Full text of Hu's report at 18th Party Congress
Updated: 2012-11-18 17:01
V. Keeping to the Socialist Path of Making Political Advance with Chinese Characteristics and Promoting Reform of the Political Structure
People's democracy is a brilliant banner that has always been held high by our Party. Since the policy of reform and opening up was introduced, we have reviewed our experience, both positive and negative, in developing socialist democracy and reaffirmed that people's democracy is the life of socialism. We have ensured that all power of the state belongs to the people and worked to steadily promote reform of the political structure. As a result, we have made major progress in developing socialist democracy and opened up and kept to the socialist path of making political advance with Chinese characteristics, thus charting the correct course for achieving the most extensive possible people's democracy in China.
The reform of the political structure is an important part of China's overall reform. We must continue to make both active and prudent efforts to carry out the reform of the political structure, and make people's democracy more extensive, fuller in scope and sounder in practice. We must ensure the unity of the leadership of the Party, the position of the people as masters of the country and law-based governance. To guarantee the fundamental position of the people as masters of the country and to reach the goal of enhancing the vitality of the Party and country and keeping the people fully motivated, we should expand socialist democracy, accelerate the building of a socialist country based on the rule of law, and promote socialist political progress. We should place greater emphasis on improving the way the Party exercises leadership and governance to ensure that it leads the people in effectively governing the country. We should attach greater importance to improving the system of democracy and diversifying the forms of democracy to ensure that the people conduct democratic elections, decision-making, administration and oversight in accordance with the law. We should give greater scope to the important role the rule of law plays in the country's governance and in social management, uphold the unity, sanctity and authority of the country's legal system and ensure that the people enjoy extensive rights and freedoms as prescribed by law. We should place high importance on systemic building, give full play to the strength of the socialist political system and draw on the political achievements of other societies. However, we will never copy a Western political system.
1. Support and ensure the exercise of state power by the people through people's congresses
The system of people's congresses is China's fundamental political system for guaranteeing that the people decide their own destiny. We should make good use of legal procedures to turn the Party's propositions into the will of the state. We should support people's congresses and their standing committees in fully playing their role as organs of state power, in exercising legislative, oversight, policymaking, and personnel appointment and dismissal powers in accordance with the law, in strengthening organization and coordination of legislative work, in stepping up their oversight of people's governments, courts and procuratorates, and in tightening examination and oversight of all government budgets and final accounts. The proportion of community-level deputies to people's congresses, particularly those elected from among workers, farmers and intellectuals on the frontlines of various fields of endeavor should be raised, while that of deputies from among leading Party and government officials should be reduced. Deputy liaison offices should be established in people's congresses to improve the mechanism for deputies to maintain contact with the people. The organizational system for organs of state power should be improved. The age mix of the members of the standing committees and special committees of people's congresses should be improved and the areas of their expertise should be widened. The proportion of the full-time members of these committees should be raised. Deputies to people's congresses and members of these committees should enhance their capability to perform their duties pursuant to law.
2. Improve the system of socialist consultative democracy
Socialist consultative democracy is an important form of people's democracy in our country. We should improve its institutions and work mechanisms and promote its extensive, multilevel, and institutionalized development. Extensive consultations should be carried out on major issues relating to economic and social development as well as specific problems involving the people's immediate interests through organs of state power, committees of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, political parties, people's organizations and other channels to solicit a wide range of opinions, pool wisdom of the people, increase consensus, and build up synergy. We should adhere to and improve the system of multiparty cooperation and political consultation under the leadership of the Communist Party of China and make the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference serve as a major channel for conducting consultative democracy. The Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference should, focusing on the themes of unity and democracy, improve systems of political consultation, democratic oversight, and participation in the deliberation and administration of state affairs, and deliver a better job in coordinating relations, pooling strength and making proposals in the overall interests of the country. We should strengthen political consultation with the democratic parties, make political consultation a part of the policymaking process, conduct consultations before and when policy decisions are made, and make democratic consultation more effective. We should conduct intensive consultations on special issues with those who work on these issues, with representatives from all sectors of society, and with relevant government authorities on the handling of proposals. We should actively carry out democratic consultation at the community level.
3. Improve community-level democracy
An important way for the people to directly exercise their democratic rights in accordance with the law is for them to conduct self-management, self-service, self-education, and self-oversight in exercising urban and rural community governance, in managing community-level public affairs and in running public service programs. We should improve the mechanism for community-level self-governance under the leadership of community-level Party organizations to make it full of vitality. We should broaden the scope and channels of such self-governance and enrich its content and forms, with the focus on expanding orderly participation, promoting transparency in information, improving deliberation and consultation on public affairs, and strengthening oversight of the exercise of power, to ensure that the people have greater and more tangible democratic rights. We should rely wholeheartedly on the working class, improve the democratic management system in enterprises and public institutions with workers and employees' congress as its basic form, and protect workers and employees' democratic rights to participate in management and oversight. Community-level organizations of various types should also get involved to integrate government administration and community-level democracy.
4. Promote law-based governance of the country in an all-around way
The rule of law is the basic way for running the country. We should make laws in a scientific way, enforce them strictly, administer justice impartially, and ensure that everyone abides by the law. We must make sure that all are equal before the law and that laws are observed and strictly enforced and lawbreakers are prosecuted. We should improve the socialist system of laws with Chinese characteristics, strengthen legislation in key areas, and expand channels for people's orderly participation in the legislative process. We should exercise government administration in accordance with the law and ensure that law enforcement is conducted in a strict, fair, and civilized way according to due procedures. We should continue to deepen reform of the judicial structure, uphold and improve the socialist judicial system with Chinese characteristics, and ensure that judicial and procuratorial bodies independently and impartially exercise their respective powers pursuant to law. We should carry out intensive publicity and education about the law, foster socialist spirit of the rule of law, and adopt the socialist concept of law-based governance. We should enhance the whole society's awareness of the need to study, respect, observe, and apply the law. We should ensure that leading officials are guided by law in both thinking and action in their effort to deepen reform, promote development, solve problems, and maintain stability. As the Constitution and laws are adopted by the Party and the people under its leadership, the Party must act within the scope prescribed by the Constitution and laws. No organization or individual has the privilege of overstepping the Constitution and laws, and no one in a position of power is allowed in any way to take one's own words as the law, place one's own authority above the law or abuse the law.
5. Deepen reform of the administrative system
Reform of the administrative system is a necessary requirement for making the superstructure compatible with the economic base. To reach the goal of establishing a socialist administrative system with Chinese characteristics, we should separate government administration from the management of enterprises, state assets, public institutions, and social organizations, and build a well-structured, clean and efficient service-oriented government that has scientifically defined functions and satisfies the people. We should deepen the reform of the system concerning matters subject to government examination and approval, continue to streamline administration and delegate more power to lower levels, and make the government better perform its functions of creating a favorable environment for development, providing quality public services, and maintaining social fairness and justice. We should steadily advance the reform to establish larger government departments and improve division of functions among them. We should improve the structure of administrative setup and geographical administrative divisions, experiment with the reform to place counties and county-level cities directly under the jurisdiction of provincial governments where conditions permit, and deepen reform of the administrative system at the town and township level. We should exercise government administration in an innovative way, increase public trust in the government, and improve its competence so as to make the government performance-oriented. We should strictly control the size of government bodies, cut the numbers of their leading officials, and reduce their administrative costs. We should continue the reform of public institutions based on the classification of their functions. We should improve the mechanism for coordinating structural reforms and conduct major reforms in a holistic way according to the overall plan.
6. Improve the mechanism for conducting checks and oversight over the exercise of power
To ensure proper exercise of power, it is important to put power, Party and government operations and personnel management under institutional checks and uphold people's right to stay informed about, participate in, express views on, and oversee Party and government operations. We should make sure that decision-making, executive and oversight powers check each other and function in concert and that government bodies exercise their powers in accordance with statutory mandate and procedures. We should continue to conduct scientific, democratic, and law-based policymaking, improve decision-making mechanisms and procedures, seek advice of think tanks, and establish sound mechanisms for decision-making accountability and remedy. Whenever we make a decision involving the immediate interests of the people, we must solicit their views on it. We must not do anything that may harm the interests of the people and must correct any action that causes damage to their interests. We should make the exercise of power more open and standardized, and increase transparency of Party, government and judicial operations and official operations in other fields. We should improve the systems of inquiry, accountability, economic responsibility auditing, resignation and dismissal. We should tighten intra-Party, democratic and legal oversight as well as oversight through public opinion to ensure that the people oversee the exercise of power and that power is exercised in a transparent manner.
7. Consolidate and develop the broadest possible patriotic united front
The united front is a powerful instrument for winning new victory for socialism with Chinese characteristics by pooling the strength of all quarters and harmonizing relations between political parties, ethnic groups, religions, social groups and compatriots at home and overseas. We should hold high the banner of patriotism and socialism, consolidate the theoretical and political foundation of the united front, and strike a balance between commonality and diversity. Guided by the principle of long-term coexistence, mutual oversight, treating each other with sincerity and sharing of both good and bad times, we should strengthen unity and cooperation with the democratic parties and public figures without party affiliation, pursue the common goal with unity in thought and action, strengthen the ranks of non-Party representative figures and select and recommend more outstanding individuals with no Party affiliation for taking up leading positions in government bodies at all levels. We should fully and faithfully implement the Party's policies concerning ethnic groups and uphold and improve the system of regional ethnic autonomy. We should, keeping to the goal of all ethnic groups working together for common prosperity and development, conduct intensive education about ethnic unity and progress, speed up development of ethnic minority areas, and protect the legitimate rights and interests of ethnic minorities. We should consolidate and develop socialist ethnic relations of equality, unity, mutual assistance and harmony so that all ethnic groups in China will live and develop together in harmony. We should comprehensively implement the Party's basic policy on religion and fully leverage the positive role of religious figures and believers in promoting economic and social development. We should encourage and guide members of new social groups to contribute more to the cause of socialism with Chinese characteristics. We should continue to implement the Party's policy on overseas Chinese affairs and support overseas Chinese, returned overseas Chinese and their families in endorsing and participating in China's modernization endeavors and its great cause of peaceful reunification.
The socialist path of making political advance with Chinese characteristics is a correct path that rallies people in their hundreds of millions in pursuing a common cause. We must advance unwaveringly along this path to ensure that China's socialist democracy has ever greater vitality.
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