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Deputies get suggestions from public

By Cao Yin | China Daily | Updated: 2023-02-07 09:20

Collection of opinions enables legislators to help find problems, improve livelihoods

After reviewing suggestions from national legislators on installing elevators in old low-rise buildings, the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development put technical research and project construction on its agenda.

In China, seniors living in apartments built before 1990 face difficulty getting up and down the stairs because the buildings are usually six or seven floors and do not have elevators.

To help solve the problem, five deputies to the National People's Congress, China's top legislature, raised suggestions when they attended the NPC full session in March.

The advice was first read by the general office with the NPC Standing Committee, and then transferred to the ministry to deal with further.

The case was introduced by Guo Zhenhua, deputy secretary-general of the NPC Standing Committee, to lawmakers while explaining a report on tackling suggestions from deputies at the committee's latest session in December.

Upholding a people-centered approach, he said that collecting and handling suggestions have contributed to finding problems, ensuring people's voices can be heard, responding to public concerns and helping solve difficulties by rule of law.

"It gives full play to NPC deputies in implementing the country's whole-process people's democracy," he added.

According to the report, Guo and his colleagues collected 9,203 suggestions from more than 2,200 deputies during the NPC's annual plenary session in March, with 146 additional suggestions through the online platform.

More than half of the suggestions focused on China's development strategies in aspects such as science, technology and culture, and also involved the stability of industrial chains and innovation governance, the report said.

"Deputies attached importance to people's livelihood," Guo said, adding that over 776 suggestions targeted education and 661 advised promoting healthcare.

He noted that all the suggestions have been gone through by the general office and sent to departments in charge to review and solve.

In October, when delivering a report to the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, Xi Jinping stressed the need to improve systems of collecting public opinions, requiring deputies at each level to strengthen close connections with the people.

President Xi, who is also general secretary of the CPC Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, also listened to suggestions from deputies and urged relevant central departments to have a follow-up study when taking part in discussions with fellow deputies at the NPC annual session last year.

Li Zhanshu, chairman of the NPC Standing Committee, highlighted the significance of suggestions and motions from deputies, saying that they reflected public ideas and embodied the country's socialist democracy that not only has a complete institutional procedure, but also participation in the whole process.

Li called for scrutiny of deputies' suggestions, clarifying they should be transformed into effective measures to boost development and serve residents.

To reach the goal, departments under the NPC Standing Committee and government agencies have stepped up efforts in innovating systems of handling suggestions to guarantee every one can be reviewed and the better ones absorbed into relevant policies and laws.

While having face-to-face talks with deputies and conducting surveys in regions mentioned in suggestions, the general office with the NPC Standing Committee set up more than 9,000 groups on WeChat, a popular instant messaging tool, and opened an online information platform, according to the report.

The Supreme People's Court, China's top court, and the Supreme People's Procuratorate, the country's top prosecuting authority, have also connected with deputies via video link or through livestreaming, it said.

Some departments have already absorbed the advice into their work. For example, the China National Intellectual Property Administration adopted 13 suggestions when it drafted 12 related IP regulations, it added.

Regarding deputies as a bridge between central authorities and the people, Guo said, "Deputies, who come from the people and are elected from the people, are a group close to the people, so they understand people's difficulties and reflect their opinions."

He added that it is vital to play the role of the "bridge" to optimize policies and improve work, so as to ensure the people are the masters of the country.

To carry out whole-process people's democracy, the top legislature has designated more than 30 sites, including colleges and subdistricts, as grassroots stations to collect people's ideas and suggestions on legislation over the past few years.

Furthermore, it has built legal databases to increase the means of collecting public ideas and encouraged people and deputies to participate in legislative affairs.

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