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Political Advisers Meet Today

China's top advisory body, the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), will kick off its annual session today in Beijing.


Hailing it a significant event of Chinese people's political life, Zhang Guoxiang, spokesman of the Second Session of the 10th National Committee of CPPCC, said the members will discuss the government report, examine the report of CPPCC National Committee chairman and amendments to the CPPCC Charter.


Zhang also told a news conference yesterday: "The secretariat has received 223 proposals and 324 written speeches."


Though not all of them have been reviewed, he said there are proposals to tackle the rural problems and revitalization of Northeast China.


"Such proposals will attract high attention from the central government so they will facilitate solutions to the problems," he said.


By yesterday, all the preparations for the meeting had been completed smoothly, said Zhang. The current session has nearly 2,230 members.


During the session, members will also attend a plenary session of the National People's Congress (NPC) to hear explanations on the draft of the amendments to the Constitution as non-voting members, he said.


Constitutional amendments are widely regarded as the most important agenda item of the Second Session of the 10th NPC, which will open on March 5.


Other hot issues on the agenda of both sessions include fighting corruption, increasing farmers' income, helping laid-off workers find jobs, improving social security, protecting the environment as well as coping with land requisition.


The spokesman said the CPPCC Chairman Jia Qinglin will deliver a work report of the CPPCC National Committee to the session at the opening ceremony today. The CPPCC will also look at amending its Charter.


Members have agreed that the important thought of "three represents" and major theoretical principles, ideas and policies set forth by the 16th CPC Congress should be incorporated into the new Charter, Zhang said.


Besides, successful experiences of CPPCC work should be reflected in the charter while procedure should be further improved and standardized to streamline the CPPCC's role.


About 2,900 Chinese and overseas journalists registered to cover this year's NPC and CPPCC sessions, according to the press center.


According to the Constitution of the People's Republic of China, multi-party cooperation and political consultation under the leadership of the Communist Party of China (CPC) are basic to the political system of China.


Full consultations are conducted with representatives from all walks of life before the state makes major policy decisions in order to strengthen unity and cooperation among all ethnic groups, political parties, social sectors and democratic personages without party affiliation and promote the progress of the cause of socialist construction.


And the consultations have been conducted in the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) since it was founded in 1949.


The CPPCC is composed of members of the Communist Party of China, the eight non-Communist parties in China, non-government organizations, public figures with no party affiliation, representatives of local communities and ethnic minorities, representatives of compatriots from Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macao, and returned overseas Chinese, and individuals invited as special representatives.


Sixty percent of CPPCC members are non-CPC members and come from almost all important fields in China.


The CPPCC has adopted this democratic consultation system and all members are welcome to express their different opinions and suggestions.


Since the founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949, consultations have been conducted in the CPPCC on many major issues concerning China's economic development, political life, social activities and the united front.


More than 50,000 proposals have been raised by the CPPCC members in the past 50-plus years and almost half of them are on economic development issues.


The main function of the CPPCC is to hold political consultations, exercise democratic supervision and concern itself with the country's governance.


Political consultation is held on major central and local government policies, on important political, economic, cultural and social issues before decisions are made as well as in the process of implementation.


Democratic supervision is exercised over the enforcement of China's Constitution, laws and regulations, the implementation of the major policies and the performance of government departments and their employees by making proposals and criticisms.


The CPPCC is elected for a five-year term and a plenary session is held annually. The current chairman of the 10th CPPCC National Committee is Jia Qinglin.

(China Daily March 3, 2004)

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