By Liao Wengen, Song Wei, Peng Bo, Zhang Yang, He Yong
March 13, 2012
The ongoing two sessions, the 5th session of the 11th National People’s Congress (NPC ) and the Fifth Session of the 11th National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) in China not only make the world understand China but also provide an important window for the world to watch the development of China’s democratic politics.
With responsible deputies and the active participators, the two sessions show the unique charm of the People’s Congress System, the systems of multi-party cooperation and the political consultation led by Chinese Communist Party.
Democracy is the lifeblood of socialism
Developing the socialist democratic politics is a historically inevitable choice of people. It is the aspirations of both the representatives and the masses.
Democratic achievements are remarkable.
On May 20, 2011, 15 representatives had a direct dialogue with the highest legislative body in terms of the draft of the individual income tax law amendment at the office building of the NPC while more netizens expressed themselves through the website of the NPC.
Most people hoped that the threshold of individual income tax, which was 3,000 yuan in the original draft, should be raised. The Standing Committee of the NPC finally passed the individual income tax amendment, raising threshold from 3,000 yuan to 3,500 yuan and reducing the first-level tax rate from 5 percent to 3 percent.
It is a microcosm of the development of the Chinese democracy. Today, the masses can participate in all the public decision-making, management and affairs that are closely related to their vital interests. More and more ordinary citizens begin to influence the public decision-making and management through a variety of ways including discussion panels, hearings and open advice-seeking meetings.
The direct election of members of the village committees in every three years has come true to hundreds of millions of farmers. Wu Zaiju, deputy to the National People’s Congress and party branch secretary of Kaihe village, Zhongling township, Xiushan county in Chongqing, said that in addition to the democratic elections of the village cadres, all the works of their village committee which are related to the interests of villagers are done democratically, including choosing the low income households, ditching and constructing roads.
Since the first half of 2011, the general election successively began across the country. More than two million deputies of the NPC above the county and township levels had been directly chosen out by hundreds of millions of voters, including more than 2,000 county-level positions and over 30,000 township-level positions.
Democracy with Chinese characteristics shows an obvious advantage.
Along with the trend of social development, the system of the NPC and the electoral system are being further reformed and perfected so as to better guarantee the right of people as masters, said Li Fengbin, deputy to the NPC and dean of the school of law of Baotou Normal College in the Inner Mongolia University of Science and Technology.
Zhang Weiqing, member of the National Committee of the CPPCC and former director of National Population and Family Planning Commission, said that the dynamic integration of democratic election and consultation is an important characteristic of socialist democracy in China. As an important form of democracy, the democratic consultation is in line with China’s actual conditions and complies with the aspirations of the people. The CPPCC has made great achievements and also has great potential in terms of democratic consultation.
Democracy with Chinese characteristics has been improved constantly and advanced with times.
Democracy is just like atomic energy, if handled well, it will work as a nuclear power station that can benefit society. Otherwise, it will become the atomic bomb to destroy the whole society, said Sheng Mingfu, member of the National Committee of the CPPCC and chairperson of Chinese Agriculture, Forestry and Water Conservancy Trade Union.
The development of democracy not only asks the public to improve their democratic quality but also demands the design of democratic system to be closely related to the matter of fact. Our democratic system is also keeping pace with the times in the special period of social transformation and economic development. In a long run, the socialist democracy will become the strongest foundation stone of the cause of socialism.
The more the socialism develops, the more the democracy develops.
Many deputies and members of committees said that although the socialist democracy has made significant progress, we should see that China’s socialist democracy and legal construction has not fully adapt to the expanding of the democracy and development of the economic society. The socialist democracy is incomplete in terms of guaranteeing democratic rights and developing the creativity of people. The construction of China’s socialist democracy will certainly continue to move forward following the advance of the socialism with Chinese characteristics.