International

Chinese political advisors push for democracy, supervision


BEIJING, March 12 (Xinhua) — China’s top political advisory body, the
Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), is in the
process of amending its charter.

The move represents an important chapter in the development of democracy in
China.The revision of the CPPCC charter, which will be voted on by the
body’s 2,000-plus members in a few days, is aligned with the amendment of
the Constitution.Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese
Characteristics for a New Era has been incorporated into the draft
amendment of the charter as a guiding theory of the CPPCC.”The parallel
nature of revision to the CPPCC charter and the Constitution shows the
political advisors are guided by the law,” said Zhou Hanmin, a national
political advisor and legal expert based in Shanghai.The CPPCC National
Committee, which convenes its annual session each year in March, brings
together representatives from all walks of life — economists, scientists,
educators, doctors, diplomats, religious leaders and celebrities. They are
the core advisors in China’s decision-making processes.
According to the draft amendment, the idea of “consultative democracy” will
be written into the charter.”Consultative democracy is a model and strength
unique to China’s socialist democracy. The CPPCC is an important channel
for socialist consultative democracy and specialist consultative body,”
part of the draft amendment reads.”The revision highlights the importance
of consultative democracy and further clarifies how we offer our advice,”
Zhou said.
In addition to its advisory role, another function of the CPPCC is
supervision.

Supervision covers the implementation of the Constitution, laws and
regulations, major state policy, as well as the handling of practical
issues of social concern and the integrity of state agencies and their
staff.Over the past five years, political advisors have raised the
proportion of supervision-related agenda to 28 percent. “Consultative
supervision,” has been included in the draft amendment to the charter.”This
revision gives us guidance on how to conduct supervision and will improve
implementation of government policy.” said Gao Xiaomei, a member of the
CPPCC National Committee and vice chairperson of the Revolutionary
Committee of the Chinese Kuomintang Central Committee.The current CPPCC
charter was adopted in 1982 and has been amended three times: in 1994,
2000, and 2004.