Some NPC, CPCC mem­bers lack ex­per­tise

China Daily (Canada) - - FRONT PAGE - By LI YANG in Shang­hai

The Na­tional Peo­ple’s Congress ( NPC), China’s top leg­is­la­ture, and Chi­nese Peo­ple’s Po­lit­i­cal Con­sul­ta­tive Con­fer­ence (CPPCC), China’s top po­lit­i­cal ad­vi­sory body, will hold their an­nual meet­ings next month in Bei­jing , which are called “two ses­sions”.

New laws will be passed, old laws will be abol­ished or amended. The gov­ern­ment’s bud­get and work re­port will be dis­cussed, re­vised and passed, and the gov­ern­ment will re­ceive a good deal of sug­ges­tions, and must re­spond to them in a timely man­ner.

The NPC and CPPCC have their lo­cal branches of pro­vin­cial, city and county lev­els. The lo­cal “two ses­sions” come in Jan­uary or Fe­bru­ary. The cen­tral and lo­cal two ses­sions are the most im­por­tant con­fer­ences in China’s po­lit­i­cal life, and have di­rect in­flu­ence on the eco­nomic and so­cial life in the coun­try.

Yet, some mem­bers of the NPC and CPPCC and their lo­cal branches have not demon­strated the qual­i­fi­ca­tions and ex­per­tise that they should have. About 40 mem­bers of CPPCC’s Shan­dong branch were re­cently found pla­gia­riz­ing stu­dents’ pa­pers, and pro­pos­als by mem­bers of other prov­inces in their pro­pos­als.

The dis­cus­sions of Shang­hai’s two ses­sions are dis­ap­point­ing be­cause of the lack of pro­fes­sion­al­ism and ex­per­tise. Some peo­ple’s rep­re­sen­ta­tives can­not com­pre­hend gov­ern­ment bud­get and work re­port. Some po­lit­i­cal ad­vis­ers just air their per­sonal views and mal­con­tents, rather than speak­ing for the public. To some ex­tent, some of their dis­cus­sions are even of less value than some de­bates ap­pear­ing on the on­line fo­rums.

Chi­nese au­thor­i­ties should not turn a blind eye to the prob­lem. The ques­tions are, how do th­ese rep­re­sen­ta­tives and ad­vis­ers en­ter the NPC and CPPCC, how do they change from a qual­i­fied mem­ber to a lazy and ir­re­spon­si­ble mem­ber, and why haven’t the two key po­lit­i­cal or­ga­ni­za­tions ad­dressed the prob­lem af­ter the me­dia and the public com­plained about them for quite a long time.

If Chi­nese au­thor­i­ties can­not solve the in­sti­tu­tional mal­adies of the NPC and the CPPCC, the two or­ga­ni­za­tions are likely to be­come dec­o­ra­tions of the gov­ern­ment and the Party.

The me­dia’s cov­er­age of the two ses­sions show that the meet­ings are a po­lit­i­cal show for some en­ter­tain­ment and sports celebri­ties, as well as some mem­bers rais­ing weird pro­pos­als such as re­quir­ing hus­bands to pay for each hour of house­hold work done by their wives.

There are so many ur­gent re­forms to be im­ple­mented in many fields of the econ­omy, pol­i­tics and so­ci­ety in China. The two ses­sions at­ten­dees must value their seat and time, and take their legal du­ties se­ri­ously.

The NPC and CPPCC mem­bers should en­joy their power, in­de­pen­dence, and have the pro­fes­sional knowl­edge and ex­pe­ri­ence to make laws, su­per­vise the gov­ern­ment and raise im­por­tant pro­pos­als.

The two or­ga­ni­za­tions’ heads are re­garded as state lead­ers. And the NPC and CPPCC mem­bers’ ti­tles bring priv­i­leges to them. A mem­ber of NPC’s Xuzhou city branch in Jiangsu prov­ince dug an 18-me­ter deep base­ment in a court­yard he bought in down­town Bei­jing. His con­struc­tion project, which had not been ap­proved by rel­e­vant au­thor­i­ties and was fiercely op­posed by neigh­bors, has been on for nearly three years with­out be­ing ques­tioned by lo­cal gov­ern­ment, and fi­nally led to a se­ri­ous land prob­lem last week, swal­low­ing a sec­tion of the main road and three houses nearby. The author­ity’s lat­est in­ves­ti­ga­tion showed three con­struc­tion work­ers died in his il­le­gal and danger­ous con­struc­tion site three years ago. But that did not in­flu­ence the progress of his project at all. The gov­ern­ment will fill 4,000 tons of ce­ment back into the hole he dug.

In Kun­shan, Jiangsu prov­ince, the in­ves­ti­ga­tion of a fire in a sweat­shop fac­tory that claimed more than 70 lives last Au­gust, re­vealed that lo­cal gov­ern­ment would award in­vestors the ti­tle of peo­ple’s rep­re­sen­ta­tive to at­tract in­vest­ment.

Some mem­bers of the NPC and CPPCC and their lo­cal branches have many chances to seek il­le­gal prof­its from their close con­nec­tions with power hold­ers. Su Rong, for­mer vice-chair­man of CPPCC, and sev­eral vicechair­men of CPPCC’s pro­vin­cial or­gans were just sacked on charges of se­ri­ous dis­ci­plinary vi­o­la­tion and power abuses last year.

Chi­nese lead­ers

al­ways re­mind gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials to bear in mind that they work to serve the peo­ple. And the gov­ern­ment has trans­formed a lot in the mar­ket and po­lit­i­cal re­form from an almighty author­ity to a public ser­vice provider and a watch­dog of the mar­ket or­der.

The leg­is­la­ture and po­lit­i­cal ad­vis­ers should also re­form them­selves to keep de­tach­ment from the gov­ern­ment and at­tach­ment to the peo­ple, which is the source of their true author­ity.

If China can­not find qual­ity rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the peo­ple and pro­fes­sional po­lit­i­cal ad­vis­ers to form ef­fec­tive com­mu­ni­ca­tions at their im­por­tant an­nual con­fer­ences, the ef­fi­ciency and sus­tain­abil­ity of its po­lit­i­cal sys­tem will be se­ri­ously af­fected.

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