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Areas of concern for the coming Party meeting
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A National School of Administration professor makes a forward-looking analysis on the coming Communist Party meeting scheduled on September 15-18.

During a meeting held on September 8, 2009, the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee decided to hold the Fourth Plenary Session of the 17th CPC Central Committee on September 15-18 this year. The main agenda of the plenary session will be to discuss the issue of strengthening and improving the Party.

Professor Xu Yaotong, from the Scientific Research Department of the National School of Administration, has recently made a forward-looking analysis on the coming Party meeting during an interview with people.com.

According to Professor Xu, the upcoming plenary session will highlight following five areas of concern:

The first is to review systemically the experiences and lessons of the Party.

The Communist Party of China was founded nearly 90 years ago, and the history of the Party has been full of difficulties. While the Party has accomplished many outstanding achievements, it has also made mistakes and suffered losses. The Party's experiences and lessons need to be reviewed in earnest. Since the founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949, the Party's history can be divided into two 30-year stages. It is important for the whole Party to have a clear understanding about the experiences and lessons in the past six decades.

Secondly, it is necessary to discuss how to implement intra-Party democracy.

The 16th Party National Congress proposed that "the intra-Party democracy is the life of the Party," and the 17th Party National Congress stressed "respect for the rights of all Party members." Now it's time to face the issue of how to accomplish and improve the intra-Party democracy, such as how to bring Party affairs into the open, how to implement democratic elections in the Party, how to express opinions publicly within the Party, and how to deal with the issue of bureaucratization. The coming meeting should have a clear definition about intra-Party democracy and should make a few rules that could be achieved in the short term, in addition to implementing specific measures. Building intra-Party democracy is not only a theory, but also an on-going procedure.

Thirdly, it is essential to further address some significant system issues.

These issues include, for instance, how to bring into effect a tenure system for Party congress delegates; and how to launch and implement the officials' property report system. Also solving the issue of privileges the officials get will encourage the public.

Fourthly, it is to discuss how to restrict and supervise the use of power.

It is necessary to upgrade the status of the Commission for Discipline Inspection so that the rights of decision-making, implementation and oversight can interact each other effectively.

And finally it needs to discuss the issue of an official's direct election.

Direct election could start from a Party organization in a county. The fourth plenum of the 16th CPC Central Committee called for expanding the direct election of Party organizations at the grass-roots level. Direct election is only one form of democracy (which includes more procedures), yet it is the foundation of the intra-Party democratic system.

(China.org.cn by Zhang Fang, September 11, 2009)

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