What is the CPPCC?
The Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) is a patriotic united front organization of the Chinese people, serving as a key mechanism for multi-party cooperation and political consultation under the leadership of the Communist Party of China (CPC). China's only national political consultative body, it is an important channel for socialist consultative democracy, a key component of the national governance system, and an institution designed with Chinese characteristics.
The two main themes of the CPPCC are unity and democracy.
As the national political consultative body, the CPPCC promotes unity and multi-party cooperation, and people's democracy. While fulfilling the traditional duties defined when it was founded in 1949, shortly before the establishment of the People's Republic of China (PRC), the CPPCC keeps up with the times, performing its functions in line with the requirements of the new era. Guided by Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, the CPPCC is responsible for improving democracy, enhancing unity, offering advice and suggestions on state affairs, and building consensus. Its strengths in socialist consultative democracy place it in a unique position to render support to the work of the CPC and the government.
What are its functions?
The main functions of the National Committee and local committees of the CPPCC are political consultation, democratic supervision, and participation in and deliberation of state affairs.
Political consultation involves consultations prior to final decision-making on state policies, local measures and major political, economic, cultural, social, and eco-environmental issues, and consultation in the process of the decision implementation. Based on the proposals of the CPC, the NPC Standing Committee, the People's Government, other political parties and people's organizations, the National Committee and local committees of the CPPCC can hold consultation meetings attended by the heads of the non-CPC parties, by those in charge of the organizations and representatives from ethnic minorities and all sectors of society. They can also recommend that the above-mentioned units and groups submit relevant issues for consultation.
Democratic supervision refers to consultative supervision carried out by means of opinions, suggestions and criticism on:
the enforcement of the state's Constitution, laws and regulations;
the implementation of general principles and policies, major reform measures, and key decisions and plans;
the resolution of problems of immediate concern to the people;
the performance of duties by state organs and their functionaries.
Participation in and deliberation of state affairs involves conducting investigations and studies, reporting on social conditions and popular sentiment, and undertaking consultation and discussion about matters of key importance to politics, economy, culture, society and the eco-environment, and other issues of common concern to the general public. Opinions and suggestions to the CPC and state organs are delivered by CPPCC members through investigation reports, proposals, recommendations and other forms.
While improving its performance in political consultation, democratic supervision, and participation in and deliberation of state affairs, the CPPCC is entrusted with the task of building consensus in adapting to its new mission in the new era.
Consensus can be reached in a wide range of areas and through a variety of means:
When non-CPC parties, people's organizations, ethnic minorities, and representatives from all sectors of society accept the CPC's proposals through consultations;
When the CPC accepts their opinions and suggestions in the formulation of major Party and state policies;
When consensus is reached within the united front and the CPPCC on working towards the same goal and heading in the same direction;
When efforts are made by the CPPCC to facilitate the general public's appreciation of the Party's guideline and policies;
When different groups of people are informed on and convinced of better options, and when their misgivings are dispelled and trust enhanced;
When concerns are addressed, problems resolved, and over-radical ideas defused through varied means and on different occasions.
Through its work, the CPPCC strives to be an important body for upholding and strengthening the Party's leadership over all areas, an important platform for unifying, educating and guiding representatives of ethnic minorities and all sectors on the Party's new theories, and an important channel for defusing problems and building consensus on a common theoretical and political foundation.
Who are the members and how do they work?
The members of the CPPCC are the main body of the organization. Nominees for the CPPCC National Committee are scrutinized through relevant selection procedures before a list is developed and submitted to the Standing Committee of the National Committee for discussion and decision. Nominees for local committees pass through a similar process and the decision-making rests with the standing committees of local committees. Non-CPC members make up a substantial proportion of CPPCC committees at all levels, and they should constitute no less than 60 percent of the members of each new CPPCC committee.
CPPCC members should love the motherland, uphold the leadership of the Communist Party of China and socialist cause, uphold ethnic solidarity and national unity, abide by the Constitution and laws of the country, keep state secrets, have integrity and self-discipline, be able to represent their respective groups, have social influence, and be capable of discussing and managing state affairs. CPPCC members enjoy the following rights: the right to vote, the right to elect and the right to be elected at the CPPCC sessions; the right to make suggestions and criticisms concerning the work of the CPPCC; the right to fully air their opinions and participate in discussions on national policies and principles and important local affairs at the sessions and through their committees.
Representing their parties, organizations, ethnic groups and sectors, CPPCC members should diligently perform their duties and fulfill their obligations in accordance with the Charter of the CPPCC. They should:
enhance their political awareness, understand how the CPPCC functions, be capable of political consultation, observe discipline and rules, and uphold good conduct;
improve their ability to perform their duties, uphold personal ethics, fully engage themselves in the CPPCC’s work, and improve the system;
participate in the meetings and activities organized by the CPPCC, and abide by the resolutions adopted at the meetings of CPPCC committees;
improve their skills and take the lead in their work units, faithfully represent the people and maintain close ties with them, and unite with and guide people from their organizations and groups.
CPPCC members are encouraged to reach out to the people they represent so as to hear their opinions and suggestions, promote state policies and guidelines, and assist the Party and the government in explaining policies, dispelling misgivings, addressing concerns and problems, and enhancing unity. The CPPCC respects and safeguards the democratic rights of its members, strengthens discipline and management over their training and work-related activities, and creates conditions and provides services for the members to better fulfill their duties.
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