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As China' highest organ of state power the NPC's circumstances and fate visually embodies the swing of the pendulum of the democratic life of the Chinese people. 

This book consists of four parts with twenty-three chapters. Part one briefly reviews the history of the Chinese political system from the Xia Dynasty through the formation of the Republic of China, pointing out cultural patterns that have affected the NPC system. Part two explains the NPC system as set down in the 1954 Constitution and argues that the destruction inflicted upon the NPC during the "cultural revolution" period amounted to a disaster for both the Communist Party of China and the Chinese people. Part three displays in thick and heavy colors the reforms made to the NPC system under the 1982 Constitution. It shows a comprehensive picture of the refurbished NPC system  with its elections, its powers and functions within the national power structure, its internal organization, its legislative procedure, its decision making powers and processes, its discretion over the personnel of the other constitutional branches, its oversight powers and activities, its special committees, its relations with political parties, its deputies and members, its relations with the public and the media, its space, time, funding and staff, its relations with local people's congresses and its relations with foreign legislatures. The purpose is to accurately depict the actual operation of the NPC system with fresh materials. Part four generalizes major features of the NPC system model, justifies the model from historical, international and domestic perspectives, discusses its strengths and offers criticisms on its shortcomings.

This is the first English book on the NPC model written by a Chinese political scholar. It is firm in its political stance but in a realistic fashion it calls a pikestaff a pikestaff. It has collected academic findings by Chinese and non-Chinese scholars about the NPC system and advances the author's creative views about a series of questions concerning the NPC model. This book fulfills the urgent necessity felt by many Chinese organizations to present China's Constitution, the people's congressional government and the NPC system to the world. It is written to serve interested lay readers with a thorough introduction to the modern Chinese governing system. It likewise will satisfy specialists who will want to read it for constitutional and political studies and teachings as well.

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