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Public gets say in decision-making process

By Mo Jingxi | China Daily | Updated: 2021-03-05 09:12
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As a reporter, I've interviewed many people, from the Ugandan president to tea farmers in remote mountainous areas.

One of my interviewees was a vlogger with disabilities, and most of her videos were about how she went out in a wheelchair by herself.

Two years ago, one of her videos that shared her experience taking a high-speed train by herself aroused my interest to talk with her.

Before seeing that video, I never knew the aisles between business-class seats, the most expensive ones, would be too narrow for wheelchairs to get through, and that there is only one barrier-free restroom at the juncture of certain carriages on a high-speed train.

I admired her for speaking out about the needs of her group and encouraging them to bravely go out by themselves, thus demanding the improvement of public facilities for people with disabilities.

Last year, she experienced accessible bus facilities and services in Shanghai and later submitted her advice through the city government's office responsible for collecting opinions on the government and Party's work.

Pleasantly surprised, transport authorities received and responded to her advice. As a result, Shanghai residents now can check the arrival time of buses with accessible facilities through apps on phones.

This is just an example of how the Chinese public can contribute to the country's decision-making, and the people's deputy system and political advisory mechanism also offer platforms.

The ongoing two sessions are an event in which the country's NPC deputies and CPPCC National Committee members from all walks of life get together with their proposals based on investigations and surveys among ordinary people to advise the government and Party how to improve their work to better meet public needs.

This year, I'm staying in the same residence as several hundred national political advisers while minimizing physical contact with the outside world to reduce risks of COVID-19 infections. I will be able to observe how they pool their wisdom to solve the problems the country faces and to ensure a head start for China's development in the following five years and longer.

Song Qing, a CPPCC National Committee member from Suzhou, Jiangsu province, has focused on improving the country's judicial mechanism concerning compensation for environmental damage for four consecutive years.

She told me that as public awareness of protecting the environment keeps growing, lawsuits related to environmental damage have increased accordingly in recent years. But the judicial mechanism, especially at the grassroots level, is not sound and mature enough to guarantee the interests of the parties.

"The ultimate purpose of environmental justice is to promote environmental restoration and avoid further damage so that the public can live with clean air, water and land," she said.

While making proposals is her duty as a political adviser, Song admitted that she still felt proud and slightly happy when she saw her suggestions were transformed into some concrete policies and measures.

"It makes all the hard work well worth it," she said.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year's two sessions, just like last year's, will last less than two weeks, which was usually the duration for the event in 2019 and before. The NPC deputies and CPPCC National Committee members have to complete the same amount of work in less time.

With last year's experience, Song said she is well-prepared to perform her duty in a professional and efficient way.

As a reporter to cover this year's two sessions, I'm also prepared to let the public know how their concerns and needs are well addressed by the NPC deputies and CPPCC National Committee members.


Mo Jingxi



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