Li Ruihuan, chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), called for an accurate understanding of the world and China itself so as to keep up with requirements of the times.
Addressing the closing of the current annual session of the CPPCC National Committee Monday, the CPPCC Chairman said that China has made marked achievements over the past two decades in that the Communist Party of China has sized up correctly the national conditions in the perspective of the changes in the world.
"Comparison is an important way of knowing ourselves and others, " said Li.
After giving a long list of achievements China has made over the two decades, he said that, while taking pride in the achievements, "we must soberly aware of the fact that China is still lagging behind in many indices."
He quoted the late Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping as saying that China is still a backward country and it will take China about 50 years counting from the end of the 20th century to reach the level of middle-income developed countries.
"We must recognize the backwardness in order to change it," he noted. "And we must learn what is advanced in order to catch up with the advanced and only by stepping up development, is it possible to win popular support."
With the development of human society, no country can survive in isolation and countries must keep contact with and influence one another.
He quoted President Jiang Zemin as saying that China's backwardness since the 15th century was mainly caused by the close- door policy of the feudalist rulers who were blindly arrogant and knew little about the development of technology and science in the rest of the world, resulting in the loss of historic opportunities for the Chinese nation.
Li spoke highly of the Communist Party of China (CPC)'s assessment of the country's situation and the basic principles it has set for building socialism with Chinese characteristics which have enabled the country to have achieved great achievements.
China is a socialist nation with the people as masters, he said, stressing that the fundamental advantage of the country is that all power belongs to the people. He spoke of the need to seek opinions from the people, feel their feelings, show concern for their worries, and accept people's supervision.
Currently, irregular and corrupt activities are rampant in some places, which have become obstacles to reform and hidden dangers for social stability, resulting in discontent among the people, he said. He urged changing this situation by controlling and supervising the exercise of power to effectively prevent and curb corruption.
He reiterated the CPPCC's roles of political consultation, democratic supervision and participation in state affairs. The CPPCC should further its cooperation with the disciplinary inspection departments of the CPC, government departments, administrative supervision departments and judicial departments as well as the press and other forms of people's supervision.
CPPCC members should give greater priority to the interests of the state and the people, Li said. The CPPCC should create conditions for its members to play their roles better, safeguard their democratic rights, and smooth channels for the members to speak out their opinions and reflect the will of the people, he noted.
(People’s Daily 03/12/2001)