This year marks the 70th anniversary of the People’s Republic of China
Over the past decades, the country has risen from shambles into the world’s second-largest economy.
It now has the world's biggest middle-income population and it's the largest contributor to global economic development.
It's widely acknowledged that a key to China's success is its system of democracy, which results in political stability and vitality.
You might need an encyclopedia to thoroughly understand the system, but you can see how the Chinese democracy works by following an annual event that takes place in Beijing -- the "Two Sessions.”
The “Two Sessions” are the annual meetings of the country’s top legislature, the NPC, and top political advisory body, the CPPCC National Committee.
In Chinese, democracy is called Min Zhu and it means that "the people are the masters of the country."
But how exactly does China’s democratic system work and how can its people's voices be heard? Let’s check it out.
Shen Jilan from Shanxi is a lifelong farmer And China’s longest serving national lawmaker
In the early years after new China’s founding, Shen proposed "equal pay for equal work" between men and women.
The clause was written into the country’s first Constitution when the NPC held its inaugural session in 1954.
Yao Ming, an NBA Hall of Famer, is a CPPCC National Committee member.
In 2014, Yao suggested the government scrap unreasonable administrative approval procedures to benefit competition organizers. Yao’s suggestion was later turned into government measures as the country is determined to turn the sports industry into an $800 billion sector by 2025.
The idea that migrant workers in cities should receive unemployment insurance was proposed by Zhang Xiaoqing during the annual session(2016). Zhang, a migrant worker and an NPC deputy, saw her suggestion come to fruition in the same year, which benefits tens of millions of migrant workers.
SOUNDBITE: ZHANG XIAOQING, Worker at Sunward Intelligent Equipment Group/NPC deputy
I'm so happy and gratified that our migrant workers can get the attention of the government.
These figures are only three of tens of thousands of national legislators or political advisors.
China’s NPC deputies and top political advisors work pro bono. They have full-time jobs in addition to participating in political affairs.
To fulfill their duties, the lawmakers and advisors spend countless hours gathering the opinions and expectations of the people that they represent.
全国人大代表 赵皖平 :
SOUNDBITE: ZHAO WANPING, Vice-President of Anhui Academy of Agricultural Sciences/ NPC deputy
According to my memory, I spent two thirds of a year out in the fields, not in my office.
SOUNDBITE: CHAI SHANSHAN, Courier at China Post Shanghai Bureau/NPC deputy
Even on my way to work, whenever I encountered deliverymen, I would stop and talk with them, to learn more about them. This is important for us to perform our duties of an NPC deputy.
From 2013 through 2017, deputies raised more than 41,000 suggestions.
SOUNDBITE: GUO XIAOQIN, Guangming Village Party Chief in Guidong, Hunan/NPC deputy
During this year’s NPC session, I will make motions regarding green growth and reinvigorating rural culture.
SOUNDBITE: Xiao SoDhon, CPPCC National Committee member from Tibet
I’ve brought the proposal is about college graduates returning to their hometowns to build startups.
CPPCC National Committee member
Vice Chairman of China National Democratic Construction Association
I suggested at the very beginning that
China should build free trade zone in Shanghai. That was in 2012 and, in 2013, I put forward the proposal at the "two sessions."
SOUNDBITE: HU XIAOYAN, Deputy Chairman of Sanshui District Trade Union in Foshan/NPC deputy from 2008 to 2012
The tenure of an NPC deputy lasts five years, but the responsibility lasts a lifetime. I put forward 20 proposals, and when I reflect on them, each proposal was fairly responded to.
Each of China’s national lawmakers and political advisors has a story to tell.
NPC deputies and CPPCC National Committee members consist of top leaders, renowned economists, entrepreneurs, artists, sportsmen and representatives from all walks of life.
As President Xi Jinping said, "Democracy is not a decoration, but a means of solving problems.
China’s People’s Congress system, and multiparty cooperation and political consultation, are different from other systems. the people as masters of the country is the essence and core of socialist democracy
s national lawmakers and political advisors gather in Beijing this March for their annual sessions, we’ll be looking forward to hearing people's stories and learning whether or not their expectations were met.