At present, there are 2.8 million deputies to the people's congresses at all levels nationwide, says a white paper on Building of Political Democracy in China, issued by the Information Office of the State Council on Wednesday.
They are from various ethnic groups, trades, social strata and political parties and are therefore highly representative, the white paper said.
The white paper said China has adopted a unicameral parliamentary system based on its national conditions, rather than the bicameral system instituted in Western countries.
The Chinese Constitution stipulates: the NPC of the PRC is the highest organ of state power. In China, all administrative, judicial and procuratorial organs of the state are created by the people's congresses to which they are responsible and by which they are supervised. All major issues of the state are decided by the people's congresses. The administrative organs are responsible for implementing the laws, resolutions and decisions adopted by the people's congresses. The courts and procuratorates exercise their respective powers of jurisdiction and prosecution independently, in line with the stipulations of the law, free from interference by any administrative authority, social organization or individual.
The NPC and the local people's congresses at various levels are established through democratic elections. They are responsible to the people and subject to their supervision. The Chinese Constitution states that all citizens who have reached the age of 18 have the right to vote and stand for election, regardless of ethnic status, race, sex, occupation, family background, religious belief, education, property status or length of residence, except for persons deprived of political rights in accordance with the law.
The deputies to the local people's congresses at county and township levels are elected directly by the electors. Over the years, the population that has enjoyed the right to vote and stand for election has accounted for more than 99 percent of the number of citizens at or above the age of 18, and the ratio of participation in elections has been around 90 percent.
Due to China's realities, the deputies to the people's congresses above the county level are elected indirectly, that is, by the people's congress at the immediately lower level. A competitive election system is adopted in both direct and indirect elections in accordance with the law. The electors and the electoral units have the power to recall or replace deputies they have elected according to the procedures prescribed by law.