Second, during the process of formulating important legislation such as the Law on Oversight, the Law on Property Rights and the Enterprise Bankruptcy Law, we adopted a cautious attitude in considering the major issues involved in the drafts and the different views on those issues. We constantly maintained the proper political orientation, continued to put people first and continued to proceed from the conditions and realities of China. We recognized the need for thorough surveys and studies, patient negotiation and full discussion, and carefully listened to the comments of concerned departments, members of the general public, experts and scholars to reach a basic consensus and create the right conditions to submit the drafts for deliberation and put them to the vote, so that the final versions of the laws would conform to the conditions and realities of China and stand the test of time. Every time a draft law was deliberated, the members of the Standing Committee and non-voting participants in the meeting showed a keen sense of responsibility, took into consideration all the facts, spoke out freely, held full discussion of all the details and constantly improved the draft law.
Over the past year, the Standing Committee also formulated the Law on the Quality and Safety of Farm Products, the Passport Law and the sixth revision to the Criminal Law. It also passed a resolution concerning strengthening education and publicity to increase public awareness of the law and a decision authorizing the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region to manage the Hong Kong Port Area in the Shenzhen Bay Port. Finally, it deliberated the drafts for the Law on Response to Emergencies, the Law on Labor Contracts, the Employment Promotion Law, the Antitrust Law and the Anti-Drug Law.
II. Further achievements were made in oversight work.
There were two prominent features in last year's oversight work of the Standing Committee. First, the Standing Committee focused its oversight on the major issues that have a bearing on the overall interests of reform, development and stability, elicit widespread concern in society, or affect social harmony. Second, the Standing Committee carried out thorough oversight through various means including the hearing and deliberation of work reports on special subjects as well as investigations of compliance with the law. Last year the Standing Committee heard, deliberated and approved eight work reports on special subjects from the State Council, the Supreme People's Court and the Supreme People's Procuratorate and investigated the implementation of 12 laws. The State Council, the Supreme People's Court and the Supreme People's Procuratorate attached great importance to the comments and suggestions of the Standing Committee, actively adopted measures to improve their work and made new achievements.
Oversight work was centered on efforts to build a new socialist countryside. Solving the problems related to agriculture, rural areas and farmers and building a new socialist countryside is a long, arduous historic task. The Standing Committee has always been concerned about work related to agriculture, rural areas and farmers. On the basis of three consecutive years of oversight in this area, the Standing Committee last year followed up compliance with the Agriculture Law, the Land Administration Law and the Law on Rural Land Contracts. Three suggestions were consequently made concerning major problems in work related to agriculture, rural areas and farmers.
First, while continuing to increase budgetary support, we need to make a very strong effort to solve financing problems in rural areas.
Second, we need to shift the focus of infrastructure development toward rural areas to concentrate on solving pressing problems such as the need for more roads, methane facilities and water supplies.
Third, we need to shift the focus of social programs toward rural areas to resolve the practical difficulties that rural residents have obtaining proper medical treatment, sending their children to school and receiving social security benefits.
The State Council carefully considered the comments and suggestions of the Standing Committee. Thanks to the concerted efforts of all sides, China's grain output steadily increased and rural per capita net income grew more than 6% per annum three years in a row. Rural infrastructure and rural working and living conditions also continued to improve. The building of a new socialist countryside is now well underway. (More)