Some NPC, CPCC members lack expertise

Updated: 2015-02-06 11:28

By Li Yang in Shanghai(China Daily USA)

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Some NPC, CPCC members lack expertise

The regional development and income gaps in China require more governance skills and wisdom from the government, its advisers and lawmakers. Migrant workers on the job beside the Huangpu River in Shanghai. [Photo by Gao Erqiang / China Daily]

The National People's Congress (NPC), China's top legislature, and Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), China's top political advisory body, will hold their annual meetings next month in Beijing , which are called "two sessions".

New laws will be passed, old laws will be abolished or amended. The government's budget and work report will be discussed, revised and passed, and the government will receive a good deal of suggestions, and must respond to them in a timely manner.

The NPC and CPPCC have their local branches of provincial, city and county levels. The local "two sessions" come in January or February. The central and local two sessions are the most important conferences in China's political life, and have direct influence on the economic and social life in the country.

Yet, some members of the NPC and CPPCC and their local branches have not demonstrated the qualifications and expertise that they should have. About 40 members of CPPCC's Shandong branch were recently found plagiarizing students' papers, and proposals by members of other provinces in their proposals.

The discussions of Shanghai's two sessions are disappointing because of the lack of professionalism and expertise. Some people's representatives cannot comprehend government budget and work report. Some political advisers just air their personal views and malcontents, rather than speaking for the public. To some extent, some of their discussions are even of less value than some debates appearing on the online forums.

Chinese authorities should not turn a blind eye to the problem. The questions are, how do these representatives and advisers enter the NPC and CPPCC, how do they change from a qualified member to a lazy and irresponsible member, and why haven't the two key political organizations addressed the problem after the media and the public complained about them for quite a long time.

If Chinese authorities cannot solve the institutional maladies of the NPC and the CPPCC, the two organizations are likely to become decorations of the government and the Party.

The media's coverage of the two sessions show that the meetings are a political show for some entertainment and sports celebrities, as well as some members raising weird proposals such as requiring husbands to pay for each hour of household work done by their wives.

There are so many urgent reforms to be implemented in many fields of the economy, politics and society in China. The two sessions attendees must value their seat and time, and take their legal duties seriously.

The NPC and CPPCC members should enjoy their power, independence, and have the professional knowledge and experience to make laws, supervise the government and raise important proposals.

The two organizations' heads are regarded as state leaders. And the NPC and CPPCC members' titles bring privileges to them. A member of NPC's Xuzhou city branch in Jiangsu province dug an 18-meter deep basement in a courtyard he bought in downtown Beijing. His construction project, which had not been approved by relevant authorities and was fiercely opposed by neighbors, has been on for nearly three years without being questioned by local government, and finally led to a serious land problem last week, swallowing a section of the main road and three houses nearby. The authority's latest investigation showed three construction workers died in his illegal and dangerous construction site three years ago. But that did not influence the progress of his project at all. The government will fill 4,000 tons of cement back into the hole he dug.

In Kunshan, Jiangsu province, the investigation of a fire in a sweatshop factory that claimed more than 70 lives last August, revealed that local government would award investors the title of people's representative to attract investment.

Some members of the NPC and CPPCC and their local branches have many chances to seek illegal profits from their close connections with power holders. Su Rong, former vice-chairman of CPPCC, and several vice-chairmen of CPPCC's provincial organs were just sacked on charges of serious disciplinary violation and power abuses last year.

Chinese leaders always remind government officials to bear in mind that they work to serve the people. And the government has transformed a lot in the market and political reform from an almighty authority to a public service provider and a watchdog of the market order.

The legislature and political advisers should also reform themselves to keep detachment from the government and attachment to the people, which is the source of their true authority.

If China cannot find quality representatives of the people and professional political advisers to form effective communications at their important annual conferences, the efficiency and sustainability of its political system will be seriously affected.