10th March 2023 – (Beijing) Robert Lawrence Kuhn, creator, writer, host and executive producer of Closer To Truth wrote in Xinhua News today that The 2023 National People’s Congress (NPC) is an annual event that holds special significance this year. He said that it will set in motion policies and programs for the 20th CPC National Congress, which provides the blueprint for the next few decades. As President Xi Jinping states, the grand vision is “building China into a modern socialist country in all respects and advancing the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation on all fronts.”
One of China’s commitments is to enhance its form of democracy, which it calls the “Whole-Process People’s Democracy.” Democracy in the Party-led system involves various feedback and interactive mechanisms, especially people’s congresses at various levels. It also ensures adequate standards of living for all Chinese citizens.
A primary view of Chinese-style democracy is through the formal processes of the people’s congresses, culminating with the NPC. Empowered to enact laws, the NPC as a whole meets every March. Its various committees, especially its Standing Committee, meet throughout the year to plan and prepare various pieces of legislation that set the political agenda for the year.
Deputies of people’s congresses are elected according to the Chinese system, always under the leadership of the Party. As of 2022, there were more than 2.6 million deputies to China’s five levels of people’s congress: state, provincial, municipal, county and township. All deputies of congresses at the level of county and township were elected directly by voters.
The election of NPC deputies is called the basic premise for the people to be the masters of the country, to exercise state power and manage state affairs. It is the first link in the whole chain of people’s democracy throughout the whole process.
To facilitate fair voting, election funds for people’s congresses at all levels are provided by the state treasury. Secret ballots ensure free choice of voters, and behaviours that undermine elections are punished severely.
Supervision by voters over deputies can take various forms, such as listening to deputies’ reports, making criticisms, offering opinions and suggestions, and even recalling deputies.
The election of NPC deputies must adapt to the times. The ratio of rural and urban representatives has shifted from 8:1 in 1953 to 1:1 today, ensuring equality between urban and rural areas. Adjustments are made to ensure an appropriate number of representatives from all regions, ethnic groups, social strata, industrial sectors, and government and military services.
President Xi Jinping’s leadership has prioritised the CPC’s commitment to enhancing the standards of living for all sectors of the country’s vast and diverse population, especially through the CPC’s “targeted poverty alleviation campaign.”
China declared the eradication of all extreme poverty at the end of 2020, although relative poverty remained a major problem, with large disparities between urban and rural, coastal and inland areas. Thus, as 2021 began, President Xi without hesitation or much time to celebrate or rest transitioned from poverty alleviation to rural revitalisation. Moreover, later in the year, Xi prioritised “common prosperity” as an overarching policy guideline for China to achieve a fully modernised socialist country by mid-century, 2049.
China’s 2023 National People’s Congress sets in motion policies and programs for the next few decades. Enhancing democracy and poverty alleviation remain top priorities for the CPC. The CPC’s commitment to ensuring adequate standards of living for all sectors of the country’s vast and diverse population is remarkable.
78-year-old Robert Lawrence Kuhn is a renowned public intellectual, international corporate strategist and investment banker. He has been widely recognised as “one of the Western world’s most prolific interpreters of Beijing’s policies.”