Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference
The Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) is an organization of the patriotic united front of the Chinese people. It is an important organization of multi-party cooperation and political consultation under the leadership of the CPC. It is composed of the CPC, other political parties, mass organizations, different ethnic groups and representative public personages from all walks of life, representatives of compatriots of Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macao as well as of returned overseas Chinese and other specially invited people.
The system of multi-party cooperation andpolitical consultation under the leadership of the CPC is a basic political system in China. China is a country of many ethnic groups and many political parties. Before the state adopts important measures or makes decisions on issues having a bearing on the national economy and the people's livelihood, full consultation among representative figures from different quarters is conducted in order to strengthen the unity and cooperation among various ethnic groups, political parties, different walks of life in the society and personages without affiliation with any political parties so as to push forward the development of socialist construction. Ever since the founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949, many major issues concerning economic construction, political life, social life and the united front have gone through consultation in the CPPCC. Such consultation may take the form of full discussion and repeated exchanges of opinions so that the policies, regulations and laws taken by the state are adequate and well-prepared, in conformity with the demands and wishes of the great majority of the people and in due respect to the rational ideas of the minority. The practice of consultation before decisions are made is an important characteristics and advantage of the socialist democratic system in China.
The Constitution of China stipulates that the system of multi-party cooperation and political consultation shall continue to exist and develop. The CPPCC, an important organizational form of this basic system, will further play a significant role in the political and social life in China and its friendly exchanges with foreign countries, the modernization drive, maintaining the integrity of the country and strengthening the unity among all ethnic groups.
According to the charter of the CPPCC, its major functions are to conduct political consultation and exercise democratic supervision, organize its members from various non-CPC political parties, mass organizations and public personages from all walks of life to take part in the discussion and management of state affairs.
Political consultation covers socialist material and spiritual construction, the building of a socialist democratic legal system, important policies and planning of the reform and opening up program, reports on the work of the government, national financial and fiscal budget, economic and social development planning, major issues in political life in the country, drafting of major national laws, candidates for the state proposed by the Central Committee of the CPC, changes in the administrative division at the provincial level, major policies in foreign affairs, major policies in regard to the unification of the motherland, major issues involving people's livelihood, affairs of common interest of the political parties, important affairs of the CPPCC and important issues in regard to the patriotic united front.
Political consultation takes the forms of plenary sessions, standing committees and meetings of the chairmen of the National Committee of the CPPCC, discussion meetings of Standing Committee of the CPPCC, special committee meetings of the CPC, consultation meetings participated by people of various political parties, representative public personages without political party affiliation, mass organizations, ethnic minorities and patriotic figures from different walks of life and activities of local people's political consultative conferences at various levels.
Democratic supervision covers such areas as the implementation of the Constitution, laws and regulations of the state, implementation of major policies formulated by the CPC Central Committee and the state, the implementation of the national economic and social development plans and financial budget, conduct of duties, law observance, and honesty of state organs and their staff, the execution of decisions and regulations of the CPPCC on the part of its units and individuals.
Democratic supervision takes the forms of plenary sessions, standing committees and meetings of the chairmen of the National Committee of the CPPCC, discussion meetings of Standing Committee members of the CPPCC, special committee meetings of the CPC, consultation meetings participated by people from various political parties, representative public personages without political party affiliation, mass organizations, ethnic minorities and patriotic figures from different walks of life and activities of local people's political consultative conferences at various levels.
All political parties and mass organizations that support the charter of the CPPCC may sit on the National Committee or local committees, upon agreement by the National Committee or local committees after deliberation.
Individuals, invited by the National Committee or the standing committees of local committees, may also become members of the National Committee or local committees.
Units or individuals who have joined the CPPCC have the obligation to observe and implement the charter of the CPPCC. They have the freedom to withdraw from the CPPCC.
The relationship between the National Committee and local committees and between higher level committees and lower level committees is one of guidance.
Local committees have the obligation to observe and carry out national decisions adopted by the National Committee and lower level committees have the obligation to observe and carry out regional decisions adopted by the higher level committees.
The National Committee serves for a term of five years and holds a plenary session once every year.
The National Committee has a chairman, vice chairmen and secretary-general. Its Standing Committee presides over the work of the National Committee.
The Standing Committee is composed of the chairman, vice chairmen, secretary-general and members. Candidacy of members to the Standing Committee is proposed by political parties, mass organizations, and people representing various walks of life of the CPPCC, and elected by the plenary session of the National Committee. The chairman of the National Committee presides over the work of the Standing Committee and vice chairmen and secretary-general assist the chairman in his (her) work.
The meeting of the chairmen is composed of the chairman, vice chairmen and secretary-general and deals with the important aspects of the day-to-day work of the Standing Committee.
The National Committee has several vice secretaries-general to assist the secretary-general in his (her) work.
The National Committee operates a general affairs office which conducts its work under the leadership of the secretary-general. The CPPCC National Committee also sets up a number of special committees and other working organs in accordance with the actual need of its work. The special committees, under the leadership of the Standing Committee and the meeting of the chairmen, organize CPPCC members to engage in regular activities. Each special committee consists of a chairman, vice chairmen and members. The CPPCC National Committee has nine special committees: the proposals handling committee, the economic affairs committee, the population, resources and environment committee, the education, science, culture, health and sports committee, the social and legal affairs committee, ethnic and religious affairs committee, the cultural and historical data committee, the Hong Kong, Macao, Taiwan and overseas Chinese liaison committee, and the foreign affairs committee. The People's Political Consultation News, established in 1983 and published in six issues a week with a circulation of 200,000 copies each issue, is the organ newspaper of the CPPCC National Committee.
The CPPCC is actively engaged in exchanges with foreign countries for the purpose of strengthening the friendship with people in foreign countries. It has established friendly contacts with 105 national organizations in various countries and 4 international organizations.
Local committees of the CPPCC at various levels serve a term of five years. The way of organization, responsibilities and the setup of major working bodies of local committees and their standing committees are the same as the National Committee.
1. Special Committees
The proposals handling committee, the economic affairs committee, the population, resources and environment committee, the education, science, culture, health and sports committee, the social and legal affairs committee, ethnic and religious affairs committee, the cultural and historical data committee, the Hong Kong, Macao, Taiwan and overseas Chinese liaison committee, and the foreign affair committee.
2. The General Affairs Office of the CPPCC National Committee
According to the Organization Law of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference: "The units to take part in each session of the plenary session of the CPPCC are decided through consultation within the previous CPPCC; "When the plenary session is not in session, a National Committee is set up." The units that take part in the 10th CPPCC National Committee (34):
- The CPC
Representatives from the cultural and art circles, the fields of science, technology, social science, economics, agriculture, education, physical culture, journalism, publishing, medicine, social welfare, religion, and among ethnic minorities and the circle of friendship with foreign countries; and
Specially invited people from Hong Kong, Macao and other specially invited personage.