China's top legislator Wu Bangguo reaffirmed on Friday that China would unwaveringly keep on the socialist path of political development with Chinese characteristics.
"We need to thoroughly understand the intrinsic nature of China's system of people's congresses; confidently uphold our unique characteristics; be fully aware of the essential differences between this system and Western capitalist countries' systems of political power," Wu said.
"We need to remain sober-minded and take a firm and clear stand on major issues of principle," he added while delivering a work report of the Standing Committee of the 11th National People's Congress (NPC) at the parliamentary annual session.
He said it's primarily because of the socialist path with Chinese characteristics, China has been able to maintain long-term political stability and social harmony, safeguard national unity and ethnic solidarity, and sustain development at a speed rarely seen in the world.
"We must cherish it even more and adhere to it for a long time to come," he said.
The people's congress system is the fundamental political system in China, which has more than 2.7 million lawmakers at various levels, who are elected by respective constituencies, directly or indirectly.
Fang Ning, a political expert with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said it's true that that people's congress system has materialized the long-cherished "strategic development" for the country and ushered China into the current situation with great development potential.
The reason, he said, is that the system can realize the integration of the leadership of the Party, the position of the people as masters of the country and the rule of law. The integration is crucial because it can ensure that the people's congress system make decisions and laws based on the country's fundamental, long-term, and overall interests.
Chinese lawmakers push forward stipulation and implementation of national and local policies, through conducting field studies, collecting public opinions and submitting motions and suggestions.
During the fourth session of the 11th NPC in March 2011, NPC deputies submitted 8,043 proposals, 6 percent more than that the previous year. After that session, the NPC Standing Committee passed the proposals to 177 governmental departments and closely monitored the handling of the proposals.
Song Xinfang, a NPC deputy from Shandong Province, said,"Compared to the Western political system, the people's congress system excels in representing the people and listening to their wishes."
In its 58-year history, the people's congress system has been evolving to make it more representative. In 2008, Hu Xiaoyan became the country's first NPC deputy from migrant workers, a 250-million-strong group that has emerged along with China's rapid industrialization and urbanization over the past 30 years.
Since elected, Hu has made proposals regarding issues like improving the working conditions of migrant workers and providing better education for left-behind children whose parents have left their countryside hometowns for jobs in cities. The government has taken note of the advice of Hu and other migrant-worker deputies, issuing policies to improve the lives of the group.
In last year's NPC annual session, the top legislator Wu ruled out copying Western-style political systems.
On the basis of China's national conditions, China would not, among other things, employ a system of multiple parties holding office in rotation, split powers among the executive, legislative and judicial branches of government, or divide the parliament into upper and lower houses, he said.
(Xinhua News Agency March 9, 2012)