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Nation sees the power of CPPCC proposals
By Wang Shanshan and Jiang Zhuqing (China Daily)
Updated: 2005-03-04 01:47

The future of an ancient opera might seem a little light for discussion at China's most important political meeting.

But saving the 600-year-old Kunqu Opera, considered the "mother" of all Chinese operatic forms, from extinction demonstrates the far-reaching effect of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC).

Delegates of CPPCC pose for photograph outside the Great Hall of the People. [Xinhua]
After all, the future of the arts is as important to the nation's culture as employment and worker's rights are to the economy.

And the happy outcome of the opera - which will see 10 million yuan (US$1.2 million) handed out by the government to the seven existing Kunqu troupes over the next five years - shows that no matter how big or small, members' motions are given full attention.

"We are happy to see that in the past two years the government has taken timely and effective action to save the old opera as we proposed," said Cai Zhengren, a CPPCC member and president of the Shanghai Kunqu Opera House. He was speaking before the opening of the 2005 plenary session of the CPPCC yesterday afternoon. Cai lodged his proposal two years ago.

CPPCC National Committee Chairman Jia Qinglin noted in the work report of the CPPCC Standing Committee the central government had launched a national programme to protect and support the opera.

Statistics indicated that 4,478 proposals were raised last year, of which 4,263 were put on record for investigation.

As the CPPCC convenes again today, efforts will be focused on major economic and social issues and how to carry out the various functions. Bringing the role of non-Communist parties into full play as well to improve the CPPCC itself are also on the agenda.

"The CPPCC National Committee and its Standing Committee made significant achievements in 2004 through political consultation, democratic oversight and participation in deliberation and administration of State affairs," Jia said.

The 2,186 advisers heard Jia's work report and how their proposals and suggestions regarding reform and development had been handled since their last full meeting in March 2004.

Top Party and government leaders including President Hu Jintao, National People's Congress Chairman Wu Bangguo and Premier Wen Jiabao were present at the opening of the session yesterday.

"The Standing Committee arranged for its members to hold discussions on major issues in economic and social development, policies and measures to strengthen macro regulation," Jia said.

Subcommittees carried out extensive research on issues related to the formulation of the 11th Five-Year Plan and Long-Range Programme through the Year 2020, he noted.

"The outcome of research done by the special sub-committees for China's future development plans also became important reference points for policy makers," he said.

Last year, 30 groups of 750 National Committee members made inspection tours of various localities across the country for the study of major issues in economic and social development. Twenty six reports to the central authorities as reference for policy making were presented by the groups.

On the status of cross-Straits relations, the CPPCC made efforts to promote "peaceful reunification of the motherland while closely adhering to the strategic planning of the Party and the State," said Jia.

Some non-Communist parties and National Committee members have called for the enactment of an anti-secession law as early as possible and "voiced their resolve to oppose and check any kind of secessionist activities aimed at 'Taiwan independence'," Jia said.

The session is scheduled to conclude on March 12.

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