The Fifth Session of the 10 National
Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative
Conference starts in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing March 3,
The Tenth National Committee of the Chinese People's
Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), China' s top advisory body, convened
its fifth annual full session in
Beijing Saturday, calling for its members' utmost effort for
the preparation for the 17th National Congress of the Communist Party of China
"The year of 2007 is
of great importance for the causes of our Party and the whole country as the
17th CPC National Congress is scheduled to convene in the second half of this
year, which is not only a big event for the Party itself, but also for the
political life of all the people," said Jia Qinglin, chairman of the CPPCC
National Committee, in a keynote report on the work of the advisory body in the
past year and its work scheme in 2007.
Jia urged CPPCC members to
"welcome the successful convening of the CPC National Congress by earnestly
performing our duty in political consultation, democratic supervision and
participation in and discussion of state affairs with a great sense of political
Jia said that CPPCC members should be prepared to learn
and implement the spirit of the CPC congress and make contribution to accomplish
the goals raised at the congress.
He also encouraged the advisors to
make more proposals on the country's economic development.
Top CPC and
state leaders Hu Jintao, Wu Bangguo, Wen Jiabao, Zeng Qinghong, Wu Guanzheng, Li
Changchun and Luo Gan were seated on the central rostrum when the session opened
in the Great Hall of the People in downtown Beijing at 3 p.m. (Beijing time).
Of all the 2,267 registered CPPCC National Committee members for the
annual meeting, 2,144 were present at the opening session.
CPPCC National Committee vice chairman, reported to the advisors at the opening
meeting on how their proposals and suggestions had been handled since the
advisory body's last session in March 2006.
The top political
consultants will also be present at the annual session of the 10th National
People's Congress (NPC), China 's top legislature, slated to kick off on March
5, hearing and discussing the report on the government work by Premier Wen
Jiabao, reports on the work of the Supreme People's Court and the Supreme
People's Procuratorate, and the drafts of the property right law and the
corporate income tax law.
Three plenary meetings that focus on economy,
social and cultural development, and political construction will be held during
the session, which is scheduled to conclude on March 15.
1949, the CPPCC consists of elite members of the Chinese society who are willing
to serve as the think tank for the government and for the country's legislative
and judicial organs.
As an open forum where the ruling Communist Party,
the non-Communist parties of China and people with no party affiliations discuss
state affairs freely and on an equal footing, the CPPCC National Committee has
been the manifestation of China's socialist democracy.
NPC, CPPCC sessions extended by two more
China will see two of its most important political bodies
extend their annual sessions this year to discuss issues about general welfare
and the nation's draft law on property rights.
Both the National People's Congress (NPC), China's top legislature, and the
National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference
(CPPCC), a national political advisory body, have released the agendas for their
2007 annual sessions. Both will hold two more days of meetings than they did
According to the agenda, this year's NPC session will begin on Monday and
last for 12 days. Apart from regular items such as the review of the central
government's work report, budget and State development report, and the reports
by the Supreme People's Court and the Supreme People's Procuratorate, NPC
deputies this year will also discuss the draft property rights law and corporate
income tax law, and vote on them.
The CPPCC National Committee full session, which starts on Saturday and ends
on March 15, will also discuss the two draft laws.
Except for these special agendas, it is expected that NPC deputies and CPPCC
members will deliver more proposals and have longer discussions, because this
year's meetings are the last sessions of the 10th NPC and 10th CPPCC.
In another development, according to CPPCC spokesman Wu Jianmin at a press
conference on Friday, the country's political advisers have been devoting much
of their time investigating and writing policy proposals on issues on the
people's livelihood last year.
"It has always been an important responsibility of the CPPCC to collect and
reflect real social conditions and public voices, as its members come from all
walks of life," Wu said.
For example, the number of proposals related to health and education alone
reached more than 900, accounting for one-fifth of the total number of proposals
submitted in the past year, Wu said.
In response to the proposals calling for solving the housing problems for
low-income households, the Ministry of Construction has announced it would
establish a low-rent system in all cities and counties of the country by the end
of this year to ensure the housing of the poor.
Another issue that has caught the attention of CPPCC members is the
establishment of a social security system that will cover the country's vast
"The CPPCC members have concluded that the time is ripe to establish the
basic living allowance system for the 23.7 million poor population in the
countryside," Wu said.
The system can be established if finance departments spend 6 billion yuan
($750 million) each year, Wu said.
The State Council and related departments have adopted the proposal, and the
Ministry of Civil Affairs has decided to promote the system across the country
after the success of some pilot projects.
Another example of the role of the CPPCC is that after taking suggestions by
CPPCC members, the National Development and Reform Commission decided that the
ticket prices of railway and road transportation would remain the same as usual
during this year's Spring Festival holiday.
Ticket prices used to be floated to a certain percentage before to cover
costs because of the sudden increase in transportation capacity to carry the
country's vast floating population home and back after the holidays.
"The cancellation of the price increase has reduced 300 million yuan ($37
million) in revenue, but it has benefited the majority, especially the rural
migrant workers," Wu said.
Wu is a senior diplomat and served as spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign
Affairs in the 1980s and Chinese Ambassador to Belgium, Holland, Switzerland and
later France in the 1990s, before he became president of the China Foreign
Affairs University and Vice-Director of the Committee of Foreign Affairs under
the CPPCC in 2003.