China improves social management through grassroots democracy

09:18, June 16, 2011      

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When farmers from the village of Xinshi in China's southwestern city of Zunyi finally reached an agreement concerning the renovation of the village's main road, new concerns about compensation quickly replaced the farmers' previous contentions.

"The majority of the villagers preferred to have the road completely rebuilt. By doing that, the farmers didn't have to give up as much land," said Che Desheng, the secretary of the Xinshi village committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC).

Villagers then worked out a compensation plan at a collective consultation meeting, a popular practice championed by local farmers in the remote villages of this land-locked province of Guizhou.

The meetings, attended by village Party officials, Party members and representatives for the farmers, have proved to be an effective way for villagers to resolve problems and conflicts.

Village officials are obliged to respond to villagers' inquiries and take immediate actions to address villagers' concerns through these meetings.

The meetings used to be held biannually. However, the meetings are now held from the 26th to the 28th every month, as they have increased in popularity for their efficiency and transparency in addressing public concerns, according to Che.

"Villagers make decisions for themselves here," said Che.

Regular meetings between Party officials and farmers have strengthened bonds between them and ensured that farmers are knowledgeable of the latest government policies, said Xu Caizhong, Party chief of Yuquan Township, which administers the village of Xinshi.
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Source: Xinhua
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