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China Focus: China amends laws to highlight "whole-process democracy"
Posted: March-11-2021Adjust font size:

BEIJING, March 11 (Xinhua) -- The National People's Congress (NPC), China's top legislature, Thursday adopted the amendments to two laws that concern its organization and working procedures, with "whole-process democracy" being written into law for the first time in the country's legislative history.

"The NPC and its standing committee shall uphold 'whole-process democracy,' maintain close ties with the people, solicit people's advice and suggestions, fully express the will of the people and safeguard people's rights and interests," according to a provision added to the amendment to the NPC organic law.

The "whole-process democracy" is described by Wang Chen, vice chairman of the NPC Standing Committee, as "a hallmark of socialist democracy that distinguishes it from various capitalist democratic systems."

Socialist democracy runs through all processes including elections, decision-making, administration and supervision. All major legislative decision-making is procedure-based and follows democratic deliberations, experts say.

The amendments, drafted under the instructions of Xi Jinping Thought on the Rule of Law, fully embody "whole-process democracy" in their revisions based on existing effective practices in legislative processes.

The amendment to the NPC procedural rules stipulates that the NPC Standing Committee may make the legislative bills and their explanations public to seek opinions for no less than 30 days before submitting them to NPC sessions for deliberation.

It has been decades for the NPC Standing Committee to make legislative bills available for public comments. The codification of the practice has further cemented democracy in the process of legislative decision-making, according to experts.

In recent years, legislative outreach offices at local levels have been established across the country, making it more convenient for the public to reach lawmakers both at national and local levels.

Lawmakers also elevated into law several procedures that make NPC sessions more open to the public for better democratic supervision.

For example, spokespersons shall be arranged for meetings of NPC sessions, and delegations of NPC deputies may appoint their own spokespersons if necessary, says the amendment to the NPC procedural rules.

The plenary meetings of NPC annual sessions may also be broadcast via radio, television and the internet, it says, making the event more accessible to the public.

Explaining the draft amendments to fellow lawmakers on the first day of the NPC session, Wang said amending the two laws is an institutional guarantee for upholding "whole-process democracy" and safeguarding the people's role as masters of the country. 

Source: XinhuaEditor:
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