VI. Unswervingly Developing Socialist Democracy
People's democracy is the lifeblood of socialism. The Party has been consistently pursuing the goal of developing socialist democracy. Since China began its reform and opening up, we have made vigorous yet steady efforts to promote political restructuring, and socialist democracy has demonstrated greater vitality in the country. As an important part of the 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. We must keep to the path of political development under socialism with Chinese characteristics, and integrate the leadership of the Party, the position of the people as masters of the country, and the rule of law. We must uphold and improve the system of people's congresses, the system of multiparty cooperation and political consultation under the leadership of the CPC, the system of regional ethnic autonomy, and the system of self-governance at the primary level of society. All this will promote continuous self-improvement and development of the socialist political system.
In deepening political restructuring, we must keep to the correct political orientation. On the basis of ensuring the people's position as masters of the country, we will expand socialist democracy, build a socialist country under the rule of law and develop socialist political civilization to enhance the vitality of the Party and the state and arouse the initiative of the people. We must uphold the Party's role as the core of leadership in directing the overall situation and coordinating the efforts of all quarters, and improve its capacity for scientific, democratic and law-based governance to ensure that the Party leads the people in effectively governing the country. We must ensure that all power of the state belongs to the people, expand the citizens' orderly participation in political affairs at each level and in every field, and mobilize and organize the people as extensively as possible to manage state and social affairs as well as economic and cultural programs in accordance with the law. We must uphold the rule of law as a fundamental principle and adopt the socialist concept of law-based governance to ensure that all work of the state is based on the law and that the legitimate rights and interests of citizens are safeguarded. We must maintain the features and advantages of the socialist political system and define institutions, standards and procedures for socialist democracy to provide political and legal guarantees of lasting stability for the Party and the country.
1. Expand people's democracy and ensure that they are masters of the country. The essence and core of socialist democracy are that the people are masters of the country. We need to improve institutions for democracy, diversify its forms and expand its channels, and we need to carry out democratic election, decision-making, administration and oversight in accordance with the law to guarantee the people's rights to be informed, to participate, to be heard, and to oversee. We must support people's congresses in performing their functions pursuant to law and effectively turn the Party's propositions into the will of the state through legal procedures. We must ensure that deputies to people's congresses exercise their functions and powers in accordance with the law and maintain close ties with the general public. We propose that both urban and rural areas gradually adopt the same ratio of deputies to the represented population in elections of deputies to people's congresses. We must strengthen the institutions of standing committees of people's congresses and improve their membership composition in terms of intellectual background and age. We will support the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) in performing its functions centered on the two major themes of unity and democracy and improve the system of political consultation, democratic oversight, and participation in the deliberation and administration of state affairs. We will incorporate political consultation in decision-making procedures, improve democratic oversight and ensure that the CPPCC participates in the deliberation and administration of state affairs more effectively. The CPPCC is encouraged to improve itself and play its important role in coordinating relations, pooling strengths, making proposals and serving the overall interests of the country. We must ensure equality among all ethnic groups and guarantee the right of ethnic autonomous areas to exercise autonomy pursuant to law. To ensure scientific and democratic decision-making, we will improve the information and intellectual support for it, increase its transparency and expand 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. We need to step up education about citizenship and establish socialist concepts of democracy, the rule of law, freedom, equality, equity and justice. We support trade unions, the Communist Youth League, women's federations and other people's organizations in functioning in accordance with the law and their respective charters, participating in social management and public services and helping protect the people's legitimate rights and interests.
2. Develop primary-level democracy and ensure that the people enjoy democratic rights in a more extensive and practical way. The most effective and extensive way for the people to be masters of the country is that they directly exercise their 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. We need to improve the dynamic mechanism of people's self-governance at the primary level under the leadership of primary Party organizations, expand the scope of self-governance, and improve the institution for democratic management, with a view to turning urban and rural neighborhoods into communities of social life that are well managed, supported by complete services, and filled with civility and harmony. We must rely wholeheartedly on the working class, improve the democratic management system in enterprises and public institutions with workers' conferences as its basic form and increase transparency in factory affairs to support workers' participation in management and to safeguard their legitimate rights and interests. We need to deepen institutional reforms at the town and township level to strengthen government authorities there and improve the systems for transparency in government and village affairs to bring about effective connection and beneficial interaction between government administration and primary-level self-governance. We also encourage social organizations to help expand the participation by the public and report on their petitions to improve the self-governance capability of society.
3. Comprehensively implement the rule of law as a fundamental principle and speed up the building of a socialist country under the rule of law. The rule of law constitutes the essential requirement of socialist democracy. We must persist in scientific and democratic legislation to improve the socialist law system with Chinese characteristics. We will strengthen the enforcement of the Constitution and laws, ensure that all citizens are equal before the law, and safeguard social equity and justice and the consistency, sanctity and authority of the socialist legal system. We need to carry out government administration in accordance with the law. We need to deepen the reform of the judiciary system, optimize the distribution of judicial functions and powers, standardize judicial practices, and build a fair, efficient and authoritative socialist judiciary system to ensure that courts and procuratorates exercise their respective powers independently and impartially in accordance with the law. We need to improve the overall quality of judicial, procuratorial and public security personnel to ensure that law enforcement is strict, impartial and civilized. We need to step up the education campaign to increase public awareness of law, and promote the spirit of the rule of law, creating a social environment in which people study, abide by and apply laws of their own accord. We must respect and safeguard human rights, and ensure the equal right to participation and development for all members of society in accordance with the law. Party organizations at all levels and all Party members must act under the Constitution and laws on their own initiative and take the lead in upholding the authority of the Constitution and laws.
4. Expand the patriotic united front and unite with all forces that can be united. Promoting harmony in relations between political parties, between ethnic groups, between religions, between social strata, and between our compatriots at home and overseas plays an irreplaceable role in enhancing unity and pooling strengths. Acting on the principle of long-term coexistence, mutual oversight, sincerity, and sharing of both good and bad times, we will strengthen our cooperation with the democratic parties, support them and personages without party affiliation in better performing their functions of participation in the deliberation and administration of state affairs and democratic oversight, and select and recommend a greater number of outstanding non-CPC persons for leading positions. Keeping in mind the objective of all ethnic groups working together for common prosperity and development, we must guarantee the legitimate rights and interests of ethnic minorities, and strengthen and develop socialist ethnic relations based on equality, solidarity, mutual assistance and harmony. We will fully implement the Party's basic principle for its work related to religious affairs and bring into play the positive role of religious personages and believers in promoting economic and social development. We encourage members of emerging social strata to take an active part in building socialism with Chinese characteristics. We will conscientiously follow the Party's policy on overseas Chinese affairs and support overseas Chinese nationals, returned overseas Chinese and their relatives in caring about and participating in the modernization drive and the great cause of peaceful reunification of the motherland.
5. Accelerate the reform of the administrative system and build a service-oriented government. The administrative reform is an important part of the efforts to deepen China's overall reform. We must lose no time in working out a master plan for it, with the focus on changing functions, straightening out relations, optimizing the setup and raising efficiency, and bring about a system which matches powers with responsibilities, divides work in a rational way, fosters scientific decision-making, and ensures smooth enforcement and effective oversight. We need to improve the government responsibility system and the public service system, promote e-government and strengthen social management and public services. We will 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. We will standardize the relationship between local departments directly under central government organs and local governments. We will step up our efforts to streamline government organs, explore ways to establish greater departments with integrated functions, and improve the mechanism of coordination and collaboration between government departments. We will downsize and standardize various organs for deliberation and coordination and their working offices, cut down levels of administration, minimize its costs, and address the problems of overlapping organizations and functions and conflicting policies from different departments. We will give overall consideration to the setup of Party committees and governments as well as that of people's congresses and CPPCC committees, reduce the number of their leading positions and strictly control their staffing. We will step up the restructuring of different categories of public institutions.
6. Improve the mechanism of restraint and oversight and ensure that power entrusted by the people is always exercised in their interests. Power must be exercised in the sunshine to ensure that it is exercised correctly. We must have institutions to govern power, work and personnel, and establish a sound structure of power and a mechanism for its operation in which decision-making, enforcement and oversight powers check each other and function in coordination. We will improve organic laws and rules of procedure to ensure that state organs exercise their powers and perform their functions and responsibilities within their statutory jurisdiction and in accordance with legal procedures. We will improve the open administrative system in various areas and increase transparency in government work, thus enhancing the people's trust in the government. We will focus on tightening oversight over leading cadres and especially principal ones, over the management and use of human, financial and material resources, and over key positions. We will improve the systems of inquiries, accountability, economic responsibility auditing, resignation and recall. We will implement the intra-Party oversight regulations, strengthen democratic oversight and give scope to the oversight role of public opinion, pooling forces of oversight from all sides to make it more effective.
Democracy will keep developing along with the progress of socialism. In the historical course of developing socialism with Chinese characteristics, Chinese Communists and the Chinese people will surely advance socialist democracy that is full of vitality.