The new leadership of the country’s top political advisory body for the next five years will be elected at the [ongoing] First Plenary Session of the 14th National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, making the plenum an important event for the country’s socioeconomic development.
Over the past five years, the 13th National Committee of the CPPCC has faithfully fulfilled its duties. About 24,000 out of the more than 29,000 proposals on various fields of the country’s social, economic, political and cultural lives it received have been adopted and put forward to the central authorities for reference in making decisions, laws and policies.
In the process, the top political advisory body of the country, which consists of more than 2,000 members, mostly professionals and experts from all walks of life, has taken full advantage of the expertise of its nine special committees that cover all the key areas of the country’s development to provide the decision-makers with pragmatic suggestions.
These special committees’ candid, constructive and sometimes fierce debates over specific topics, such as emissions reduction, poverty alleviation and rural vitalization, the digital economy and the aging society, are reflections of how consultative democracy, an important part of the whole-process people’s democracy of China, works and serves the progress of the nation.
The members of the CPPCC National Committee do not speak for a particular vested interest group, such as an industry, a political party or a certain corporation as is so often the case in many Western countries, but for the people. That guarantees the objectivity and independence of the political advisory body as a whole as well as the efficiency of its work, as its members can concentrate their time and energy on obtaining first-hand information through fact-finding surveys or field research, and make good use of their expertise to suggest workable solutions to problems, or advise the decision-makers to press the brakes on policies that are not having their intended effect.
As the external development environment for the country is changing dramatically, the burdens on the shoulders of the 14th CPPCC National Committee members over the next five years will be even heavier than before. The country has to develop new comparative advantages to maintain, if not strengthen, its position in the global value, industry and supply chains through reforms in the face of the United States’ containment, bullying and decoupling efforts.
However, as the reform drive has entered the deep-water zone and as the US is leaving no stone unturned to lockdown the river, the time when the country could wade across the river by feeling for the stones has long gone. Neither the high-standard opening-up nor the high-quality development the country pursues will be easily achieved under these circumstances.
Facing such a challenging and fast-changing situation, the new CPPCC National Committee, as a treasure trove of specialist knowledge and experience as well as a key connection between the authorities and the public, must dutifully shoulder its responsibilities to help the nation make the most of what it has to adapt to the new normal.
On the one hand, the political advisers need to shorten the time it takes to form proposals from months to weeks or even days without compromising the quality to ensure the timeliness of their proposals, which must reflect the actual conditions of the problems they want to resolve.
On the other hand, they should take the initiative to focus on the most pressing bottleneck issues in their respective fields, avoiding some low-hanging fruits. Their research should be forward-looking and problem-oriented, but not pure endorsement of policies that have already proved a success.
Last but not least, there should be a more stringent performance evaluation system that encourages them to devote themselves to providing the best advice possible. Their post by no means represents an honorary title but rather a tremendous responsibility to serve the nation and meet the heavy trust of the people.
Editorial, China Daily