Stories about voting in China's political system

Updated: 2010-03-04 14:50
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Editor's Note:

To seek consensus through voting is not something new for Chinese top legislature, the National People's Congress, which has attracted growing media attention for the current annual session in Beijing.

As the Communist Party of China (CPC) improves its governing capability amid rapid economic development under the globalization context, voting is becoming a more familiar method in the decision-making process. Here are some stories related to voting in China.

Anti-Secession Law: Adopted unanimously by NPC

China's parliament, the National People's Congress (NPC), ratified the Anti-Secession Law with an overwhelming vote of 2,896 to nil on March 14, 2005, setting the legal framework to prevent Taiwan from being seceded from China and to promote a peaceful national reunification.

The law, which consists of ten articles, provides for the legislative purpose and scope of application of the legislation, the nature of the Taiwan issue, achieving national reunification through peaceful means, and taking non-peaceful means to stop Taiwan's secession from China by the "Taiwan independence" secessionist forces.

Shen Jilan: Never voted against any proposal

Shen Jilan, the only person to be elected as an NPC deputy for all 11 terms since 1954, says she never cast an opposing vote during the past NPC sessions.

First Opposing Vote

Huang Shunxing, an NPC deputy from Taiwan, made the first negative vote in the NPC history at the first session of the 7th NPC, March 28, 1988. After that, deputies grew more concerned with using their power properly than just saying yes to the sessions' proposals.

Draft amendment narrowly killed

In 1999, the Amendment to the Highway Law (draft) failed to pass by one vote. Negative votes to the amendment were only 6, but 42 deputies abstained.

Supreme People's Court and the Supreme People's Procuratorate low approval rate

Negative votes of the work reports of the Supreme People's Court and the Supreme People's Procuratorate stay high

The lowest approval rate of the working reports of the two institutions hit 70 percent and the highest only reached 83.13 percent. In 2000, among 2789 NPC deputies, the Supreme People's Court got 1953 affirmative votes, 306 abstention votes and 530 negative votes. A total of 1873 said yes to the working report of the Supreme People's Procuratorate, while the rest said no or abstained.

The Southern Weekly commented that the relatively higher opposing rate actually showed a higher expectation of legal reform.

New methods adopted to make deputies vote

On March 8, 2005, the 3rd Session of the 10th NPC passed a new voting scheme which required all deputies should fill out the ballots regardless of whether they are casting an affirmative, negative or abstention vote, changing the old methods that in some elections an affirmative vote didn't require the deputies to fill in the ballot.

Property Law encountered the most negative votes The law was passed after more than 10 years of preparation on March 16, 2007, with 2799 affirmative votes, 37 abstention votes and 52 negative votes.