SCIO briefing on National Constitution Publicity Week

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Hong Kong Cable Television:

The judicial system is of great importance to the whole country. Given recent changes in the situation of Hong Kong, will there be communication and deeper cooperation with the government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) in this respect?

Fu Zhenghua:

Publicity of the Constitution is implemented nationwide, so it certainly includes Hong Kong. China's Constitution is the country's fundamental law reflecting the common will of all Chinese people. Since Hong Kong's return to the motherland, the Hong Kong SAR government and organizations who love the motherland as well as Hong Kong have invested a lot of effort in raising public awareness of the Constitution and the Basic Law.

As you might have noticed in news reports, I attended a symposium marking the 20th anniversary of the implementation of the Macao SAR Basic Law this morning, which was presided over by Li Zhanshu, chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC) and Vice Premier Han Zheng. I think both Hong Kong and Macao attach as much importance to publicity of the Constitution as does the mainland, and have made great efforts to this end. For example, Hong Kong held symposiums to mark the national Constitution Day in the past two years. Officials from the HKSAR Basic Law Committee under the NPC Standing Committee attended the events. They delivered authoritative and systematic elaborations regarding the key status of the Constitution, and it and the Basic Law of the HKSAR together form the constitutional basis of the latter. Relevant departments of the central government will continue to support the HKSAR in organizing activities of Constitution publicity.

In addition, the Chinese mainland and the HKSAR have close judicial cooperation. First, we promoted the opening of legal services to enhance understanding among the people. Since 2003, the Chinese mainland has introduced 26 measures to open to the legal services industry in Hong Kong. Second, we have enhanced exchanges and cooperation in mediation and arbitration, and established collaboration platforms. Third, we have organized training programs for young people working in the legal field. These programs have enabled a large number of Hong Kong students and young legal personnel to participate in field study through 19 law offices, arbitration agencies and courts on the Chinese mainland, bolstering legal exchanges among young people. Thank you.

China Daily:

The work related to agriculture, rural areas and rural residents is very important. Agriculture and rural areas are said to be the foundations of China's steady economic and social development; however, they are also the biggest weakness. It has long been difficult to popularize the Constitution and laws among hundreds of millions of farmers. What measures will the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs take to promote this work in rural areas? Thank you.

Zong Jinyao:

Thank you for your great attention and support for the cause of agriculture, rural areas and farmers. The Constitution makes clear provisions on the basic rural management system, rural land system, and the protection of farmers' properties and rights, providing fundamental guidance for the work related to agriculture, rural areas and rural residents. Popularizing the Constitution and laws in rural areas is conducive to the implementation of the overall rural vitalization strategy, modernization of the rural governance system and its capacity, maintenance of harmony and stability in rural areas, as well as long-term stability across the country.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs gives great emphasis to the work on popularizing the Constitution and laws in rural areas, regarding it as an important political task. We have integrated it into the program of strengthening rural governance, promoting the rule of law in the agriculture sector and rural areas, implementing the rural vitalization strategy and modernizing the agriculture sector and rural areas. We have also organized and held popularization activities in regard to the Constitution and laws in the countryside together with the Ministry of Justice and the National Office for Law Popularization. The activities have the following three highlights.

First, a well-defined theme. This year's selected theme is "Thoroughly implementing the Constitution and laws, Modernizing rural governance system and capacity". In regard to the legal needs of rural residents and certain hot issues, we have focused on holding popularization activities for the Constitution and laws in rural areas, enhancing residents' affection and awareness in this regard.

Second, a variety of formats have been used. We have distributed handbooks and compilations of the Constitution and agriculture-related laws across the country, organized quizzes on constitutional knowledge, and held legal consultation activities and folk culture shows. We also seek to popularize the Constitution and agriculture-related laws through new technologies and new media like micro videos and animations.

Third, we have emphasized collaboration at different levels. We held a popularization activity in Shunyi district yesterday together with the Beijing Municipal Government, which achieved good outcomes. We also required government departments in charge of agriculture and rural affairs at different levels to carry out diverse activities to enhance the publicity of the Constitution and agriculture-related laws according to local conditions during the Constitution Publicity Week, so as to implement the responsibility system of law popularization, that is, "whoever enforces the law shall popularize the law."

Through these efforts, we have helped to foster a sound law-based environment featuring acting in accordance with the law, turning to legal services for help when in trouble, solving problems with legal knowledge and resolving conflicts with laws, and provided a strong guarantee for the implementation of the rural vitalization strategy and the modernization of rural governance system and capacity. Thank you.

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