Top legislator urges greater role of people's congresses

China Daily Global Updated: 2022-03-14

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Deputies to the 13th National People's Congress walk out of the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Friday as the NPC concludes its fifth session. WANG ZHUANGFEI/CHINA DAILY

China should unswervingly follow its political path and strive to ensure that the future and destiny of the nation remain in the hands of the Chinese people through the people's congress system, the nation's top legislator said on Friday.

The role of the people's congress system-a fundamental political system in China-should be fully utilized to ensure that the people, based on the law, manage State affairs, economic and cultural undertakings and social affairs through various channels and ways, said Li Zhanshu, chairman of the National People's Congress Standing Committee.

He made the remarks in a speech at the closing meeting of the fifth session of the 13th NPC, which was attended by 2,758 deputies.

President Xi Jinping, who is also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, attended the meeting at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing along with other Chinese leaders, including Li Keqiang, Wang Yang, Wang Huning, Zhao Leji, Han Zheng and Wang Qishan.

Li called for firm adherence to the political path of socialism with Chinese characteristics, and he made clear that the leadership of the CPC is the most essential feature of Chinese socialism and the core principle of China's Constitution, which must be upheld.

NPC deputies should fully realize the mission and task of the people's congress system, adhere to the CPC's overall leadership, fully implement the Constitution and continuously improve the socialist legal system with Chinese characteristics, he said.

The Constitution stipulates that all power in the People's Republic of China belongs to the people, and the organs through which the people exercise State power are the NPC and the local people's congresses at all levels.

In China, there are five levels of people's congresses: township, county, city, provincial and national, with a total number of 2.62 million deputies. Among them, 2.48 million are at the township and county levels, and they are elected directly by people in their districts, according to Zhang Yesui, spokesman for the NPC session.

Li said that an important principle and design of the people's congress system is that the power of all State organs and their staff is under supervision. "Administrative, supervisory, judicial and procuratorial departments are all created by the people's congress, are responsible to it and are subject to its supervision," he said.

At the closing meeting on Friday, NPC deputies approved the Government Work Report and the work reports of the NPC Standing Committee, the Supreme People's Court and the Supreme People's Procuratorate. They also approved this year's national economic and social development plan, and budgets for 2022.

The amended Organic Law of Local People's Congresses and Local Governments, which streamlines the workflows of local legislative bodies and urges them to maintain close contact with the people, was adopted.

Considering that this is the last year of the five-year term of the current 13th NPC, a decision on the quota and election of deputies to the 14th NPC, the method for the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region to elect its deputies to the 14th NPC, and the method for the Macao SAR were also passed at the closing meeting.

According to the decisions, the election of deputies to the next NPC will be completed in January 2023.

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