Top legislator vows to promote rule of law

Updated: 2013-03-17 10:26


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BEIJING - China's newly-installed parliament will dutifully fulfill its obligations to promote socialist democracy and the rule of law, and safeguard the authority of the Constitution, top legislator Zhang Dejiang said on Sunday.

"We are fully aware of the lofty missions and the huge responsibilities," Zhang, chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC), made his first public speech after his election to the new post. "We shall not fail the trust of people of all ethnic groups."

The NPC, or China's parliament, is the highest institution through which the people exercise the state power. The Standing Committee is the NPC's permanent organ.

"It is the primary task for people's congresses at all levels and their standing committees to uphold the rule of law and safeguard the authorities of the Constitution and the laws," Zhang said at the closing meeting of the 1st Session of the 12th NPC.

Zhang Dejiang, 66, member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, was elected chairman of the NPC Standing Committee on Thursday. He replaced Wu Bangguo, who held the position for the past decade.

A new leadership lineup including 13 vice-chairpersons and a Standing Committee made up by 161 members were also elected.

"To ensure people's democratic rights, we must strengthen the rule of law and put democracy under institutional and legal frames," Zhang said.

"We need to make sure that the system and the laws will not change due to leadership switch, nor due to variations of personal opinions and focuses of the leadership," he added.

China's legislative organs will support deputies to the congresses to participate in the management of state affairs, Zhang said.

"People's will should be more effectively put into practice through the people's congress system, the main channel of Chinese democracy," said Zhang.

The NPC and its Standing Committee will make continuous efforts to improve on the socialist legal system with Chinese characteristics and provide legal support to the goal of building a moderately prosperous society and China's reform and opening-up drive, Zhang said.

"We should put into full play the functions of legislation and strengthen legislation in key areas," Zhang said.

"We should enhance organization and coordination of legislation work, expand people's orderly participation in legislation and improve the quality of legislation," the top legislator said.

"We need to ensure that the will of the Party and the people will be better reflected through legal means," he added.