China's top legislature on Sunday voted to adopt a new law that aims at empowering its lawmakers with better government supervisory authority.
The Supervision Law of Standing Committees of People's Congresses at Various Levels, which enhances the supervisory powers of lawmakers and prevents administrative and judicial bodies from abusing their authority, goes into effect on January 1, 2007.
It was passed at the 23rd session of the Standing Committee of the 10th National People's Congress (NPC), China's top legislature. The session was concluded in Beijing on Sunday afternoon.
"The correct implementation of the law must be ensured," said President Hu Jintao, also General Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party Central Committee, at a meeting with leaders of non-Communist parties, federations of industry and commerce, and persons without party affiliation.
The meeting was also attended by the country's other leaders Wu Bangguo, Jia Qinglin and Zeng Qinghong.
Supervision in general and enhancing the supervisory powers of people's congresses is a one of the cornerstones of a Socialist democracy and governing a country by the rule of law, Hu said.
The stipulation of the people's congress supervision law must insist on the leadership of the Party as well as on the people as the masters of the state, and stick to governing the country by law.
"The supervision power of people's congresses is endowed by the Constitution," Hu said. The aims of supervision is to ensure the implementation of the Constitution and laws, the fulfillment of administrative, judicial and prosecuting powers, and the legal rights of citizens, corporations and other organizations, he said.
The priorities of the supervision should be issues concerning reform, opening-up and stability and the people's interests, as well as those concerned by the general public.
"Governments, courts and prosecuting organs at all levels must accept the supervision of people's congresses, and the committees of the Party at various levels and Party members must support the supervision," Hu stressed.
The president also hoped that non-Communist parties, federations of industry and commerce and persons without party affiliation would cooperate to improve democratic supervision regarding the implementation of the Constitution and laws and regulations.
The legislature began drafting the supervision law as early as 1987. In the last 20 years, the NPC received 222 motions from 4,044 NPC deputies with suggestions on the stipulation and promulgation of the law.
The draft law was submitted to the Standing Committee for a first reading in August 2002 and was finally adopted after four discussions and revisions.
Over recent years, the standing committees of people's congresses at various levels have examined and evaluated several aspects of government's work.
The standing committees of people's congresses at various levels have also evaluated local official's governance performance and pointed out their shortcomings.
Chinese lawmakers will continue to monitor judicial bad behavior, such as extracting confessions through torture, prolonged detentions that are illegal, unreasonably high litigation fees and poor enforcement of court orders.
China's top legislator Wu Bangguo said the promulgation of the supervision law attaches great importance to improving socialist democracy and a socialist legal system, and will enhance people's congress's supervision capability and help promote judicial justice and administration by law.
He said the objective of the supervision work conducted by the people's congresses is to ensure that the Constitution, laws and regulations are correctly implemented, administrative and judicial power well exerted, and the legitimate rights of citizens and corporations safeguarded.
"The country's administrative and judicial organs are elected by people's congresses and supervised by people's congresses. Despite their different functions, the people's congress, administrative bodies and judicial organs should perform their duties independently and concertedly under the leadership of the Communist Party of China," he said.
Wu added that the Standing Committee of the 10th NPC has paid great attention to the improvement of the supervision work by hearing reports from governments and judicial organs and launching law implementation inspections.
In the future, the focus of supervision work will be issues closely related to reform, development, social stability and the fundamental interests of the people, he said.
(Xinhua News Agency August 28, 2006)