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Xinhua Insight: Migrant workers make group debut at CPC congress


21:35, November 07, 2012

BEIJING, Nov. 7 (Xinhua) -- Ren Xiaoyuan left his village for Beijing 16 years ago and has been working as a janitor ever since. His garbage truck passes by the Great Hall of the People nearly every day.

But he never expected to enter the building as a deputy to China's most important political meeting in five years, the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC), which opens on Thursday.

"It seems like it's not something that could even happen to me. It's just surreal. I had a similar feeling when I first arrived in Beijing," said Ren.

Ren is one of 26 migrant worker deputies to the CPC congress. They only account for 1.14 percent of all deputies but represent the country's 250 million migrant workers. The migrant workers will also be making their first appearance as a group at the meeting, as previous congresses featured only several migrant worker deputies.

As deputies, each of the 26 migrant workers will hold an equal vote with other deputies in electing a new CPC Central Committee and other matters.

"Being a migrant worker deputy means being recognized for our contributions to the country," Ren said.

Ren admitted that the pressure of the meeting is significantly greater than the problems he usually deals with in his line of work. He said he is determined to grasp the principles of a political report that President Hu Jintao, who is also general secretary of the CPC Central Committee, will deliver on Thursday.

In 2008, three migrant workers were elected to the National People's Congress, China's top legislature. Zhu Lijia, a professor with the National Academy of Administration, said their election demonstrated a trend in political development, referring to the increasing representation of grass-roots people in politics.

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