China’s constitutional revision accords with the people’s will
By Huan Xiang from People’s Daily
China’s constitutional revision is of significance for ensuring prosperity and lasting security of the Party and the country, and better embodies the aspirations of the people, said delegates to the ongoing national legislative and political advisory sessions when deliberating and discussing the draft amendment to the Constitution.
It is a major decision made by the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) with Comrade Xi Jinping as the core from the overall and strategic height of upholding and developing socialism with Chinese characteristics in the new era, they stressed.
As an important event in the country’s political life, the constitutional amendment is also a major move to advance law-based governance and modernize China’s system and capacity for governance, the delegates added.
The draft constitutional revision, proposed by the CPC Central Committee, was adopted by the 12th National People’s Congress (NPC) Standing Committee at its 32nd session convened from January 29 to 30, and was submitted to the first session of 13th NPC for deliberation on March 5.
The draft amendment reads that 11 of the 21 proposals are about supervisory commissions.
The bill suggests giving Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era constitutional authority by enshrining it as a new guiding theory for the country.
Facts have proven that the timely translation of the Party’s guiding ideology into that of the country by amending Constitution is of great significance for the development of the Party and the country, said Xu Wenguang, a deputy to the 13th NPC.
The move is able to ensure a high-level unity of the Party and the country as well as the aspiration of the people, added Xu, also Secretary of the CPC Quzhou Municipal Committee from east China’s Zhejiang province.
It is a must to incorporate Xi Jinping thought, which is CPC’s secret to success in governance, into the revised Constitution, Xu stressed.
Making the Party’s guiding thought that of the country through constitutional revision also accords with the requirement of improving the Constitution to adapt to new situations, agreed Chen Jiadong, a deputy to the 13th NPC and also director of the Standing Committee of the Xiamen Municipal People’s Congress from southeast China’s Fujian province.
The revisions include a series of clauses concerning the CPC leadership, the system of people’s congresses and united front, oath of allegiance to the Constitution, the presidential term of office, function and power of the State Council, legislative power as well as supervisory commissions.
A sentence reading “The leadership of the Communist Party of China is the defining feature of socialism with Chinese characteristics” was also added into the Constitution.
“The addition, an important finding of Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, represents a portrayal of both the historic facts and reality,” noted Li Baoping, a member of the 13th National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC).
The inclusion, which accords with the basic principles of the Constitution, also embodies the laws that underlie governance by the Party and the development of socialism, added Li, who is also director of the Institute of Law and Social Sciences at the Ningxia Academy of Social Sciences.
The revision to the President’s term of office is an institutional arrangement aiming to improve the leadership system of the Party and the country, commented Zhang Hongzhi, a member of the 13th CPPCC National Committee.
“Such a revision doesn’t mean there will be a change in the retirement system of the Party and state leaders or a lifelong tenure for these officials,” explained Zhang, also vice director of the Party Literature Research Center of the CPC Central Committee.
The lawmakers and political advisors pointed out that the constitutional revision has pooled public opinions and wisdom, fully represented the aspiration of people and won the support of the people.
The wide participation of the public always matters in the Constitution formulation and amendments, said delegate Zhang Tianren, who is also Party secretary of a village in east China’s Zhejiang province.
The amendment was proposed after soliciting opinions of all walks of life, he said, adding that it reflects the wisdom and wishes of Chinese people of all ethnic groups, gathers consensus of all social sectors and demonstrates the features of socialist democracy.
Representatives of overseas Chinese nationals discuss the draft constitutional amendment at the first session of the 13th National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), March 7, 2018. (Photo by Lei Sheng from People’s Daily)