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Land acquisitions, house demolition most targeted areas in public complaints
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08:04, September 20, 2007

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Public complaints in China have centered on land acquisitions in rural areas and evictions from residential areas in the cities, said Wednesday's People's Daily, the official newspaper of the Communist Party.

China's top complaints department and local governments have settled more than three million complaints that were related to land acquisitions, housing demolitions and resettlement over the past three years, enterprise reforms and environmental pollution, the newspaper said.

In the late 1970s, most complaints were left over from the Cultural Revolution (1966-76), when victims of the campaign sought redress, while in the 1980s complaints were more related to economic issues.

It was a centuries-old tradition for desperate Chinese to travel to the capital to seek intervention by higher authorities in disputes. After the Communist Party of China (CPC) came to power in 1949, a nationwide petition-handling system was established to guarantee this right.

Since the convening of the 16th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) in 2002, the central government has worked out a series of measures to improve work on handling complains, which is part of its drive to build a harmonious society.

Senior leaders including Chinese President Hu Jintao have made more than 600 writing comments and instructions on the handling of public complaints to guide the work since 2002, according to the newspaper.

China publicized revised regulations on petitions on in 2005, aiming to step up the protection of petitioners' rights and penalize those who fail to solve people's complaints, the newspaper said.

Chinese people are finding new ways of having their voices heard by government, according to the newspaper.

Apart from visiting the central complaints bureau and its subsidiaries across China, people can now file complaints through the "internet petition" network being built across China and hotline services of specially assigned telephones number 12345.

The newspaper also said the government has become more efficient in handling complaints as in the past three years, government offices at county level and above has settled more than 95 percent of the complaints they received in the same year.

Source: Xinhua

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