Revision of charter: Chinese political advisors push for democracy, supervision
China's top political advisory body, the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), is in the process of amending its charter.
The move represents an important chapter in the development of democracy in China.
The revision of the CPPCC charter, which will be voted on by the body's 2,000-plus members in a few days, is aligned with the amendment of the Constitution.
The third plenary meeting of the first session of the 13th National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) is held at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, capital of China, March 10, 2018. [Photo: Xinhua]
Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era has been incorporated into the draft amendment of the charter as a guiding theory of the CPPCC.
"The parallel nature of revision to the CPPCC charter and the Constitution shows the political advisors are guided by the law," said Zhou Hanmin, a national political advisor and legal expert based in Shanghai.
The CPPCC National Committee, which convenes its annual session each year in March, brings together representatives from all walks of life -- economists, scientists, educators, doctors, diplomats, religious leaders and celebrities. They are the core advisors in China's decision-making processes.
According to the draft amendment, the idea of "consultative democracy" will be written into the charter.
"Consultative democracy is a model and strength unique to China's socialist democracy. The CPPCC is an important channel for socialist consultative democracy and specialist consultative body," part of the draft amendment reads.
"The revision highlights the importance of consultative democracy and further clarifies how we offer our advice," Zhou said.
In addition to its advisory role, another function of the CPPCC is supervision.
Supervision covers the implementation of the Constitution, laws and regulations, major state policy, as well as the handling of practical issues of social concern and the integrity of state agencies and their staff.
Over the past five years, political advisors have raised the proportion of supervision-related agenda to 28 percent. "Consultative supervision," has been included in the draft amendment to the charter.
"This revision gives us guidance on how to conduct supervision and will improve implementation of government policy." said Gao Xiaomei, a member of the CPPCC National Committee and vice chairperson of the Revolutionary Committee of the Chinese Kuomintang Central Committee.
The current CPPCC charter was adopted in 1982 and has been amended three times: in 1994, 2000, and 2004.