June 19, 2009
The system of the people's congress is China's fundamental political system. Then, where does the foundation of this system lie?
There are a host of systems in China, noted Dong Biwu, late former vice-chairman of the People's Republic (1968-1975), and they include marriage system, taxation system, judicial system, military system and school system. But all these systems are merely one aspect of its political life, and only the people's congress (PC) or PC system represents all aspects of the political life. Hence, it is China's fundamental political system, the late top revolutionary veteran said in 1951.
There are varied forms of government in the world today, and why should China set up and adhere to the National People's Congress (NPC) system? This is because the NPC system conforms to the nation's state system, which is a socialist state under the people's democratic dictatorship led by the working class and based on the alliance of workers and farmers (or peasants). This established state system determines that all power in China belongs to the people.
The 1.3 billion Chinese attend to their country affairs through an organizational system since they cannot exercise the direct administration. This setup is none other than the NPC system instituted in accordance with the democratic centralism principle. In the past six decades after the founding of new China, the NPC system has been related closely to the destiny of the CPC, state and people.
At present, China has a total of 2.9 million people's deputies, comprising deputies to the NPC and to the people's congresses at all levels, who are living and working among the masses, and maintaining close ties with them and who listen to and convey their opinions and demands. So, the "open-door legislation" has become a regular practice. There are two examples as follows:
The draft labor contract law was publicized in March 2006 to solicit public opinion, and approximately 190,000 comments or recommendations were gathered and sorted out in only one week from grassroots trade organizations and, when the draft law on social insurance was published, people from all walks of life in China set forth more than 70,500 proposals or suggestions for further improvement before its enaction. It is thus very clear that people's congress system can give expression to the will of people, voice their opinions and help safeguard their interests.
In compliance with China's Constitution, the people's congress exercises state power in a unified way and genuinely plays its due role as the organ of state power. From a practical point of view, the NPC system provides a strong guarantee for the government work to attain a rapid coordination and high efficiency. For instance, prompt decision-making authority and timely measures were taken for the rescue operation of a massive earthquake that hit the area of Wenchuan in southwestern Sichuan and adjacent regions in mid May last year and the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
The New York Times positively evaluated the media response to the Chinese government, saying that Beijing was better in handling relief efforts of the devastating Wenchuan quake as compared to what Washington did to deal with Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
At the mention of the people's congress system, some critics would compare it with the separation of the legislative, judiciary and executive powers. Some even regard that only the "separation of (three) powers is genuine democracy and can guarantee the benign operation of the political system, so they stand for copying Western models and implementing the checks and balance of power.
Some extremists even label the separation of powers as the most "democratic" form of government. This absurdity is one-sided of course. In fact, the separation of powers can indeed stem one given interest group from monopolizing or arrogating to some extent all power to itself, so the "democracy" is ensured for the ruling clique. This form of government, however, is not designed to guarantee the democratic rights of people.
Some people assert that the system of the separation of powers can possibly guard against corruption, and this also doest not tally with facts. In the last few years, six arms dealers, including Boeing and Lockheed, were awarded numerous billion-dollar contracts with huge direct and indirect profits for their lobbing on Capitol Hill, and such illegal covert deals so far exposed is only the tip of the "iceberg".
Some advocators of the separation of powers even cite the "separation of powers" as the international convention with some sort of universality and, therefore, China should also follow suit. This notion is also groundless.
It must be pointed out that there are no political or social basis for separating legislative, judicial and executive powers in China, let alone the economic basis and the class base. If it does copy the political system with a separation of powers from capitalist countries in defiance of its own national conditions and fundamental interests of its people, the foundation of its political stability will be undermined, Chinese society will be fall into the state of disorder, and people would suffer too.
So, it is imperative for China to keep to the intrinsic unity of Party leadership, people assuming as masters of their own destiny and the managing of state affairs according to law. This essential practice has given an eloquent proof that people in the country must keep to this point and never sway on it.
Moreover, the people's congresses at all levels should closely keep up with emerging or prevalent "hot" and "tough" topics of immediate concern to the ordinary residents, keep increasing or enhancing the effectiveness of its work and opening up new situations so as to cope with new challenges.By People's Daily Online