On centennial CPC, lawmakers and advisors pin high hopes
"Centenary" is a buzzword among Chinese lawmakers and political advisors who are in Beijing discussing blueprints vital for the country's future development under the leadership of the Communist Party of China (CPC).
The year 2021 marks the 100th anniversary of the founding of the CPC and the starting point of the 14th Five-Year Plan for development.
At the ongoing annual sessions of the national legislature and the top political advisory body, lawmakers and political advisors called for more detailed measures in various aspects -- from rural vitalization, high-quality development to anti-graft fights -- to ensure the successful implementation of a four-pronged comprehensive strategy.
The strategy of fully building a modern socialist China as well as comprehensively deepening reform, advancing the rule of law and strengthening the CPC discipline was unveiled by the CPC Central Committee in October 2020 to guide the country's new journey.
"As the focus is shifting from poverty alleviation to rural vitalization, we look forward to a better tomorrow," said Luo Aying, a deputy to the 13th National People's Congress (NPC), the national legislature.
Luo, 49, is from the Jino ethnic group that mainly inhabits the mountainous area of southwest China's Yunnan Province. The ethnic group bade farewell to primitive farming and hunting after the founding of New China in 1949 and shook off poverty last year.
"The achievements would have been impossible without the leadership of the CPC," said Luo, who herself experienced the days with barely enough food and clothing during her childhood.
"By developing industries like tea cultivation, we no longer have to live in shabby cottages," she said, adding that every family now has a new house, and one-third of them have bought cars.
According to the government work report unveiled at the NPC session, China will set a five-year transition period to consolidate and expand its achievements in poverty alleviation and continue to promote rural vitalization.
Li Yin, an NPC deputy, runs a new-energy company in Harbin, northeast China's Heilongjiang Province. His company has developed a biomass power and heating generator, which helps process agricultural waste to reduce pollution from coal-fired heating in winter.
"My suggestions are about promoting clean energy to push forward high-quality development," said Li.
Amid the country's green transition to pursue a "Beautiful China," a set of interim rules for carbon-emissions trading management came into effect in February, marking a key step toward meeting its ambitious 2060 target of carbon neutrality.
RULE OF LAW
The socialist rule of law system with Chinese characteristics, with the Constitution at its heart, is constantly being improved.
There are 275 pieces of laws and over 600 state-level administrative rules and regulations currently effective in China. Major pieces of legislation adopted in recent years include amendments to the Criminal Law and the Administrative Procedure Law, as well as the Civil Code.
Cai Hua, an NPC deputy and president of the Tianjin Lawyers Association, said with the major framework under the rule of law established, more detailed clauses should be in place.
For example, Cai said he saw many disputes between shareholders and former management over the control of a company.
"To protect the rights and interests of shareholders, a legal procedure should be established to timely change the legal representative of a company even if the former representative is not cooperative," he said.
Despite the challenges brought by COVID-19, foreign investment in China grew by 6.2 percent year on year in 2020 to a record high of nearly 1 trillion yuan (about 153.6 billion U.S. dollars).
The foreign investment law taking effect last year grants foreign-invested enterprises access to government procurement markets through fair competition. The law also bans using administrative licensing and penalties to force foreign investors and firms to transfer technology.
"Only if investors' legal rights and interests are safeguarded can the country attract more investment and create an economy with more market vitality," said Cai.
STRENGTHENING PARTY DISCIPLINE
While discussing the social and economic development of the country, lawmakers and political advisors have also urged efforts to prevent potential corruption risks, particularly at the grassroots level.
Last year, Chinese courts concluded 22,000 embezzlement, bribery, and dereliction-of-duty cases, involving 26,000 individuals, according to the work report on the Supreme People's Court unveiled Monday.
Further efforts in strengthening CPC discipline are expected at the grassroots level, as the 18th meeting of the Commission for Deepening Overall Reform of the CPC Central Committee in February ordered a long-term mechanism for preventing and tackling the problem of "village bullies."
Following research and investigation, Liu Weichang, a national political advisor without party affiliation, discovered that some village cadres, mostly those who rely on family influence to be elected, had abused power for their private gains and stolen villagers' interests.
Liu, who himself is from the rural area of Hebei Province, proposed that a township official should be vetoed if village bullies and corruption cases are reported in villages within the township's administration.
"We won't allow hard-won poverty alleviation fruits to be tossed away by corrupt village and township cadres," he said.
The CPC is set to achieve its first centenary goal -- completely building a moderately prosperous society in all respects -- and embarks on a journey toward the second -- building a great modern socialist country that is prosperous, strong, democratic, culturally advanced, harmonious and beautiful by 2049, the centenary of the People's Republic of China.
Guided by the four-pronged comprehensive strategy, the next five years will lay a solid foundation to realizing the country's second centenary goal, according to the lawmakers and political advisors.