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Students get close-up view of democracy

By Du Juan, Li Hongyang and Cao Zinan | China Daily | Updated: 2020-01-14 07:21
Students sit in on the third session of the 13th Beijing Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference on Jan 10, 2020. [Photo by Wei Tong/For China Daily]

Nine teenagers sit in on meetings at CPPCC Beijing Committee's session

Political advisers in Beijing invited nine students to observe their annual session, which kicked off on Friday, in a move intended to help the youngsters gain a deeper understanding of the country's political system and cultivate their sense of social responsibility.

The third session of the 13th Beijing Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference opened on Friday with more than 700 political advisers in attendance.

At the opening ceremony, a group of teenagers-seven from high school and two from college-drew a great deal of attention from committee members.

The nine students will observe this year's CPPCC Beijing Committee session through to its close on Wednesday, sitting in on panel discussions and even meetings to review proposals.

There were only two "model CPPCC participants" when student attendance was first allowed in 2016.

Zhang Yi, a member of the CPPCC Beijing Committee, said it was important to help young people understand and approve of the country's system of governance so they will carry it out with "China wisdom" when they become adults.

"The CPPCC is a big 'school' and 'classroom' that is worth learning," she said. "The city's model CPPCC will bring more advisers to participate in future."

Li Jisen, a 17-year-old from Beijing 101 Middle School, was excited to attend this year's session as an observer for the first time.

"I only read about this political system in textbooks before, but now I can directly see and feel the system and democracy with Chinese characteristics in action," he said.

He brought along a simulated proposal suggesting companies set up platforms for students to experience different occupations.

Last year, Li participated in the model political consultative conference at his school, an optional course of about 90 minutes a week. During the course, students pretend to be members of the CPPCC and learn how to find problems in society and write proposals.

"After taking the course, I realized how strong a democracy our country has," Li said. "We really find and solve social problems through discussions and making proposals.

"I hope that in future, my model proposals can be received and accepted by members of the committee of the CPPCC."

The course was initiated by the CPPCC Beijing Committee in 2016 and has been held across the capital.

According to the committee, more than 500 teachers and 14,000 students from 364 schools in the capital have participated in model CPPCC practice.

More than 50 proposals from students have been submitted to the CPPCC Beijing Committee and even the National Committee of the CPPCC.

A simulated proposal from students at Beijing 101 Middle School on setting up a mechanism for book transfers from urban schools to rural ones was revised by the CPPCC Beijing Committee and became a formal proposal in 2018.

Bi Wenrui, a politics teacher at Beijing University of Chemical Technology, said the model CPPCC greatly inspired his students.

"After teaching the model political consultative conference course, I found that these students are more interested in the country's political system and policies in general than older students," he said.

They wanted to participate in politics, and many students would like to relate their professional backgrounds to their proposals, like those about air pollution and new energy vehicles, Bi added.

"Thus, this model conference can also motivate them to study hard at their own major," he said.

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