March 12, 2009 "The people's congress system accords with the national conditions of China and guarantees people as masters of their country, and there are essential differences between the system of China's people's congresses and Western capitalist countries' system of political powers. We must unswervingly take our own road."
This statement is contained in the work report of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC) delivered by NPC Chairman Wu Bangguo at the ongoing Second Plenary Session of the 11th National People's Congress in Beijing. During panel discussions on this work report of the NPC Standing Committee, members of the delegations of NPC deputies have pandered and delved into the essential differences between China's NPC system and the Western political system.
WESTERN POLITICAL SYSTEM NOT SUITS CHINA
Han Xuejian, a NPC deputy and Party secretary of Daqing city in China's northernmost Heilongjiang province, said that the work report of the NPC Standing Committee maintains the proper political orientation and gives full expressions to the requirements of upholding Party leadership, ensuring the people the masters of their own destiny and exercising the governance of the country by law.
NPC Deputy Zhang Wenxian, the President of the Higher Court of Jilin Province in northeast China, noted that Western parliamentary system, or a multi-party system, is a tool for political parties to wield power on rotation. The Communist Party of China, or CPC, is the sole party in power in China and the system of the people's congress is the fundamental political system, by which the CPC leads people to be masters of their own country. So, the core of people's congresses lies in the adherence to Party leadership.
Liu Fan, the vice-chairperson of the municipal committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference in the city of Nantong, east China's Jiangsu province, said NPC deputies and members of the NPC Standing Committee perform their duties under the leadership of CPC regardless of their party affiliations, and that their fundamental interests are virtually identical.
As a big developing country with 1.3 billion people, China must have a strong core of leadership, and the Western parliamentary system does not suit the country at all, said Qian Niansun, the vice-chairman of the Anhui provincial committee of the China Democratic League (CDL), one of China's patriotic democratic parties.
SEPARATION OF POWERS OPPOSED
The NPC carries out the supervision of "one government and two courts" namely, the State Council or the central Chinese government, and the Supreme People's Court and the Supreme Procuratorate, under essential preconditions. First, the consensuses many deputies have reached is that they perform their respective duties independently in line with law around the overall work as defined by CPC, so as to ensure the ideological and political unity.
Second, the NPC exercise State power in a unified way, and the administrative, judicial and legislative organs of the State are all created by the NPC and subjected to its supervision, and are held accountable or responsible for it.
Third, the fundamental objective of "the one government and the two courts" is unified. The NPC shares the same political basis and has identical fundamental interests with them, and they all represent and serve the interests of people; it supervises and supports them to administer or govern in accordance with law. The fundamental goal is to wield the power that has been vested in it by people to serve their interests, and this practice differs drastically and widely with the system of checks and balances between the organs of power in Western nations.
On this theme, Deputy Gong Jiahe, the chief procurator of the Higher Procuratorate of Hunan Province in central-south China, noted that NPC is not only the legislative body but the organ of State power and "the one government and the two courts" are the executive organs and their power must be restricted and supervised. China should absorb the advanced civilization achievements from the Western world but should not copy them, the Hunan deputy added.
STEADFAST TO BE PEOPLE'S DEPUTY
Correct action derives from "a clear ideology". Thanks to assiduous and careful deliberations of the work report of the NPC Standing Committee, the deputies have come to see more explicitly the essential differences between the NPC deputies and Members of Parliament in Western nations, so that they will be able to perform their duties better still.
The deputy to the people's congress is not a professional job but a concurrent one, and deputies work at varied posts, so they are acquainted with the general popular sentiments among local people and the situation at the grassroots level, said Prof. Wang Liming, Dean of the School of Law and vice-president of the elite Renmin (People's) University of China in Beijing.
Moreover, he acknowledged, the NPC meets in session once a year, and the people's congress system performs the collective exercise of functions and powers during the session of the Congress and the meetings of the Committee, instead of directly tackling tough, thorny issues by individual deputies themselves.
With an increasing wide representation, said Lin Wu, Party secretary of Loudi city in the central part of Hunan province, NPC deputies represent people, speak for their overall interests and live up to their expectations.
Great achievements have been attained in the development of rule of law in China over the 60-years of development and particularly in the past 30 years of reform and opening to the outside world. Compared to the Western parliamentary system, said Deputy Mr. Yeo from the Macau and the Union General of Community Association while deliberating the work report of the NPC Standing Committee, China's NPC system has set much more rigid and strict demands on its deputies than any Western parliamentary system.
By People's Daily reporters and translated by PD Online