Photo taken on Dec. 29, 2020, shows procurators from the People’s Procuratorate of Hanshan District in Handan city, north China’s Hebei province, explaining legal knowledge in China’s Civil Code to students. (Photo by Hao Qunying/People’s Daily Online)
In recent years, China has continuously improved its democratic institutions, diversified its forms of democracy, and established more democratic channels, pushing forward with the development of its socialist democracy with Chinese characteristics constantly.
The country has upheld and improved the system of people’s congresses and the system of multiparty cooperation and political consultation under its leadership, and bettered the system of self-governance at the primary level of society to make it full of vitality.
On Jan. 1, 2021, China’s first civil code, the Civil Code of the People’s Republic of China, officially took effect.
The draft civil code went through ten deliberations at the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress (NPC), China’s top legislature, which solicited a total of over 1.02 million pieces of comments and suggestions on ten occasions and held special symposiums on issues with concentrated advice and major controversies during the compilation of the civil code.
China has 275 laws in effect. The country has ensured that every law is enacted, amended, or repealed in a scientific, democratic, and legally-compliant way.
Last year, the country solicited public opinion on a total of 33 draft laws via the official website of the NPC, and collected ideas from more than 300,000 people.
In May 2020, NPC deputies submitted a record high of 9,180 proposals to the third session of the 13th NPC, with the number of proposals on epidemic prevention logging a 179-percent increase from 2019. All these proposals have been handled and answered, and 71.28 percent of the problems raised in these proposals have been either solved or will be addressed step by step.
In an effort to make it easier for residents to express their views, the NPC established grassroots-level legislation contact points in many cities across the country.
Residents’ opinions and suggestions expressed via these grassroots-level legislation contact points can be submitted to the country’s legislative bodies and even be adopted and written into laws, said Hou Xiaoyan, deputy leader of a detachment of Changning branch of Shanghai municipal public security bureau.
A legislation contact point in Changning district of Shanghai helps the NPC solicit public opinion on more than ten draft laws a year, according to Hou.
The main purpose of developing socialist democracy is to give full expression to the will of the people, protect their rights and interests, spark their creativity, and provides systemic and institutional guarantees to ensure the people run the country.
In recent years, people’s congresses at various levels in China have established extensive mechanisms that facilitate communication between deputies and residents. So far, the country has more than 230,000 centers and contact points helping deputies to people’s congresses communicate with residents.
The number of legislation contact points set up by the Legislative Affairs Commission of the NPC Standing Committee has reached ten, further smoothening channels for reflecting opinions and suggestions from the grassroots level.
As an important form of people’s democracy in China, the system of socialist consultative democracy has been further improved in recent years.
On Aug. 19, 2018, China launched a mobile platform that allows members of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), China’s top political advisory body, to conduct consultations and deliberations online.
The platform has been used by more than 2,100 political advisers, accounting for over 97 percent of the country’s members of the CPPCC National Committee. These CPPCC members have contributed more than 130,000 pieces of opinions and suggestions via the platform.
On Jan. 21, the 13th CPPCC National Committee kicked off its 46th biweekly consultation session in Beijing, during which 11 CPPCC members and specially invited representatives contributed their suggestions on the subject of continuously improving China’s business environment from different perspectives, and more than 100 CPPCC members expressed their opinions via the CPPCC National Committee’s mobile platform.
The biweekly consultation session is one of the important forms of democratic consultation of the CPPCC. It takes place every two weeks and has been held for over 120 times, becoming a regular platform and key brand of the CPPCC’s efforts to promote consultative democracy.
Last year, the 13th National Committee of the CPPCC identified a total of 73 key proposals.