IV. Power Restraint and Supervisory System
On the principles of reasonable structure, scientific distribution, rigorous procedures and effective restraint, China is gradually establishing a sound power structure and enforcement mechanism featuring both restraint and coordination among decision-making power, executive power and supervisory power to promote procedural power exercise featuring transparency and strengthen restraint and supervision of power exercise. Now, a supervisory system with Chinese characteristics has been established, composed of intra-Party supervision in the CPC, supervision by the National People's Congress and the local people's congresses (NPCs), supervision within the governments, and democratic supervision by the Chinese People' s Political Consultative Conference National Committee and local people's political consultative conferences (CPPCCs), judicial supervision, supervision by the general public and supervision by public opinion. These relatively independent supervision mechanisms collaborate closely with one another to form an integrated force.
The intra-Party supervision of the CPC refers to supervision over leading organs of the CPC at all levels and leading cadres, especially principal leaders of leading bodies at all levels, by the CPC organizations at all levels and all Party members in accordance with the Party Constitution and other intra-Party regulations, as well as state laws. The CPC has been unremittingly exploring new measures and methods to enhance intra-Party supervision, and has further improved the 10 systems of intra-Party supervision, including those of collective leadership with individual responsibility in line with division of work, notification and report on important matters, democratic meetings of leading Party organizations, as well as question and inquiry. The Central Committee of the CPC and Party committees at the provincial level have all established inspection bodies to inspect and supervise leading organs of the subordinate Party organizations and their members with respect to the implementation of the Party's line, principles, policies, resolutions and decisions, as well as the implementation of the responsibility system in improving the Party's style of work, upholding integrity and combating corruption and their own efforts in being honest and diligent in performing their official duties. The CPC discipline inspection organizations provide unified leadership to their dispatched units to various organizations to strengthen supervision over the principal cadres of leading bodies of these organizations. Great efforts have been made to develop intra-Party democracy to create advantageous conditions for strengthening intra-Party supervision. Efforts have been made to improve the system of Party congresses so as to bring into better play the role of plenary sessions of the Party committees in making decisions on important matters, and implement and improve the system of the standing committees reporting their work to the plenary sessions of the Party committees regularly and receiving their supervision. Efforts have been made to reform and improve the intra-Party electoral system, define the scope and proportion of competitive recommendation of candidates and competitive election, and gradually expand the scope of direct election for members of leading bodies of grass-roots Party organizations. The Regulations of the Communist Party of China on Protecting the Rights of Party Members has been promulgated for implementation, and it has specified the procedure for Party members to exercise their rights as well as their rights to participate in the intra-Party supervision.
Supervision by the NPCs at all levels refers to supervision over state administrative organs and judicial organs as well as the enforcement of laws by state power organs on behalf of the state and people. The Constitution stipulates that all power in the People's Republic of China belongs to the people. The National People's Congress and the local people's congresses at various levels are the organs through which the people exercise state power. All administrative, judicial and procuratorial organs of the state are created by the people's congresses to which they are responsible and by which they are supervised. The people's congresses exercise various functions and powers of supervision conferred by law, and enhance supervision over the governments, courts and procuratorates as well as their staff by means of question, inquiry, law-enforcement inspection, hearing and review of working reports and budget examination to promote administration according to the law and judicial justice, and prevent and curb all corrupt phenomena.
Internal supervision of governments refers to hierarchical supervision and supervision by specific inspection and audit organs. The hierarchical supervision means supervision by governments and governmental departments at higher levels over those at lower levels, by governments over their various departments and by chief executives over their subordinates. The supervisory organs perform in full their statutory functions and responsibilities, conduct inspections on law enforcement, clean government and government efficiency, conduct supervision over the supervised bodies in their exercise of functions and powers, performance of duties as well as diligent and honest governance in accordance with the law. Auditing organs, in accordance with the law, exercise supervision over the implementation of budgets, final accounts and other fiscal incomes and payouts of the government. These forms of supervision play an important role in regulating administrative law enforcement, promoting administration in accordance with law and building a government under the rule of law.
Supervision by the CPPCCs at all levels is a form of supervision featuring Chinese characteristics. The CPPCC is an important organ of multi-party cooperation and political consultation under the leadership of the CPC. The CPPCCs conduct supervision over the implementation of the Constitution, state laws and regulations, important principles and policies, and performance of duties and observation of law and discipline by state organs and state functionaries by means of convening meetings, submitting motions, organizing CPPCC committee members on inspection tours and holding democratic appraisals. Party committees of the CPC and people' s governments at all levels all solicit opinions and suggestions from the CPPCCs at corresponding levels and other democratic parties before making crucial decisions and enacting important regulations.
Judicial supervision includes supervision by people's courts and people's procuratorates. Supervision by people's courts refers to supervision over the legality and fairness of the trials of people's courts conducted by the higher-level people's courts on lower-level people's courts and by the Supreme People's Court on all people's courts across the country. People's courts also monitor the legality of specific administrative actions of the governments by way of reviewing administrative cases. Supervision by people's procuratorates refers to legal supervision over litigation activities and misconduct of state functionaries. People's procuratorates exercise full-scale supervision over litigation activities in the case registration, investigation, trial, execution of penalties and management of inmates, and exercise supervision over state functionaries by way of investigating such duty-related crimes as embezzlement, bribery, dereliction of duty and infringement of others' rights.
The Constitution endows citizens with the rights to criticize, advise, appeal, lodge lawsuit against or impeach state organs and state functionaries. In China, the channel is unimpeded for citizens to be involved in the combat against corruption by means of impeaching and lodging lawsuit. The governments at all levels in China have set up special organs to handle letters and calls of complaints as well as opinions, suggestions and accusations from the people. Discipline inspection organs of the CPC at all levels, state procuratorial organs, government supervisory organs and audit organs have all established the offence reporting system, opened up offence reporting hotlines and set up offence reporting websites to take reports of misconduct and complaints from the people. The relevant departments, according to laws and discipline, investigate or transfer the clues of reported cases to departments concerned. The state attaches great importance to protecting the legitimate rights and interests of the informants while encouraging people to report on cases of corruption. Clear stipulations on protecting informants are provided in the Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure Law, Administrative Supervisory Law and intra-Party regulations of the CPC, ruling that the information about the informants must be kept confidential; disclosure of an informant's identification is strictly banned; and punishment will be meted to anyone who disclose an informant's identification and conditions and/or the reporting materials provided by the informant to the reported department or person, and anyone who retaliates on the informant.
China lays great store by supervision from public opinion. The right to interview and right to supervise through public opinion of news media, including newspapers, television and radio, are protected by law. News media are encouraged to expose unhealthy tendencies of all kinds and violations of law and discipline by Party and government organs as well as their functionaries. The government departments pay great attention to problems reported in the media, actively respond to social concerns and work out solutions in time to improve their work. In recent years, with the rapid development and popularity of the Internet, supervision through the Internet has become a new form of supervision by public opinion that spreads quickly, produces great influence and features a wider range of participation. China highly values the positive role played by the Internet in enhancing supervision, conscientiously strengthens the collection, research, judgment and management of information regarding combating corruption and advocating integrity from the Internet. It is making efforts to enact laws and regulations on report websites and improve the acceptance mechanism and clue application and feedback system of the report websites in order to offer a convenient and unimpeded channel for the public to exercise their right of supervision through the Internet. Meanwhile, efforts are being made to strengthen the management, guidance and standardization of supervision by public opinion so as to ensure that supervision by public opinion operates along the orbit prescribed by the law.
As sunshine is the best antiseptic, transparency represents the best supervision of power. Since the 1980s, the Chinese government has proactively implemented the systems of making public government affairs, factory affairs, village affairs, as well as management of public enterprises and institutions. The Regulations of the People's Republic of China on Making Public Government Information and some other important statutory documents have been promulgated. The Regulations stipulate that government information, other than that related to state secrets, business secrets and personal privacy, should be made public in a timely and accurate manner, with the requirement of making public as the principle and holding back as the exception, to guarantee the people's right to know, participate, express and supervise. The party and state organs and governments of the provinces (including autonomous regions and municipalities directly under the central government) have all established the news release system and spokesmen/spokeswomen system. Most governments above the county level have established government websites. The state judicial organs have established the system of open administration of judicial affairs to ensure openness of court, procuratorial, police and prison affairs, supplying a firm guarantee for strengthening supervision over judicial activities. The CPC actively makes Party affairs public through promulgating and implementing the Opinions on Making Party Affairs Public at Grass-roots Organizations, improving the Party affairs, promptly announcing Party affairs, such as important decisions made by Party committees, selection and appointment of Party cadres and the implementation of stipulations on combating corruption and self-discipline measures by leading cadres who are Party members, thus expanding the channel for Party members to be informed of intra-Party affairs and express their individual opinions.