Looking back over the past five years, Ma Yide, a law professor at Zhongnan University of Economics and Law, said the country has made great progress in Party building, legislation and fighting corruption.
On March 11, 2018, a constitutional amendment was adopted at the National People's Congress, the nation's top legislature, stipulating that, "the leadership of the Communist Party of China is the defining feature of socialism with Chinese characteristics".
On March 17, 2018, Xi Jinping was elected Chinese president and chairman of the Central Military Commission. After being elected, Xi took the solemn oath to uphold the Constitution — the first time a Chinese president took a public oath of allegiance to the document upon assuming office.
"The oath showed respect for the law and a strong determination to govern the country by the rule of law," Ma said.
Specific measures to uphold the Constitution actually started to be rolled out after the fourth plenary session of the 18th CPC Central Committee. On Nov 1, 2014, the NPC Standing Committee decided that every Dec 4 would be National Constitution Day.
Since then, various activities related to the Constitution and other laws were conducted across the country around Dec 4 every year, helping the public better understand, respect and abide by laws.
Another breakthrough in the rule of law in recent years was the adoption of the country's first Supervision Law in March 2018 — and the establishment of supervisory commissions across the country — which improved the country's supervisory system and intensified the fight against corruption.
The law stipulates the responsibilities, powers and means of investigating by supervisory commissions. Shuanggui, an intraparty disciplinary practice that requires a Party member to cooperate with questioning at a designated place and time, was scrapped.
Ruan said the new supervisory system serves as an important institutional tool to realize law-based governance and modernize State governance.
"It prevents supervisory commissions from abusing power, and protects the legitimate rights of people under investigation," he said.
Ruan said that in the past year, half or even more of the trainings and lessons he has given to supervisory commission officials have focused on the Supervision Law and its relevant laws, such as the Criminal Law and the Criminal Procedure Law.
"Awareness of them has been on the rise," he said.
Apart from the Supervision Law, the country has also adopted a large number of new laws and amended many others in the past five years.
Ma, also a national legislator, has participated in the creation of some of the new laws including the E-commerce Law and Foreign Investment Law.
"Our legislation has focused more on regulating the market, improving governance capacity and strengthening security, the environment and livelihoods," he said.
For example, the NPC revised the Environmental Protection Law and the Air Pollution Prevention Law and passed the Soil Pollution Prevention Law over the past five years.
Yang Weidong, a law professor at the Chinese Academy of Governance, said accomplishments in advancing the rule of law in recent years will contribute to the country's future development in various aspects.
The rule of law and the main theme of the ongoing meeting are inseparable, and they complement one another, he said.
Yang Xiaojun, another law professor at the academy, said, "I'm looking forward to seeing more specifics of advancing law-based governance discussed or issued at the plenary.