The Second Session of the 10th National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), China's top advisory body, opened at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing Wednesday.
Chairman Jia Qinglin of this advisory body pledged that the organization will give top priority to helping boost the country's development, by raising proposals and suggestions on issues regarding national economy and the people's livelihood.
This is also what the CPPCC National Committee eyes in an amendment to the organization's charter, Jia said in his report on the work of the Standing Committee of the 10th National Committee of the CPPCC.
In-depth investigations have been conducted and opinions heeded and solicited from a broad range of society in drafting the amendment, he told the annual gathering of 2,200 members.
The CPPCC is a patriotic united front organization of the Chinese people. Its main functions are to conduct political consultation, exercise supervision and participate in the discussion and handling of state affairs, mainly through setting forth proposals and suggestions.
Reviewing the work over the past year, Jia said the participating parties, special committees and members of the CPPCC National Committee made in-depth investigations and studies on major issues of the country's social and economic development over the past year and, on this basis, submitted 22 inspection reports, 37 survey reports and 114 written suggestions to central authorities.
Premier Wen Jiabao and vice premiers have personally called for attention paid to these reports, and some ministers of the State Council will make replies to the questions raised by the CPPCC members and committees during the 10-day session.
This year, Jia said, the CPPCC will work harder still to unite all socialist workers, builders of the socialist cause, patriots in support of socialism and the motherland's reunification, including compatriots from Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan, and overseas Chinese, to serve the nationwide endeavor to build a well- off society in an all-round way.
He urged CPPCC members to concentrate their studies on major government policies and issues of major concern in society, and make relevant suggestions for resolving problems arising from social and economic development so as to help enhance social stability in the country.
On the Taiwan issue, Jia reiterated continued efforts to carry out the basic principle of "peaceful reunification and one country, two systems" to promote the reunification of the motherland.
"We must always keep to the one-China principle and firmly oppose any form of separatist activities for `Taiwan independence. ' We will never allow anyone to separate Taiwan from China in any form," he said.
Jia also called for promoting personnel contacts and economic and cultural exchanges across the Taiwan Straits, and make utmost efforts to unite the people from all walks of life in Taiwan and all patriotic forces both in Taiwan and the other parts of the world for the motherland's reunification.
In implementing the principles of "one country, two systems," "Hong Kong people governing Hong Kong," "Macao people governing Macao" and a high degree of autonomy, Jia acknowledged that efforts must be made to unit the people who love Hong Kong and Macao and support the governments and chief executives of the two special administrative regions to administer according to law, so as to promote the prosperity, stability and development of Hong Kong and Macao.
Li Meng, vice chairman of the CPPCC National Committee, also addressed the opening ceremony. He said in his report on proposals that CPPCC National Committee members have tabled a total of 3,819 proposals over the past year, most of which have been transferred to relevant government departments.
"Some 98.8 percent of the proposals had been handled up to Feb. 20 this year," he said.
In the following days, members of the CPPCC National Committee are expected to adopt the amendment to the organization's charter and a political resolution of the session.
They will also attend the opening session of the Second Plenum of the 10th National People's Congress (NPC), China's top legislature, as observers two days later and hear and discuss the report on the work of the government and other major reports at the NPC session.
(China.org.cn March 3, 2004)