BEIJING-- Hu Jintao on Monday pledged to expand the people's democracy and ensure that they are masters of the country.
"People's democracy is the lifeblood of socialism," Hu said in his report to the 17th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) on behalf of the 16th CPC Central Committee.
Saying that the essence and core of socialist democracy -- a goal that the Party has been consistently pursuing -- are that the people are masters of the country, Hu proposed that both urban and rural areas gradually adopt the same ratio of deputies to the represented population in the election of deputies to the people's congresses.
To ensure scientific and democratic decision-making, Hu called for improving the information and intellectual support for it, increasing its transparency and expanding public participation in it. In principle, public hearings must be held for the formulation of laws, regulations and policies that bear closely on the interests of the public.
Hu pointed out that the most effective and extensive way for the people to be masters of the country is that they directly exercise democratic rights in accordance with the law to manage public affairs and public service programs at the primary level, practice self-management, self-service, self-education and self- oversight, and exercise democratic oversight over cadres. Such practices must be emphasized and promoted as the groundwork for developing socialist democracy.
He called on Party organizations at all levels and all Party members to act under the Constitution and laws on their own initiative and take the lead in upholding the authority of the Constitution and laws.
Hu also promised to accelerate the separation of the functions of the government from those of enterprises, state assets management authorities, public institutions and market-based intermediaries, standardize administrative practices, strengthen administrative law-enforcement agencies, reduce the number of matters requiring administrative examination and approval and standardize such procedures, and reduce government intervention in microeconomic operations.
He urged to improve the mechanism of restraint and supervision, stressing that "power must be exercised in the sunshine to ensure that it is exercised correctly". He said organic laws and rules of procedure should be improved to ensure that state organs exercise their powers and perform their functions within their statutory jurisdiction and in accordance with legal procedures.
As an important part of China's overall reform, political restructuring must be constantly deepened along with economic and social development to adapt to the growing enthusiasm of the people for participation in political affairs, Hu emphasized.
"Democracy will keep developing along with the progress of socialism," said Hu, expressing the belief that in the historical course of developing socialism with Chinese characteristics, Chinese Communists and the Chinese people will surely advance socialist democracy.