Third Session
10th National People's Congress and
Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference

Deputy's Race Against Time

Every spring, when Jiang Deming comes to Beijing to participate in the annual session of the NPC, he wonders if it could be his last.


"I am pressed for time. I have to grasp every opportunity," said the NPC deputy from East China's Jiangsu Province.


Jiang has good reason to worry, and hurry. He suffers from cancer, which he says is spreading, and lost a leg in 1990 and part of a lung in 1994 in surgeries to try and stop its spread.


The 52-year-old's motto now is: do more, and do well.


And he does.


This year, he submitted 36 proposals and one suggestion to the NPC. Last year, the number was 48.


Although he is an agronomist in the Agricultural Technology Spreading Center in Sheyang, Jiangsu, his proposals cover a wide range of topics, from the Telecom Law to the Power Law; from the Personal Income Tax Law to the Criminal Procedure Law; and, of course, from agricultural products' safety to spreading agricultural technology.


"I am an NPC deputy not only for farmers. I should be the voice for all the people," he said. "To get ideas, I just need to keep my eyes open all the time."


Conducting the research for his proposals is no easy task for the disabled deputy who is normally busy shuttling from one village to another to spread the usage of agricultural technologies. He also takes care of a 2-hectare experimental base for organic vegetables.


He gets lots of people to help him, he said. Volunteers and professionals from every sector involving his proposals, even from outside Jiangsu.


"But every proposal is finished by me," he said. "If I ask a government department to do research for me, I won't allow the proposal to reflect only the interests of the department."


He also asks the other 37 deputies from Jiangsu and one from Heilongjiang Province to endorse his proposals.


"They trust me," he said.


He acknowledged that a problem with presenting so many proposals is that some of them might not be thorough and far-reaching enough.


Among the 125 proposals he submitted to the NPC in the past eight years, his favorite is one calling for revising the law on spreading the use of agricultural technologies.


"I have been calling for the revision for eight years and it finally caught the attention of the highest authority," he said.


Premier Wen Jiabao even devoted a special paragraph on this topic in his annual work report on March 5.


"We will... further improve the system for expanding the use of agricultural technology. Subsidies will be increased for expanding the use of important agricultural technologies. We will encourage and support scientists and technicians to go to the countryside to provide technical consultation and services," the premier said.


What's more, Jiang's efforts have led Jiangsu Province to spend 100 million yuan (US$12 million) to reform the decades-old system of spreading rural technology.


But Jiang is not resting on his laurels.


"My current focus is to push forward legislation on safety of agricultural products," he said.


There are too many things that need to be done, Jiang said, heaving a sigh. The pity is that he may not have enough time and his weak body means he becomes tired easily. But that will not stop him.


"Anyway, hard work helps me forget my pain," he said, with a wink and a smile.


(China Daily March 9, 2005)




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