Deputies attend the third plenary meeting of the Fifth Session of the 11th National People's Congress (NPC) at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, capital of China, March 9, 2012. Photo:Xinhua
There will be a decrease in the proportion of deputies to the 12th National People's Congress (NPC) who are leaders from the Communist Party of China (CPC) or government officials, according to a draft decision submitted to the ongoing annual legislative sessions. It is widely seen as major democratic progress within China's political system. Public opinions are sure to exert more profound influence in State affairs and social governing.
The draft decision reflects detailed efforts to reform the nation's political system. Once again, it demonstrates that reform is feasible in China and that people are embracing advancement instead of stagnation.
Top-down decisions from State leaders have been vital for China's reform and opening-up over the last three decades. Concentration of national resources for massive projects proved to be a successful practice. However, during recent years amid economic and social restructuring, public and media opinions carry more weight in the nation's decision making. It is reasonable to acknowledge such a trend in China's political system.
Consequently, social management will gradually feel the impact brought by the reform on legislators' representation. Those at the elite and grassroots levels are to be drawn closer together, making the government more sensitive to the people's needs. Meanwhile, public requests and opinions will be further diversified. The government is therefore advised to adjust its focus and the way it leads to accommodate to changes.
The implementation of such reform will have a broad implication, which is that much attention of reform endeavors will be diverted to cater to public expectations for progress in certain areas or for certain groups of people.
National planning and development targets used to serve as a form of cohesiveness in China, but their powers have waned. Notions of individualism and social interests groups are on the rise. Chinese society is becoming increasingly complex, and the legislative body is catching up with these changes.
Diversity and complexity that have emerged shall translate into increased flexibility and vitality essential for the country's development.
More forces shall participate in shaping social cohesiveness, as the government cannot do it alone. Currently, social forces are more committed to exposing problems and less active in banding together to resolve them. Social restructuring and openness will be only half achieved if this situation does not improve in the future.