Democracy is one of China's goals through social reform and development. Progress has been made during past decades but challenges still remain. Today we went to a village in Guizhou province to see how people there use a special "five-piece stamp" to protect their democratic rights.
Today we are visiting Guiye Village. It's a remote, poor village in Guizhou province. What bring us here is a special stamp----which some call a symbol of democracy.
Guiye is small, with fewer than 150 households. In the village office, representatives and officials are discussing the administrative expenses for the last three months. Each paper is a record of how every penny of the public money has been used. Reimbursement only comes after discussion and approval. Five sections of a stamp are put together. The invoice then gets the seal of approval.
The invoice says " In total, 10 yuan has spent on buying 6 pieces of red paper, two bottles of glue and one bottle of ink."
"Let's look closely at the stamp, which here means in a democratic way."
"Would you please tell us why did you divide the stamp into five pieces?"
Tan Hongyong, Initiator of five-piece stamp, said, "We want to let our villagers be their own master. We want to let them fully enjoy their rights over village affairs, especially fiscal affairs. They have the right to know, to participate and to supervise."
The five-piece stamp practice is to make public expenditures more transparent.
Guiye is a poor village. Annual income per capita is less than 900 yuan. Every year, the village receives 5000 yuan as collective funds for administrative expenses.
The stamp is divided among five village representatives. It's not just to divide power, but to enhance supervision. Reimbursement requires at least three of them to agree.
Tan Hongjiang, Guiye Village Representative, said, "The money given by the central government is limited and insufficient. Under the circumstances, we have to make sure that every penny is used in the right place and for the right purpose. This aims to prevent waste and corruption."
Representatives say they are strict in fulfilling their responsibility.