Representatives of the people throughout the country discussed on the draft amendments to the Constitution submitted by the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC) on Tuesday.
The draft amendments, the fourth since the constitution was promulgated in 1982 and proposed by the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC), are expected to enshrine the respect and protection of human rights, the protection of private property lawfully acquired and the important thought of Three Represents in the fundamental law.
This represents an ideological breakthrough by the CPC that is leading the 1.3 billion people toward a well-off society along the road of what is described as "socialist market economy".
This is the natural results of economic and social development over the past 25 years as China's reform and opening up drive has brought about enormous changes to economic, social and political life.
Human rights, private property and "Three Represents" all embody the "people first" principle and represent their fundamental interests. The codification of these in the fundamental law represents a shift away from the growth-focused strategy to a comprehensive approach to development that features the protection of human rights and private property lawfully acquired, guarantee of social justice and an overall, harmonious and sustainable development.
Described as a scientific concept of development, the "people first" development strategy will enable China to proceed from the fundamental interests of the people in doing everything and to strike a balance in both urban and rural development, among different regions, economic and social progress, man and nature, and both internal and external development as is outlined by Premier Wen Jiabao in his government work report to the ongoing National People's Congress (NPC) session.
The same is true with "Three Represents", which spells out as representing the most advanced productivity and culture and the fundamental interests of overwhelming majority of Chinese people.
This thought is reinforced by the codification of the respect and protection of human rights and private property, which is regarded as a concrete measure to implement it.
Right before the opening of this current session of the NPC, the central leadership published a lengthy article to paraphrase the scientific concept of development, an ideological advance following the first three generations of leadership of the Party.
The inclusion of the new ideological progress in the fundamental law has been applauded nationwide. It has further strengthened trust of the people in the Party and the government and their hopes of achieving the long-term goal of building a well-off society in all aspects under the leadership of the Party.
(Xinhua News Agency March 10, 2004)