Process of Founding and Key Achievements in History
The Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) is an organization of the patriotic United Front of the Chinese people. It is also an important organ for the development of multi-party cooperation and political consultation under the leadership of the CPC, and an important forum for promoting socialist democracy in the Chinese political system. The Communist Party of China, various democratic parties, democrats with no party affiliations, people's organizations and public figures from all walks of life jointly founded the CPPCC shortly before the birth of New China.
In commemoration of the International Labor's Day, the CPC Central Committee issued a call on April 30, 1948, proposing the convening of a new political consultative conference to set up a democratic coalition government. This call won an immediate appreciative response from various democratic parties, people's organizations, democrats with no party affiliations and overseas Chinese, who participated in the preparation of the new political consultative conference later.
● On September 21-30, 1949, the First CPPCC Plenary Session was held in Beiping(now Beijing). Altogether, 662 representatives, including those of the Communist Party of China (CPC), democratic parties, mass organizations, various localities, the People's Liberation Army, ethnic minorities, overseas Chinese and religious groups, attended the session.
Exercising the functions and power of the National People's Congress (NPC), which had not yet been established, the session proclaimed the founding of the People's Republic of China as the will of all Chinese people. It adopted the Common Program of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, the Organic Law of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference and the Organic Law of the Central People's Government of the People's Republic of China.
During the meeting, it was decided to make Beijing the capital of the republic, designate the five-star red flag as the national flag, declare the song of "March of the Volunteers'' as the national anthem and the common era calendar was adopted.
During the session, the chairman, vice-chairmen and members of the Central People's Government, as well as the first National Committee of the CPPCC were elected. Mao Zedong was made the first chairman of the CPPCC National Committee.
● On June 14-23, 1950, the Second Session of the First CPPCC National Committee was held.
At the meeting, the draft Law of Land Reforms of the People's Republic of China, the Report on the Work of the Standing Committee of the CPPCC National Committee and the Report on the Handling of the Proposals Moved at the First CPPCC Plenary Session were passed.
The meeting greatly promoted CPPCC's self-construction, participation in the deliberation and administration of State affairs and political consultation. In addition, the pattern of New China's national emblem was also decided at the meeting.
● On December 21-25, 1954, the First Session of the Second CPPCC National Committee was held.
The Constitution of the CPPCC was adopted at the meeting. According to the document, the Common Program should be replaced by the country's constitution.
● Chairman Mao Zedong in 1956 wrote the principle of "long-term co-existence and mutual supervision" to define the relationship between CPC and the country's democratic parties in his article entitled "On Ten Relationships."
In January 1982, the National United Front Working Conference added "utter devotion, honor and responsibility'' to the original guideline of "long-term co-existence and mutual supervision."
● On August 6, 1965, the Fourth CPPCC National Committee held a tea party in honor of Li Zongren, a prominent Kuomintang politician, his wife Guo Dejie and also Cheng Siyuan, who had just returned from overseas.
● In February 1978, CPPCC restored its work after the "cultural revolution" (1966-76).
● On June 15, 1979, Deng Xiaoping, chairman of the Fifth CPPCC National Committee, said during the opening of the second session of the committee that China's united front had changed into an alliance of socialist laborers and patriots in support of socialism, under the leadership of the workers and on the basis of the alliance of workers and farmers.
● In December 1983, the Third Session of the Standing Committee of the Sixth CPPCC National Committee passed an important report that corrected the mistreatments of some CPPCC members during the "cultural revolution."
● On April 10, 1988, Li Xiannian, chairman of the Seventh CPPCC National Committee, said on the closing of the committee's first session that political consultation and supervision of government operation should become a system.
On April 12, 1988, the First Session of the Standing Committee of the Seventh CPPCC National Committee decided to establish 13 special committees to make political consultation and supervision a system.
● On March 8-19, 1994, the Second Session of the Eighth CPPCC National Committee revised the Constitution of CPPCC for the third time in history. The latest revised CPPCC constitution added participation in the deliberation and administration of State affairs into the main functions of CPPCC.
● In January 1995, the Ninth Session of the Standing Committee of the Eighth CPPCC National Committee adopted the Regulations of the CPPCC National Committee on Political Consultation, Democratic Supervision and Participation in the Deliberation and Administration of State Affairs.
● In March 1998, the First Session of the Ninth CPPCC National Committee was held in Beijing and a group of new leaders were elected at the meeting.
Composition and Functions of the CPPCC
Under the leadership of the CPC, the CPPCC consists of representatives of the CPC, eight democratic parties, democrats with no party affiliations, various people's organizations, every ethnic group and all walks of life, compatriots from Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macao, and returned overseas Chinese, as well as specially invited individuals, reflecting the interests of various social strata.
According to the principles of "long-term coexistence, mutual supervision, sincere treatment with each other and the share of weal or woe'' between the CPC and the democratic parties and democrats with no party affiliations, the CPPCC conducts political consultations on major state policies and important issues concerning the well-being of the people, and exercises democratic supervision through proposals and criticisms. The primary functions of the CPPCC are to conduct political consultations and democratic supervision, and organize its member parties, organizations and personages from various ethnic groups and walks of life to discuss and manage state affairs. All activities of the CPPCC are guided by the Constitution of the PRC.
CPPCC National Committee
The National Committee serves a term of five years. It has a chairman, a number of vice chairmen and a secretary-general. Each year the National Committee holds a plenary session presided over by the Standing Committee of the National Committee. The Standing Committee consists of the chairman, vice chairmen, secretary-general as well as a number of members.
Nine Special Committees of the Ninth National Committee
The Ninth National Committee of the CPPCC has nine special committees including the Committee for Handling Proposals, the Committee for Economic Affairs, the Committee of Population, Resources and Environment, the Committee of Science, Culture, Health and Sports, the Committee for Social and Legal Affairs, the Committee for Ethnic and Religious Affairs, the Committee of Cultural and Historical Data, the Committee for Affairs of Hong Kong, Macao, Taiwan Compatriots and Overseas Chinese, and Committee for Foreign Affairs.
CPPCC Ninth National Committee Leadership
Chairman: Li Ruihuan
Li Ruihuan, chairman of the eighth National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), was reelected the supreme leader of the ninth CPPCC National Committee.
His principal duties are to unite all sectors of society, confer on state affairs and provide ideas for the top bodies of Chinese government for reference. The achievements he had scored over the past five years fully demonstrate that he is qualified to the noble and sacred post.
Li, born into ordinary peasant family in Tianjin's Baodi County, September, 1934; worked as construction worker in Beijing Third Construction Company, 1951-65; attended spare-time architecture engineering institute, 1958-63; and received college certificate.
Inventor of the "simplified calculation method," which updated the traditional "lofting method" in carpentry, Li was known as young "Lu Ban", a legendary master carpenter in ancient China.
Li has both practical experience at the grassroots level and college education. He joined Communist Party of China (CPC) in September 1959 and served as deputy secretary of the Party Committee of Beijing Building Materials Company after 1965. He was prosecuted from 1966 to 1971 during the "cultural revolution". After 1971, he held leading posts in civil construction units, including vice-chairman of Beijing Municipal Trade Union Federation and vice-chairman of All-China Youth Federation.
In 1982-84, Li served as secretary of the CPC Tianjin Municipal Committee and acting mayor and then mayor of Tianjin. Between 1987-89, he became member of the Political Bureau of CPC Central Committee, secretary of the CPC Tianjin Municipal Committee, and Tianjin mayor.
From 1992 on, he has been a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and was elected chairman of Eighth CPPCC National Committee in 1993.
During his tenure of office as Tianjin mayor, he went all out for institutional restructuring, with focus of attention placed on improving urban housing and public transport conditions. He organized and implemented the project of "diverting water from Luanhe River to Tianjin" and a chain of construction project around Tianjin. With many eminent deeds performed for local residents, he has been highly praised by locals for his practical style of work.
People of Tianjin still remembered very well his call-in radio and TV programs broadcast or televised through which he directly answered residents' inquires, all in concrete terms.
Li was elected member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and member of the Central Committee's Secretariat at the Fourth Plenary Session of 13th CPC Central Committee in 1989, to take charge of ideological work. He is renowned for his profound study and open-mindedness in the intellectual circle. And he published two books "Ideas on Urban Development" and "Ideas On Doing Practical Things for People".
Since he chaired the Eighth CPPCC National Committee in early 1993, he has injected new vigor and vitality into the CPPCC's work with his enlightened views and practical attitude.
The CPPCC's basic functions in the past were political consultation and democratic supervision, to which Li added new contents -- participation in and deliberation of state affairs, after assuming office. Then, CPC Central Committee issued a notice to Party committees at all levels, and urged the committees to create conditions for the work of local CPPCC committees. As a result, the CPPCC's status in China's political life has greatly been raised.
During late November to early December 1993, Li paid official visits to Nepal, India and Pakistan. That was the first time for a Chinese leader to visit foreign countries in the name of the chairman of the CPPCC National Committee after New China was founded in 1949. Li's diplomatic activities has raised the level of the CPPCC's foreign contacts.
Within the framework of China' general foreign policies, the CPPCC has conducted exchanges with foreign countries at various levels in the past five years. By 1997, it has forged ties and conducted friendly exchanges with 98 institutions from 68 countries and four international organizations.
Li Ruihuan sets great store by the method of study. At the 21st meeting of the Standing Committee of the Eight CPPCC National Committee, he recommended a unique study method, which integrates theory learning with the review of experiences and study of practical work.
On the one hand, reading books is kind of study and so is application and more important at that, he said. On the other hand, he added, the process of book reading is in fact a process of learning and applying theories.
With regard to his personal life, Li develops a wide range of interests, with a particular liking for Beijing Opera. And his other hobbies include playing tennis or table tennis and going for fishing.
Formation and Development of Democratic Parties
Apart from the CPC, there are eight democratic parties in China. They are the Revolutionary Committee of the Chinese Kuomintang, China Democratic League, China Democratic National Construction Association, China Association for Promoting Democracy, China Peasants and Workers' Democratic Party, China Zhi Gong Dang, Jiu San Society, and the Taiwan Democratic Self-Government League. Formed and developed in the War of Resistance Against Japan (1937-1945) and the struggles against Kuomintang autocratic rule, these democratic parties originated mainly in the national bourgeoisie, urban upper petty bourgeoisie circles, and also among intellectuals and other patriotic individuals.
Soon after their founding, the democratic parties developed cooperative relations with the CPC at different levels, and such relations continuously made headway in their joint struggle against imperialist aggression and for people's democracy. After the September 18 Incident in 1931, Japanese troops occupied the entire northeast China, bringing about an unprecedented national crisis. The CPC timely put forward the proposal for establishment of the National Anti-Japanese United Front, meeting very enthusiastic responses from the existing democratic parties and various social groups. The CPC and the democratic parties cooperated with each other closely in resistance against Japanese aggression, and for unity and progress. On July 7, 1937, Japanese troops attacked Lugou Bridge (Marco Polo Bridge) in the suburbs of Beijing, and the Chinese defenders fought back. This came to be known as the Lugou Bridge Incident, which marked the beginning of all-out Japanese aggression against China and of China's War of Resistance Against Japan. During the war, the democratic parties and people from all walks of life supported the CPC's stand of "Yes to resistance, no to surrender; yes to unity, no to separation; and yes to democracy, no to autocratic rule", urging the Kuomintang to implement political reforms, to establish a coalition government, to guarantee people's democratic rights, and to improve people's living conditions. After the victory over Japan in 1945, the CPC put forward peace, democracy and unity as the three general principles for peaceful national construction, which reflected the common desires of the democratic parties and democrats from various walks of life. However, the Kuomintang administration led by Chiang Kai-shek clung to autocratic rule and began to attack the Liberated Areas on all fronts in July 1946, leading to the breakdown of the second period of Kuomintang-Communist cooperation and the eruption of all-out civil war. At that time, the democratic parties publicly sided with the CPC. They broke through Kuomintang's oppression to develop further cooperation with the CPC.
On April 30, 1948, the CPC issued a call, proposing that all democratic parties, people's organizations and other prominent people should convene at once a new political consultative conference in order to discuss and call a meeting of people's representatives, as well as set up a democratic coalition government. The democratic parties and democrats with no party affiliations actively responded to the call. On May 5, leaders of various democratic parties, including Li Jishen and He Xiangning of the Revolutionary Committee of the Chinese Kuomintang, Shen Junru and Zhang Bojun of China Democratic League, Ma Xulun and Wang Shao'ao of China Association for Promoting Democracy, Chen Qiyou of China Zhi Gong Dang, Peng Zemin of China Peasants and Workers' Democratic Party, Li Zhangda of the Association of National Salvation, Cai Tingkai of the Committee for Promoting Democracy of the Chinese Kuomintang, and Tan Pingshan of the San Min Zhu Yi (Three People's Principles) Comrades' Federation, as well as Guo Moruo, a person with no party affiliations, sent a joint telegram to the CPC Central Committee and Mao Zedong, and the entire nation, from Hong Kong, backing the CPC call. In the meantime, the China Association for Promoting Democracy and the Jiu San Society, which had their headquarters established in areas under Kuomintang rule, held secret meeting of their central committees to support the CPC call. Mao Dun, Hu Yuzhi, Liu Yazi, Zhu Yunshan and 120 democrats published a joint announcement, expressing their agreement with the CPC's stand.
Moreover, 55 leaders of democratic parties and personages with no party affiliations also jointly made comments on China's political situation, declaring "during the people's liberation war, we are willing to contribute to, and cooperate in, planning major undertakings under the leadership of the CPC, expecting to promote the rapid success of Chinese people's democratic revolution and the earlier founding of an independent, free, peaceful and happy New China." Between September 21 and 30, representatives of various democratic parties and democrats with no party affiliations, together with the CPC representatives, participated in the First Session of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC). It was at this meeting that the "Common Program of the CPPCC" was adopted, the Central People's Government elected and the founding of the People's Republic of China (PRC) proclaimed.
After the founding of the PRC, the CPC has continued to adhere to the policy of "long-term coexistence, mutual supervision, sincere treatment with each other and sharing of weal or woe" with the democratic parties. They enjoy full democratic rights and freedom of activities as granted by the constitution. Since the 1950s, the democratic parties have conscientiously participated in consultations on important issues concerning the state and management of state affairs, encouraged their members and people they associated with to actively take part in all fields of work, and made important contributions to China's socialist revolution and construction. Many representative figures from the democratic parties have been elected deputies to the people's congress and members of the people's political consultative conference at all levels. In addition, many of them serve the posts of leadership in the standing committees of the people's congress, committees of people's political consultative conference, people's governments, and economic, cultural, educational, scientific and technological departments at all levels. The democratic parties have also grown in membership, with local and primary organizations set up in most of the country's provinces, municipalities directly under the Central Government, and autonomous regions and in many large and medium-sized cities. At present, each democratic party has become a political alliance of a section of socialist labor and patriotic individuals supporting socialism. A democratic party in China is neither a party out of office nor an opposition party. Giving full cooperation to the CPC to jointly strive for the socialist cause, they are actually friendly parties of the CPC that participate in state administration.
Revolutionary Committee of the Chinese Kuomintang
After the outbreak of the War of Resistance Against Japan in 1937, the patriotic democratic members of the Kuomintang supported the National Anti-Japanese United Front initiated by the CPC and participated in patriotic democratic activities. As of 1943, two parts of them respectively planned to create the San Min Zhu Yi (Three People's Principles) Comrades' Federation and the Kuomintang Association for Promoting Democracy, to carry out anti-Japanese democratic activities. The San Min Zhu Yi Comrades' Federation held its First National Congress in Chongqing in the autumn of 1945, and the Kuomintang Association for Promoting Democracy held its First National Congress in Guangzhou in spring of 1946, each making their political programs and constitutions and formally declaring their establishment. At the end of 1947, the two organizations joined together with democratic elements from among the Kuomintang to hold their First Conference in Hong Kong and formally declared the inauguration of the Revolutionary Committee of the Chinese Kuomintang on January 1, 1948. In November 1949, the two organizations, together with other patriotic democratic elements of the Kuomintang, called their Second Conference and have since operated as a single independent political party under the name of the Revolutionary Committee of the Chinese Kuomintang.
It is composed mainly of former Kuomintang members and those who have had historical connections with the Kuomintang, including a batch of staff workers in government organizations and intellectuals in the fields of science, technology, culture, education, and medical science. It currently has more than 53,000 members.
The successive chairpersons of the Central Committee of the Revolutionary Committee of the Chinese Kuomintang are Li Jishen, He Xiangning, Zhu Yunshan, Wang Kunlun, Qu Wu, Zhu Xuefan and Li Peiyao. Its present chairwoman is He Luli.
China Democratic League
The predecessor of China Democratic League was China League of Democratic Political Organizations, which was founded in October 1941 and composed of China Youth Party, National Socialist Party (later renamed the Democratic Socialist Party), Chinese Action Committee for National Liberation (later renamed the Chinese Peasants and Workers' Democratic Party), Chinese Professional Education Community, Countryside Construction Association and some individuals independent from these parties and organizations. The China League of Democratic Political Organizations held a national congress in Chongqing in September 1944, deciding to transform itself into a single party by replacing group membership with personal membership and changed its name to China Democratic League. After the War of Resistance Against Japan ended in 1945, the China Democratic League insisted in opposing autocratic rule and demanding democracy, as well as opposing civil war and demanding peace. In October 1947, the Kuomintang administration declared that the China Democratic League was an "illegal organization" and forced its headquarters to disband. In January 1948, the China Democratic League held the Third Plenary Session of its First Central Committee in Hong Kong, establishing a temporary national headquarters. The meeting also openly declared the China Democratic League would cooperate with the CPC to strive for the complete realization of a democratic, peaceful, independent and united New China.
Its members are mostly intellectuals. It now has 130,000 members.
The successive chairpersons of the Central Committee of the China Democratic League are Zhang Lan, Shen Junru, Yang Mingxuan, Shi Liang, Hu Yuzhi, Chu Tunan and Fei Xiaotong. Its present chairman is Ding Shisun.
China Democratic National Construction Association
The Association was founded by a number of national industrialists and businessmen, and some intellectuals who had a close tie with industry and commerce fields during the War of Resistance Against Japan. At that time, they held gatherings and informal talks, with varied views aired on the problems of the time. In December 1945, the China Democratic National Construction Association proclaimed its formal establishment in Chongqing.
It is mainly composed of national industrialists and businessmen, and some experts in the fields. It currently has 69,000 members.
The successive chief members (chairpersons) of the Central Committee of the China Democratic National Construction Association are Huang Yanpei, Hu Juewen and Sun Qimeng. Its present chairman is Cheng Siwei.
China Association for Promoting Democracy
Founded in Shanghai in December 1945, its original members were mainly intellectuals in the fields of culture, education and publishing who resided in Shanghai during the period of the War of Resistance Against Japan. Its aim is "to carry out the democratic spirit and push forward the realization of democratic politics in China."
Its members are mainly intellectuals working in the fields of education, culture, science and publishing. It currently has 65,000 members.
The successive chairpersons of the Central Committee of China Association for Promoting Democracy are Ma Xulun, Zhou Jianren, Ye Shengtao and Lei Jieqiong. Its present chairman is Xu Jialu.
China Peasants and Workers' Democratic Party
The predecessor of China Peasants and Workers' Democratic Party was the Provisional Action Committee of the Kuomintang, which was founded by Deng Yanda, a famous Kuomintang left-wing leader, and others in Shanghai in August of 1930. In November of 1935, the Committee changed its name to the Chinese Action Committee for National Liberation. It participated in the establishment of China League of Democratic Political Organizations in March of 1941. In February 1947, it was renamed the Chinese Peasants and Workers' Democratic Party.
Most of its members are intellectuals in the fields of medical science, science and technology, culture and education. It currently has 65,000 members.
The successive chairpersons of the Central Committee of China Peasants and Workers' Democratic Party are Deng Yanda, Huang Qixiang, Zhang Bojun, Ji Fang, Zhou Gucheng and Lu Jiaxi. Its present chairman is Jiang Zhenghua.
China Zhi Gong Dang
Initiated by the American Zhi Gong Zong Tang, an organization of overseas Chinese, China Zhi Gong Dang was founded in San Francisco in October 1925. Its Second Congress was held in Hong Kong in 1931, when it decided to establish the headquarters of China Zhi Gong Dang there. After the outbreak of the War of Resistance Against Japan, China Zhi Gong Dang was devoted to mobilizing the broad masses of overseas Chinese to actively support the just cause in the motherland. China Zhi Gong Dang called its Third Congress in Hong Kong in May 1947. The meeting published a declaration, exposing and condemning the Kuomintang for launching civil war and continuing autocratic rule, and calling for struggles for political democracy. The headquarters of the China Zhi Gong Dang was moved from Hong Kong to Guangzhou in 1950 and then to Beijing in 1953.
Its members are mainly returned overseas Chinese and their relatives, and experts, scholars and representative figures with overseas relations. It currently has 15,000 members.
The successive chairpersons of the Central Committee of China Zhi Gong Dang are Chen Qiyou, Huang Dingchen and Dong Yinchu. Its present chairman is Luo Haocai.
Jiu San Society
Carrying on the spirit of the May 4th Movement of "democracy and science" and adhering to the objectives to unite to resist Japanese aggression and strive for democracy, a group of progressive intellectuals organized the "forum on democracy and science" in Chongqing at the end of 1944. Later, in commemoration of the victories of the War of Resistance Against Japan and the international war against fascism on September 3, 1945, it adopted the name Jiu San Forum ("Jiu San" means "September 3" in Chinese). On May 4, 1946, the Jiu San Society was formally founded.
Its members are mainly intellectuals in the fields of science, technology, education, culture, and medical science. It currently has 68,000 members.
The successive chairpersons of the Central Committee of the Jiu San Society are Xu Deheng and Zhou Peiyuan. Its present chairman is Wu Jieping.
Taiwan Democratic Self-Government League
The league was founded in Hong Kong in November 1947. Most of its founding members are patriotic supporters of democracy who originated in Taiwan. The aim of the Taiwan Democratic Self-Government League is to fight against imperialist aggression and all schemes for separating Taiwan from the mainland, oppose the reactionary rule of the Kuomintang and promote the establishment of a people's democratic dictatorship.
Its members are individuals who are either from, or have family roots in, Taiwan, but now reside in China's mainland. It currently has 1,600 members.
The successive chairpersons of the Central Committee of the Taiwan Democratic Self-Government League are Xie Xuehong, Cai Xiao, Su Ziheng and Cai Zimin. Its present chairman is Zhang Kehui.