Chinese democracy: how it boosts growth and prosperity?

2018-03-16 16:58Xinhua Editor: Gu Liping ECNS App Download

As China is embracing the 40th anniversary of its reform and opening up, the country is also building unprecedented confidence in its own definition and application of "democracy," a word introduced to China about a century ago.

Over the past five years, China's GDP grew to 82.7 trillion yuan (13.1 trillion U.S. dollars) from 54 trillion yuan, increasing its percentage of global GDP from 11.4 percent to 15 percent. About 68 million people in rural areas were lifted out of poverty. Now the country has the world's largest middle-income population.

The success story is largely attributed to political stability and vitality under Chinese democracy, which is being highlighted at the ongoing "two sessions" when lawmakers and political advisors gather in Beijing to discuss the country's development for the following years.[Special coverage]

The National People's Congress (NPC), the highest organ of state power, has made revisions to the Constitution, which will act as a fundamental guarantee for China's modernization drive. It will also elect state leaders and confirm the nomination of state leaders. All these moves run smoothly with due democratic procedures.

This is in sharp contrast to a century ago when the nation began to learn about "democracy," but soon found the Western politics did not work here. Decades of turmoil and civil war followed.

It was after the founding of the People's Republic of China that the country developed its own style of democracy. The first NPC was convened in 1954, marking the establishment of the people's congress system, the platform for democracy where the people exercise state power.

This is a political system fundamental to the leadership of the Communist Party of China (CPC), the running of the country by the people, and law-based governance.


NPC deputy Zhang Xiaoqing suggested at the annual session last year that migrant workers, a group numbering 286.5 million that is vital to China's urbanization drive, should receive unemployment insurance when they lose jobs in cities.

"Farmers leave their families to work for higher salaries in the cities, but many of them face the daily risk of losing their jobs," Zhang said. "We must ensure the bottom line is protected for their life and their families."

She was glad that the suggestion was received well and accepted by the government. The Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security is revising a regulation to give migrant workers the same access to unemployment insurance as urban employees.

For the first time, the central government used the indicator of "surveyed urban unemployment rate" which covers rural migrant workers and other permanent residents, as a projected target.

Zhang was reelected as a deputy to the 13th NPC. "My duty is to speak for the people on every aspect of the country's development," she said.

Over the past five years, NPC deputies have raised more than 41,000 suggestions, mostly focusing on supply-side structural reform, defusing potential major risks, targeted poverty alleviation, and environmental protection, which are crucial to achieving high quality development. All the suggestions have been responded to by the concerned departments.

Once the right to run the country is ensured, the people's creativity can be sparked. Blessed with the strength of more than 1.3 billion people, the nation will have an infinitely vast stage in the world, said Xin Ming, a professor at the Party School of the CPC Central Committee.

As the top legislature, the NPC and its standing committee have played the leading role in lawmaking.

Over the past five years, the top legislature has enacted 25 laws, revised more than 100 laws, and passed 46 decisions or resolutions on legal issues. All these legislative moves focused on key areas of China's development and stability.

NPC Deputy Sun Xianzhong, a law researcher at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, was proud to participate in compiling China's first civil code, a "must-do" to promote the country's rule of law and modernize state governance.

In 2013, he raised a suggestion on revising the 1986 version of the general principles of civil law and compiling a civil code. The suggestion was accepted by the legislature. Last year, the NPC adopted the draft general provisions, a crucial step for China to have a civil code by 2020.

"The move allows the Chinese people to feel more secure about their rights and enjoy more equal development opportunities," Sun said.


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