Flags at the Tian'anmen Square and atop the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, March 5, 2019. (Xinhua/Yang Zongyou)
The State Council's executive meeting chaired by Premier Li Keqiang on Wednesday adopted plans for government departments to consider the views and suggestions of national legislators and political advisors during this year's two sessions.
The third annual session of the 13th National People's Congress (NPC), the country's top legislature, will open on May 22 in Beijing, as was decided and announced at the recent session of the NPC Standing Committee on April 29. The third annual session of the 13th National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, the nation's top political advisory body, will start on May 21.
"It is highly important for the government to readily subject itself to public oversight in line with statutory procedures, and heed the views and proposals by national legislators and political advisors during this year's two sessions. The special background this year makes consensus-building all the more necessary, and particularly important for firming up our confidence in advancing development," Li said.
The Wednesday meeting noted that each year heads of the State Council departments would sit in or observe the meetings of national legislators and political advisors during the two sessions to hear and address their views and suggestions on the government work. This reflects the government's readiness to subject itself to public oversight, and is also an integral part of government efforts to build public consensus and advance sound and democratic decision-making.
The highly complex and challenging situation this year requires that the government do more to pool the wisdom and strength of national legislators and political advisors, and translate their views and suggestions into policy measures to overcome difficulties and improve government performance.
Given the need for continued COVID-19 containment, the meeting called for adopting new ways for taking in views and suggestions of national legislators and political advisors, including via video-link, phone calls and the internet. These views and suggestions would help the government to learn more about the situation on the ground, especially the hopes of market players and the general public.
"National legislators and political advisors are broadly representative as they come from across the country and all walks of life. They provide an important channel for the government to learn more about the conditions of the people and their expectations. Given this year's containment requirements, we must develop new ways to hear their views," Li said.
Based on this year's arrangements for the annual sessions, the meeting decided that officials of government departments concerned will attend through video link the break-out sessions of NPC deputies to deliberate on the government work report. The departments are required to study carefully and provide feedback to the views and suggestions within their respective purview.
The meeting directed each government department to set up a special task force headed by its leading official and a hot-line for national legislators and political advisors operated by designated staff members. Content of these calls should be duly taken down and the subject matters addressed and responded to before the two sessions close.
The State Council General Office is required to comb through the minutes of the meetings of national legislators and political advisors and carefully study all the views and suggestions concerning the government work. Where actions are called for, the General Office should swiftly bring the relevant issues to the attention of the competent departments, and see to it that replies are made.
The meeting urged government departments to promptly address matters of extensive concern to the general public. These measures and the careful handling of the proposals of national legislators and political advisors will help make government work more effective and responsive to public concerns.
"The government must not let changes in the format be a hindrance to its heeding the views and suggestions from national legislators and political advisors," Li stressed.