Multi-Party Cooperation and Political Consultation

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The multi-party cooperation and political consultation under the leadership of the Communist Party of China (CPC) is a basic political system in China.

The system means that the CPC is the only party in power in the People’s Republic of China while under the precondition of accepting the leadership of the CPC, the other eight political parties participate in the discussion and management of state affairs, in cooperation with the CPC.

Political consultation means that under the leadership of the CPC, all parties, mass organizations and representatives from all sectors of society take part in consultations of the country’s basic policies and important issues in political, economic, cultural and social affairs before a decision is adopted and in the discussion of major issues in the implementation of the decisions. Political consultation is the most important political and organization form of the multi-party and political consultation system.

Cooperative relations between the CPC and the other political parties are based on the principle of “long-term coexistence and mutual supervision, treating each other with full sincerity and sharing weal and woe.”

Multi-party cooperation and political consultation (http://www.china.org.cn/features/political/2006-11/08/content_1029034.htm) take two principal forms: (1) The Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) (http://www.china.org.cn/features/state_structure/node_1064415.htm) (http://english.gov.cn/2008-03/13/content_923072.htm); (2) consultative conferences and forums participated in by people from non-Communist parties and democrats without party affiliation at the invitation of the CPC Central Committee and local Party committees. The CPPCC is neither a state organ nor an ordinary civic organization. It is a widely representative, patriotic united front organization of the Chinese people. It has a National Committee and provincial (autonomous regional and municipal) and county (city) level local committees. The CPPCC National Committee consists of representatives of the CPC, non-Communist parties, democrats without party affiliation, mass organizations, ethnic minorities and other social strata, compatriots from Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macao, returned overseas Chinese, and specially invited individuals. The CPPCC is elected for a term of five years. In addition to attending a plenary session of the CPPCC once a year, CPPCC National Committee members are invited to attend the NPC and fully air their views as non-voting delegates, so as to exercise the functions of political consultation, democratic supervision and participation in the deliberation and administration of state affairs. When the committee is not in session, special activities for the committee members are organized, including inspection tours of various localities. Consultative discussions are held on significant issues relating to major state policies, the people’s livelihood and united front work. Democratic supervision is exercised over the work of state organs and the fulfillment of the Constitution and laws through the offering of opinions, proposals and criticisms. Once a year, leaders of the CPC Central Committee invite leaders of the non-Communist parties and representatives of democrats without party affiliation to consultation meetings; forums are held every other month. The former focuses on major state policies, the latter on exchange of information, receiving policy proposals and discussing special issues.