China’s consultative democracy full of dynamism

Photo taken on Sept. 14, 2020, shows representatives of the CPC committee in Lianyungang city, east China’s Jiangsu province, and members of the Lianyungang municipal committee of the CPPCC discussing solutions to environmental issues with fishermen on a boat. (Photo by Zhu Xianming/People’s Daily Online)

Committees of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), an important means of promoting socialist democracy in China, have constantly expanded the participation in political consultation and formed a new pattern of political consultation that features multiple channels, extensive coverage, and greater flexibility and convenience.

Upholding consultative democracy in the whole process of the performance of their functions, CPPCC committees have set their agendas according to the key tasks of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and the country, and put forward constructive opinions and suggestions after in-depth investigations and analyses over the past year.

On Sept. 24, 2020, a political consultative conference was held simultaneously both online and offline at four different venues including a venue in an organ of the CPPCC National Committee and the other three in east China’s Zhejiang province, south China’s Guangdong province, and southwest China’s Sichuan province respectively.

A total of 11 members of the national, provincial, municipal, and county committees of the CPPCC and a grassroots resident expressed their opinions and made suggestions at the conference, which focused on the establishment of a housing system that encourages both housing purchases and rentals to speed up the sound development of the rental market.

Among these CPPCC members, there were experts, scholars, as well as representatives of real estate enterprises and agencies and tenants. Relevant government departments responded to their opinions and suggestions immediately at the conference.

The internet-based remote consultative conference epitomized the continuous efforts of the CPPCC National Committee to diversify the forms of political consultation.

Remote consultative conferences give better play to the unique advantages and functions of various consultation platforms, said CPPCC members attending the political consultative conference held on Sept. 24, 2020, noting that these conferences feature extensive participation, real-time response, and good interactions, and can enable participants to have in-depth and detailed discussions.

In recent years, the National Committee of the CPPCC has tapped into the advantages of the internet to effectively improve the efficiency of political consultation, thus injecting fresh vigor and vitality into the work of the CPPCC committees at various levels.

Last December, a draft of consultative work rules of the CPPCC National Committee was deliberated and adopted at the 47th Chairperson’s Council meeting held by the 13th National Committee of the CPPCC.

The draft, which includes provisions covering such aspects of political consultation as main contents, forms, carriers, scope of participation, principles of discussion, and basic procedures, is of great significance for improving the implementation mechanism for the consultations before decision-making and during the implementation of decisions.

Biweekly consultation session is one of the important forms of democratic consultation of the CPPCC. It is a consultation platform where CPPCC members have discussions and exchange ideas regularly with officials of the central government and state organs in China on major and key issues concerning the country. The session taking place every two weeks has become a highlight of the CPPCC’s efforts to promote consultative democracy.

In an effort to better build consensus among the country’s political advisors, China launched a mobile platform that allows members of the CPPCC National Committee to conduct consultations and deliberations online.

Consultations of various forms are conducted in the country in flexible ways, such as consultations on special issues with those who work on these issues, with representatives from all sectors of society, and with relevant government authorities on the handling of proposals.

Consultative symposiums on issues concerning agriculture, rural areas and farmers held between CPPCC members and experts and officials who are familiar with these issues have gradually become a signature of the CPPCC.

During a group discussion of the 12th meeting of the Standing Committee of the 13th CPPCC National Committee, the CPPCC National Committee extended its political consultation to the front line of the country’s fight against poverty via video link and realized interactions between CPPCC members in the meeting room and poverty fighters who joined the discussion via online means, a fresh practice in the history of the meetings of the Standing Committee of the CPPCC National Committee.

County-level CPPCC committees across the country have established consultation platforms for grassroots residents, in a bid to facilitate democratic consultation on issues concerning people’s livelihood, including key tasks of local Party committees and governments, difficulties in people’s production and life, as well as hotspot issues in social governance.

In regions including east China’s Jiangsu province and Guangdong province, CPPCC committees conduct consultations on issues concerning core interests of residents in villages, communities, as well as enterprises and public institutions, gathering people’s opinions on key minor matters that have great influence on people’s livelihood.

By listening to the voices of grassroots residents, CPPCC committees have truly practiced the principle of consultation with the people and for the people, and eventually turned the results of consultative democracy into tangible governance results.

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