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White paper on political democracy
Updated: 2005-10-19 11:01

(1) Reforming and Improving the Leadership System and Working Mechanism

Leadership of the state and society by the CPC mainly refers to its political, ideological and organizational leadership, that is, the Party exercises leadership in line with its basic theory, program and line, by formulating major principles and policies, making suggestions on legislation, recommending cadres for important positions, conducting ideological education, and giving full play to the role of the Party organizations and members.

In practice, the CPC sticks to scientific and democratic rule and rule in accordance with the law, constantly reforms and improves the leadership system and working mechanism, and, acting on the principle that the ruling party commands the overall situation and coordinates the efforts of all quarters, standardizes relations between Party committees and the people's congresses, the governments, the CPPCC organizations as well as the mass organizations. The Party committees, playing the role as the core of leadership over all other organizations at corresponding levels, support these organizations in assuming their responsibilities independently and making concerted efforts in their work, and make sure that the Party's line, principles and policies as well as major decisions and work arrangements of Party committees are implemented through the Party organizations and Party members in these organizations. At the same time, Party committees support the people's congresses in carrying out their functions as organs of state power in accordance with the law, ensuring that the Party's views become the will of the state and that candidates recommended by the Party organizations become leading cadres of the organs of state power through democratic discussions and legal procedures, and exercising supervision over them. They support the governments in fulfilling their statutory functions and performing their official duties in accordance with the law; support the judicial organs in exercising their judicial and procuratorial authorities independently and justly in accordance with the law; support the CPPCC committees in performing their functions of political consultation, democratic supervision and participating in the administration and discussion of state affairs by focusing on the two major principles of unity and democracy; strengthen cooperation with the democratic parties and bring into full play the characteristics and advantages of China's socialist political party system; and support the trade unions, Communist Youth League organizations, women's federations and other mass organizations to work independently in accordance with the law and their respective constitutions so as to act better as a bridge between the Party and the masses of all walks of life.

(2) Developing Inner-Party Democracy

Promoting people's democracy by improving inner-Party democracy is an important component of the CPC's democratic rule. In recent years, the CPC has been unceasingly progressing in promoting inner-Party democracy.

- Making efforts to establish and improve a mechanism to guarantee the democratic rights of Party members. In September 2004, the CPC Central Committee promulgated the revised Regulations on the Guarantee of Rights of CPC Members, which, on the basis of the rights and obligations prescribed in the Constitution of the CPC and by summarizing the new experience gained in developing inner-Party democracy, improves the procedures for CPC members to exercise their democratic rights, thus further institutionalizing and standardizing the exercise of such rights.

- Improving and perfecting the system of Party congress. The CPC has established the system of congress in its organizations at and above the county level. The national congress and the congresses of the provinces (autonomous regions and municipalities directly under the central government), cities divided into districts, autonomous prefectures, counties (banners), autonomous counties, cities not divided into districts and municipal districts are held once every five years. To give full scope to the Party congresses at all levels, since the end of the 1980s the CPC has tried out the system of permanent Party congress in 12 cities, counties and urban districts in five provinces, with satisfactory results. The CPC Central Committee has decided to adopt the system of motion-raising by Party congress delegates, extend the experiment with the system of permanent Party congress to more cities and counties, and actively explore ways and forms that can give better play to the role of delegates when Party congresses are not in session.

- Giving full play to the role of plenary sessions of Party committees. In accordance with the principle of collective leadership, democratic centralism, individual consultation and decision-making by meeting, the CPC endeavors to improve the rules of procedure and the decision-making mechanism within Party committees, with priority given to strengthening the role of plenary sessions of Party committees at all levels. At the third, fourth and fifth plenums of the 16th CPC Central Committee, General Secretary Hu Jintao of the CPC Central Committee, on behalf of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau, delivered a work report to the Central Committee. This represented a significant move taken by the new generation of the central collective leadership to give better play to the role of the plenum. Leaders of local Party committees at all levels now, at the requirement of the CPC Central Committee, report on their work to and accept the supervision of the plenums of the Party committees at the corresponding level.

- Reforming and improving the system of inner-Party elections. The CPC has constantly reformed and improved the method of candidacy nomination in inner-Party elections, and the nominations by Party organizations and Party members are combined in democratic recommendations. The ratio in competitive elections has been raised appropriately and the scope of direct elections of leaders of grassroots Party organizations has been gradually expanded.

- Establishing and improving the mechanism of inner-Party supervision. In December 2003, the CPC Central Committee promulgated the Regulations on Inner-Party Supervision of the CPC (trial version), which, for the first time and in the form of inner-Party code, makes comprehensive provisions concerning the focus, ways, methods and other major issues regarding inner-Party supervision, and clearly states that leading organs and leading cadres at all levels, especially principal ones, are the main target of inner-Party supervision. In the same month, the CPC Central Committee promulgated the revised Regulations of the CPC on Disciplinary Punishments, which specifies the punishments for all breaches of discipline by Party members in the new situation.