By (China Daily)
Updated: 2009-03-03 07:47

The Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) is a united front of the people and the country's top advisory body.

It serves as a key mechanism for multi-party cooperation and political consultation under the leadership of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and is a major manifestation of socialist democracy.

The 11th CPPCC National Committee will hold its 2nd annual session this afternoon.

Most CPPCC members are experienced political figures, social celebrities, experts and scholars.

The main functions of the CPPCC are to hold political consultations, exercise democratic supervision and participate in the discussions and the handling of State affairs.

Political consultation covers major principles and policies proposed by the central and local governments, as well as matters of political, economic, cultural and social importance.

The 11th CPPCC is different from the one formed in 1946, following the victory in the War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression (1937-45) and the decision taken by the CPC and the Kuomintang in their negotiations in Chongqing as part of the preparations for establishing a new government.

The first session of the new CPPCC was held in Beijing in September 1949. Authorized to perform the functions of the supreme organ of power, the session proclaimed the founding of the People's Republic of China and elected a council of the central government.

The CPPCC ceased to act as the supreme organ of power in 1954 when the National People's Congress was convened.

The CPPCC has a national committee and local committees. Its committees have a five-year term and hold sessions every year.