A democratic story in western Fujian

Source: chinadaily.com.cn Updated: 2022-01-04

There are more than 2.6 million deputies to the people's congresses at all levels. Among them is Zhang Liansheng, the Party secretary of the Xi'an community in Xinluo district of Fujian province's Longyan city.

He has been a deputy to the National People's Congress (NPC) for four consecutive sessions and has helped to promote whole-process people's democracy. Since the COVID-19 pandemic broke out across different regions in February 2020, Zhang has live broadcast an online program on anti-pandemic themes for eight times. His livestreaming has attracted 18.7 million views, which has helped in the publicity of pandemic prevention and control. 

Zhang has always remembered to lead rural development with Party construction over the last 44 years. 

He has helped to enrich the Xi'an community, which has shifted from an underdeveloped village into an area that is home to several hundred companies and other operational entities. "People selected me to be a deputy; I should be dedicated to serving them," Zhang said. As a grassroots deputy to the NPC, he has kept close contact with the general public and has well fulfilled his responsibilities. 

He submitted suggestions regarding adjusting policies on high-standard farmland construction and earmarking more for fundamental construction projects of farmlands at the second session of the 13th NPC. Since 2016, the country has required that any high-standard farmland construction projects that have been implemented since 2011 be mapped and included onto a database. 

According to the policies at that time, there should not have been repeated construction in a project area for the next 15 years. Yet most areas in Fujian are mountainous regions, and the cost of high-standard farmland construction is high.   

Zhang submitted a proposal on adjusting policies about high-standard farmland construction in 2019, which drew attention from related government departments. The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs set up a special team to survey areas including Shanghang and Wuping counties. The ministry released a document that clearly addressed Zhang's two suggestions on Sept 19, 2019. 

In 2019, the farmland construction subsidy and the central government's budget for high-standard farmland construction projects in Fujian  covering a total area of 1.3 million mu (86,667 hectares) reached 1.36 billion yuan ($213.7 million). 

The ministry planned to study input standards for such fields in different areas with other related departments. Suggestions on high-standard farmland and the promotion of rural prosperity are only one example of Zhang's performance. 

"As a deputy to the NPC, the most important thing when implementing whole-process people's democracy is to really consider the general public's interests and reflect their views," Zhang said. 

Representatives from the National Intellectual Property Administration and the State Administration for Market Regulation came from Beijing to visit the Xi'an community on May 22, 2019. 

They wanted to give feedback on the motion submitted by 31 NPC deputies, including Zhang, on amending the Trademark Law as soon as possible at the second session of the 13th NPC, and wanted to hear their amendment suggestions face-to-face.

Zhang was invited to participate in a survey and a seminar in Longyan on the problems of high-standard farmland construction on June 14, 2019. The survey team included officials from the NPC Standing Committee, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Water Resources.

on Oct 20 that year he was also invited to attend a survey-focused symposium on the evaluation of development planning for the former Fujian Revolutionary Area being conducted by the National Development and Reform Commission.

He also offered suggestions on supporting the establishment of a regular eco-compensation mechanism involving the upper and lower reaches of the Tingjiang River-Hanjiang River basin and on supporting Longyan in carrying out a pilot project to protect and restore national mountains, forests, land, lakes and grasslands. 

On Oct 17, 2020, representatives from the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology paid a field visit to the Xi'an community to ask for Zhang's advice about the handling of a proposal he had submitted on enhancing the development of the virtual operator anti-fraud system at the third session of the 13th NPC.

On June 21, 2021, representatives from the State Tobacco Monopoly Administration paid a field visit to the Xi'an community to communicate with Zhang and ask for his advice on the handling of a proposal Zhang and two other NPC deputies had submitted on using high-nicotine tobacco for the scale production of plant-derived biopesticide at the fourth session of the 13th NPC.

Representatives from the Ministry of Natural Resources visited the community on July 11, 2021, to provide feedback to Zhang and ask for his advice about a proposal on supporting the protection of dinosaur footprint fossils in Fujian's Shanghang.

Zhang said that national authorities were attaching increasing importance to the handling of suggestions made by NPC deputies and every reply had been detailed. They not only explain on systematic and implementation levels, but also consider deputies' suggestions to further improve related work, he said. "I will actively carry out surveys, collect the general public's opinions and deliver more high-quality proposals to better fulfill my responsibilities as an NPC deputy," Zhang said.

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