively solved.

A harmonious society must be based on harmonious interpersonal relationships, said Zhao Guizhen, Party branch secretary of Ganggentaohai Village, Suolun Town in Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region.

A policy environment in which free communication and equal interaction are ensured for all interest groups is necessary to reestablish the close relationship between the common people and the government, he added.

Courts at various levels handled an increasing number of petition cases in 2004. The number being dealt with by local courts stood at 4.22 million, a year-on-year increase of 6.2 percent.

In order to better hear grassroots complaints, the 10-year-old regulation on petitions was amended in January to strengthen protection of petitioners' rights. The revised regulation will take effect as of May 1.

(China.org.cn by Yuan Fang, March 12, 2005)

Tools: Save | Print | E-mail | Most Read
Pet Name
China Archives
Related >>
- New Rule Regulates Petitions
- Getting Petitions Heard
- Hu Asks Officials to Improve Social Understanding
- Better Handling of Petitions to Build Harmonious Society
- Scholar Explores Harmonious Society Concept
- Increase in Petition Cases Handled
Most Viewed >>
- World's longest sea-spanning bridge to open
- Yao out for season with stress fracture in left foot
- 141 seriously polluting products blacklisted
- China starts excavation for world's first 3G nuclear plant
- Irresponsible remarks on Hu Jia case opposed 
- 'The China Riddle'
- China, US agree to step up constructive,cooperative relations
- FIT World Congress: translators on track
- Christianity popular in Tang Dynasty
- Factory fire kills 15, injures 3 in Shenzhen

Product Directory
China Search
Country Search
Hot Buys