Home Tools: Save | Print | E-mail | Most Read
Adjust font size:

As a political scholar of China, I am grateful for all the favors I enjoyed during my study. In these times the Western countries and China are in competition with one another, each one using the strengths from its basic values to realize greater well-being for its own people. The aspect of the competition regarding constitutional values and governing systems is the sharpest. It exceeds all other forms of competition and it affects the relations between the two sides.


This constitutional competition between the West and China should be appreciated as a great experiment in the pursuit of democracy and rule of law by nations that differ markedly from one another in terms of political values, traditions and backgrounds. Indeed, throughout the history of humankind no such experiment of competing democracies has ever engaged so many people for such profound changes and for such a grand goal. No previous generation has enjoyed the opportunity that confronts ours. We may witness, join, record, analyze and influence such an unprecedented experiment and compete in the pursuit for democracy and rule of law.


Both sides take pride in the merits of their own constitutional model. There is a danger that such pride could produce radical and confrontational methods in the competition. Any lapse into radical confrontation would injure both sides. Therefore the leaders of both China and the West must give full play to their reason and statesmanship as the competition goes forward so that it takes a peaceful course.


There must be more than reason and statesmanship by the leaders of both sides. Both the public and the political elites in China and the West must find mutual understanding in order to realize the benefits of peaceful constitutional competition. When the West understands China’s particular circumstances better, its people will not be as critical as they now are about China’s constitutional system with its NPC model. When China understands the West much better, it will show increased respect for the political wisdom displayed in the West’s implementation of representative democracy, the rule of law and constitutionalism.


Political scientists ought to promote mutual constitutional understanding between the West and China. In my own work I have undertaken this mission during my service to the Congressional Research Service of the National People’s Congress (NPC) of China since 1987. I devoted five years to studying the American Congress and another four years to the British Parliament. My books History of the US Congress, published in 1992, and The Mother of Parliaments published in 1998 are highly regarded by Chinese readers because for the first time they have access to systematic and specific materials about the most influential constitutional models of the West in the Chinese language.


My further goal is to join the efforts to introduce the NPC model to the West. Many Western scholars have pioneered in telling their fellow countrymen what they know about the National People’s Congress of China. As a former staff researcher of the NPC and now a senior specialist of the Political Science Institute of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS), I have worked at this task for twelve years. I have an ample store of practical knowledge about the highest organ of state power in China. As one well read in the political literature written by Western scholars, I think I know what topics will attract the interest of Western people. Thus I have desired to write a comprehensive book in English about the NPC model for Western readers.


Once I set about the writing I found it to be a difficult and challenging task. I invested three years in writing the book. During that time I have not only needed to recall my own experiences with the NPC, but I have tried to collect all kinds of relevant materials, study them and consult with my former colleagues who know the NPC better than I do.


In order to help English readers, who understand Western constitutions and legislatures, I have tried to carefully organize my explanation of the NPC according to their way of learning. However, to learn the NPC model requires more than simply applying a Western framework of knowledge. The NPC differs from the Western legislatures too much for such an easy approach. Therefore I have followed the Chinese method for teaching the NPC model. It may be easier to comprehend the NPC by putting aside mental images of Western institutions and patiently follow my line of explanation.


I intend that this book will serve English readers as a primer on the NPC. This book describes its history. It views the formal model from many perspectives. It predicts its future direction with some certainty. The facts about the NPC are what English readers most want to know. So I have tried to tilt the book towards factuality. I have sought to emphasize for the readers detailed descriptions about how the NPC actually operates.


For more advanced scholars I have attempted to explain the subtle ethos that underlies the institutionalization of the NPC and why it functions as it does. To balance my understanding and explanation about the NPC I reported the worthy views and arguments about the NPC from leading Chinese figures in the political and academic communities. Of course, my own reasoning about the NPC model permeates this work. As a loyal Chinese citizen I desire that the NPC model will succeed and flourish. As a comparative political science scholar I must be frank and dispassionate as I point out what improvements to the model should be put into place.


Tools: Save | Print | E-mail | Most Read

Related Stories
SiteMap | About Us | RSS | Newsletter | Feedback
Copyright © China.org.cn. All Rights Reserved     E-mail: webmaster@china.org.cn Tel: 86-10-88828000 京ICP证 040089号