You are here:   Home

China Exploring Ways to Expand Grassroots Engagement in Decision-making

Xinhua News Agency, March 14, 2011 Adjust font size:

Watching busy workers paving natural gas pipelines, Yi Jialing cannot feel prouder as an ordinary community worker in Huaihua City in central China's Hunan Province.

Soon, hundreds of thousands of residents in Huaihua will be able to simply receive cheap natural gas, as Yi proposed to the city's government two months ago.

Hearing residents in Banqiaopu community, Hecheng District of Huaihua, complaining for years about the inconveniences of using bottled gas, Yi made the proposal when she was invited to a meeting held by the city committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), or the local political advisory body, in January.

Besides Yi, nine other citizens from different walks of life were also invited to air their concerns and suggestions over the city's development and people's livelihoods at the meeting, which used to be exclusive to the political advisors of the committee.

It was the first time that the Huaihua city committee of the CPPCC had citizen delegates attending its annual meeting, as part of the country's vigorous effort to enlarge the involvement of ordinary citizens in the decision-making process of local governments.

The 10 citizen delegates were selected based upon recommendations of political advisors and communities, as well as on their online applications, said Huang Xuehong, deputy chairman of the committee.

"Thus, genuine appeals of citizens can be heard at the CPPCC meeting, which shows our respect for grassroots voices," Huang said.

He added that the citizen delegates were also offered opportunities to convey opinions to leaders of the local committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and the local government, face to face.

Founded in 1949, the CPPCC consists of elite members of Chinese society who are willing to serve as a think tank for the government and for the country's legislative and judicial organs.

This has been seen as the manifestation of China's socialist democracy by calling for the ruling CPC, non-Communist parties and people without party affiliation to discuss state affairs freely and equally.

China's top political advisor, Jia Qinglin, has urged the CPPCC committees to work in line with people's concerns and expectations and help the masses share the fruits of the country's developments and reforms.

Jia made the remarks in a report delivered to the opening meeting of the Fourth Session of the 11th National Committee of the CPPCC, which lasted from March 3 to 13 in Beijing.

In Yueyang County in Hunan and Luoyang City in Henan, the local CPPCC committees have begun testing the selection of some new political advisors from outspoken Internet users.

"That is an innovative try for China's democratic development," said Wang Xuejie, a professor with the party school of the Hunan Provincial Committee of the CPC.

It showed that the selection of political advisors was no longer limited to elites, and the opinions of net users had been increasingly valued by decision-makers at all levels, Wang said.

China has about 450 million net users, accounting for one-third of the country's total population, according to the National Bureau of Statistics.

In March, at the annual meetings of the CPPCC National Committee and the National People's Congress, China's legislative body, many Internet-savvy deputies and political advisors preferred to solicit proposals from the public by logging onto Twitter-like microblogging services.

Chinese President Hu Jintao said we must expand the citizens' orderly participation in political affairs at each level and in every field and mobilize and organize the people as extensively as possible to manage state and social affairs, as well as economic and cultural programs, in accordance with the law.

Hu made the remarks in a report he delivered to the 17th National Congress of the CPC in 2007.

Bookmark and Share

Related News & Photos