The Second Session of the 13th CPPCC National Committee concludes at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on March 13 (XINHUA)
This year marks the 70th anniversary of the founding of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC). In early March, a roundtable forum was held in Beijing, where CPPCC members and experts shared their views on the CPPCC, an important political and organizational vehicle for implementing multiparty cooperation and political consultation led by the Communist Party of China (CPC). Edited excerpts of attendees' opinions follow:
Wang Xiaohong, Deputy head of the Department of Teaching and Research of the United Front Theory at the Central Institute of Socialism
Held in September 1949, the First Session of the CPPCC accomplished a lot of important work for the soon to be People's Republic of China. As the conditions for holding the National People's Congress (NPC) were not mature enough, the CPPCC exercised the functions and powers of the NPC.
After the First Session of the First NPC was held in 1954, the CPPCC changed into an organization of the patriotic united front of the Chinese people, an important organ for multiparty cooperation and political consultation under the leadership of the CPC, and an important means of promoting socialist democracy in China's political activities.
In a series of remarks, General Secretary of the CPC Central Committee Xi Jinping stressed the need to improve CPPCC work and made theoretical innovations in five key aspects. First, the CPPCC is a major channel for socialist consultative democracy and a specialized consultative body. Second, it is an important part of China's governance system. Third, the CPPCC is an institutional arrangement with Chinese characteristics, showcasing the vitality of socialism with Chinese characteristics. Fourth, the new-type political party system born in China, namely the multiparty cooperation and political consultation system under the leadership of the CPC, is a political creation with great significance. Fifth, the CPPCC plays a key role in maintaining both consistency and diversity. It should carry out its dual responsibilities of offering suggestions and building consensus.
In the new era, the CPPCC will continue to play an important role in pooling the wisdom of non-communist parties and people's organizations.
Wang Baohuan, Member of the Standing Committee of the Beijing Municipal Committee of the CPPCC
The CPPCC has a 70-year history. In the new era, it faces new challenges and opportunities. Members of the CPPCC should be highly effective and highly competent. I suggest we establish an evaluation system for CPPCC members to raise their awareness of the important position they are holding and make sure their work is quality-oriented. They should also balance the relationship between quantity and quality, as well as formality and result.
Second, when raising their suggestions, members should speak with facts, statistics and real cases, and avoid empty talk and general statements. This is an important quality for CPPCC members in the new era.
Third, the CPPCC consists of people who are specialists in their own fields. As a specialized consultative body, the CPPCC and its members should give full play to their specialty advantage when making suggestions and do what they do best.
In addition, a good platform is also a guarantee for high-quality performance. The mobile app (launched in August 2018) where members can conduct streaming sessions is a successful trial. So far, two remote consultations and one remote discussion were held. With such platforms, members can always contribute their opinions and wisdom online.
Luo Shaming, Member of the CPPCC National Committee and the Standing Committee of the Central Committee of the Taiwan Democratic Self-Government League
The CPPCC's development is one of pooling strength from all sectors of society, organizations and industries. Various societal opinions can be expressed on this platform. It is the CPPCC's task and capability to collect the issues and concerns of the people and society.
Enhancing CPPCC members' capacity to perform their duties has become increasingly important. The CPPCC is a specialized consultative body and also an open platform. Members are required to be an expert in one field while at the same time, they should also know something about everything. Through constant learning, they can play a bigger role and make better judgment in the process of researching public opinion and offering proposals. In the past, members were required to pay equal attention to both the quantity and quality of their proposals, but now proposals should be more quality-oriented. The transition is both a pressure and a challenge for CPPCC members.
Sometimes, a single proposal can remedy defects or even make a big change. The CPPCC has an advantage of turning people's legitimate requests into proposals in a prompt manner. Before making proposals, members should conduct thorough research so that they can offer in-depth analysis and concrete suggestions which are easy to operate and in line with the national conditions.
Zhang Lianqi, Member of the Standing Committee of the CPPCC National Committee and an economist
The development of the Internet and new media breaks the restrictions of space and time for CPPCC members. For example, since its launch in August 2018, the mobile platform enables members of the CPPCC National Committee to have discussions and make suggestions via the Internet. Online consultation and remote discussion are innovative and groundbreaking, which further strengthen the sense of responsibility and solidarity of CPPCC members.
Sun Jie, Member of the CPPCC National Committee and Vice Dean of the School of Insurance and Economics of the University of International Business and Economics
The work of the CPPCC serves China's development. It facilitates the implementation of the country's policies and strategies. It is not an organ of power, but a place for discussing state affairs. The CPPCC should play a role as a state-level think tank. In the modernization of China's governance system, its importance will become increasingly evident. In the meantime, the CPPCC should take a firm stand. Since it is an institutional arrangement for democracy, its work should be people-centered.
As China's reform and opening up continues, there will be more complicated situations ahead. Such changes place higher demands on CPPCC members. Their role is becoming even more important. To a great extent, the position and role of the CPPCC depend on the work of its members. Currently, the number of specialized personnel is rising. They possess solid professional skills and a high political awareness, making their role as CPPCC members even more effective.
Copyedited by Rebeca Toledo
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