Last updated at: (Beijing Time) Wednesday, March 03, 2004

CPPCC session to open as scheduled: spokesman

The annual session of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) is to open Wednesday as scheduled, and will be highlighted by a report of thework of the Standing Committee of the 10th CPPCC National Committee, a spokesman said Tuesday.


Press conference for CPPCC (1)
The annual session of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) is to open Wednesday as scheduled, and will be highlighted by a report of thework of the Standing Committee of the 10th CPPCC National Committee, a spokesman said Tuesday.

Chairman Jia Qinglin of the CPPCC National Committee will deliver the report, which used to be done by a vice chairman, for members to deliberate, said Zhang Guoxiang, spokesman for the second session of the 10th CPPCC National Committee.

Briefing journalists of the agenda of the session, which lasts through March 12, Zhang Guoxiang, the members will also hear and deliberate a work report by Vice Chairman Li Meng on the issue of proposals, attend the annual session of the nation's to legislature as observers, and discuss and adopt the amended charter of the CPPCC in addition to a political resolution and other documents of the session.

As of Tuesday's noon, 1,312 of the 2,229 members had registeredfor the session and the Secretariat had received 324 proposals, which mainly dwell on economic affairs, social security, educationand medical care, the spokesman said.

Press conference for CPPCC (2)
Corruption, farmer-related issues and the people's livelihood are also major topics of the proposals, which are what netizens want to be tackled at the upcoming annual sessions of the CPPCC and the National People's Congress, according to an on-line surveyco-launched by xinhuanet.com and the Economic Information newspaper.

During the CPPCC session, said Zhang, journalists are allowed to attend some panel discussions and two press conferences, one onthe old industrial base in northeast China and the other on the private sector.

The CPPCC National Committee members are expected to share their views on a number of hot issues including structural problems in economic operation, the slowdown in the growth of farmers' income, food and drug safety, restructuring of state banks, and the anti-corruption campaign, Zhang said.

During the session, members will also attend a plenary session of the National People's Congress (NPC) to hear explanations on the draft of the amendments to the Constitution as non-voting members, he said.

Constitutional amendments are widely regarded as the most important agenda item of the Second Session of the 10th NPC, which will open on March 5.

Other hot issues on the agenda of both sessions include fighting corruption, increasing farmers' income, helping laid-off workers find jobs, improving social security, protecting the environment as well as coping with land requisition, reports said.

In response to a question raised by a Taiwanese reporter, Zhang said the question of Taiwan is connected to the reunification of the motherland and China's territorial integrity and sovereignty, which draws enormous attention from Chinese at home and abroad. Itwill also be a topic of members.

The CPPCC is a patriotic united front organization of the Chinese people, serving as a key mechanism for multi-party cooperation and political consultation under the leadership of the Communist Party of China.

The main functions of the CPPCC are to conduct political consultation, exercise democratic supervision and participate in the discussion and the handling of state affairs.

Session to amend charter of CPPCC
The CPPCC will also look at amending its Charter. Members have agreed that the important thought of "three represents" and major theoretical principles, ideas and policies set forth by the 16th CPC Congress should be incorporated into the new Charter, Zhang said.

Besides, successful experiences of CPPCC work should be extracted and reflected into the amended Charter while procedure should be further improved and standardized to streamline the CPPCC's role, he said.

"They will also express their suggestions on key issues bearing significance of the overall interest of reform and opening-up in China as well of the common people," he said.

"The existing CPPCC charter is a very good one. The charter's stability should be kept as it, in general, conforms to the requirements of China's reform and opening-up and the socialist modernization drive," said Zheng Wantong, secretary-general of 10th National Committee of the CPPCC.

Meanwhile, amendments to the charter are necessary so it can meet the new tasks confronting the CPPCC, said Zheng at a meeting of standing CPPCC National Committee members on Friday.

Amending the CPPCC charter is an essential matter that influences the system of multi-party co-operation and political consultation under the leadership of the Communist Party of China, he said.

According to Zheng, consequent amendments will be made to the charter in line with amendments to the Constitution, which are set to be discussed during the Second Session of the National People's Congress starting on Friday.

But amending the CPPCC charter is not the only hot issue as more advisers are paying attention to matters affecting every Chinese citizen.

Putting forward proposals is the most direct way that CPPCC members can have in State affairs and in the drafting of national policies.

Since the first session of the 10th National Committee of the CPPCC last year, the CPPCC's proposal committee has received 3,819 proposals, of which 3,576 have been accepted and passed on to more than 150 central and local government departments, as well as societies concerned.

Statistics show that most of the proposals raised by the CPPCC members tackle economic development, science, education, culture, public health and legislation.

By February 20, feedback had been given to 98.8 per cent of the proposals and 83.4 per cent of the problems mentioned in the proposals had been resolved or were on the way to being settled.

Topics touched upon most in these proposals included issues related to farmers, the progress and drawbacks of modernization, economic structure, the reform of commercial banks, food safety, anti-corruption measures, and the growing gap between the rich and the poor.

CPPCC member Liang Chaoran, from the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, said he always gives his attention to the establishment of the social security system in rural areas.

Between August and November last year, 67-year-old Liang, joined by his research panel, conducted a thorough investigation covering more than 20 counties and cities in the region.

"The vast rural area has made great contributions to China's industrialization and urbanization for a long time," said Liang, who drafted a report based on his investigation. "But the wretched economic situation in the rural area has bought forward the realization of the need for social security."

He suggested that: "The establishment of the social security system in the rural area should be put on the agenda during the formation of the social welfare system in China."

Liang was not alone in his concern for the future of farmers.

CPPCC member Xu Yongguang said the increasing marginalization of children of migrant workers, who are mainly farmers -- in terms of education -- will not only produce a new generation of illiterates but also distort their views toward social fairness.

Statistics show that 90 per cent of the 7 million or so children of migrant workers can go to primary schools, but only 20 per cent have the chance to undertake further study.

By People's Daily Online

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