Fully Implementing the Fifth Five-Year Plan for Increasing Public Awareness of the Law to Promote Social and Economic Development

From: English Edition of Qiushi Journal Updated: 2011-09-20 13:05
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 Interview with Wu Aiying, Minister of Justice and Director of the National Office for Increasing Public Awareness of the Law 

 Reporter: The fifth five-year plan for increasing public awareness of the law, now in its fifth year, has made a positive contribution to ensuring sound and rapid social and economic development. Could you please give us an overall picture of the progress in implementing the plan?

 Wu Aiying: Publicity and education work to increase public awareness of the law, which is important and basic for the fundamental principle of implementing the rule of law, has always been viewed as an important matter by the CPC Central Committee and the State Council. Party committees and governments at all levels, all government departments and all industries have incorporated publicity and education work to increase awareness of the law in their master plans for local social and economic development and devoted a great deal of effort to carrying them out. All 31 provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities directly under the central government, the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps and more than 120 central government and state agencies and industrial departments have worked out plans for increasing awareness of the law, improved leading bodies and functional agencies, improved their leadership structure and working mechanisms, and strengthened guarantees for successful implementation. Overall, all localities have done an outstanding job in study and publicity work to increase awareness of the Constitution, raising public awareness of the Constitution, increasing respect for the Constitution throughout society, increasing people’s compliance with the Constitution and helping ensure that people safeguard the authority of the Constitution. They stepped up publicity and education work to increase public awareness of the basic laws of the state and the concept of the socialist rule of law, increased publicity and education work to increase public awareness of laws and regulations related to economic development, social stability, social security and improvement of the lives of the people, and increased awareness of the concept of the rule of law and awareness of the law throughout society. They carefully carried out a campaign to increase knowledge about the law in the six key areas of Party and government organs, rural areas, urban communities, enterprises, schools and work units and the various activities designed to increase public awareness of the law, increasing the coverage and impact of publicity to increase public awareness of the law. Awareness of the law among the key target populations of leading cadres, public servants, young people, corporate executives and rural residents was steadily deepened and the role of these populations as leading examples in knowledge of the law was strengthened. The effort to ensure government administration in accordance with the law has made good progress through extensive activities to create democratic rule-of-law cities, districts, villages and demonstration communities, marking a further step toward ensuring government administration in accordance with the law throughout society. 

 Reporter: An important characteristic of the fifth five-year plan is that it calls for campaigns to increase public awareness of the law that are closely tied to the central task and major decisions and arrangements of the Party and the state. Could you please tell us a little about this work? 

 Wu Aiying: One, we launched a publicity campaign to increase public awareness of the law that will help promote steady and rapid development of the economy. In response to the international financial crisis, we developed campaigns based on the theme of “stepping up publicity and education work to increase awareness of the law in enterprises and taking vigorous measures to cope with the international financial crisis” and launched publicity campaigns to increase public awareness of the law with the themes of “forum on how enterprises can respond to the international financial crisis in accordance with the law” and “increasing awareness of the law among the rural population to promote reform and development in rural areas.” These campaigns have created a good social atmosphere of respect for the rule of law that will help ensure growth, the well-being of the people and social stability, and promote the development of a new socialist countryside. Two, we developed publicity campaigns to increase public awareness of the law in relation to carrying out our major tasks and coping with major incidents. We launched a publicity campaign with the theme of “linking a people-oriented Olympics with the rule of law” to coordinate with the Beijing Olympics and Beijing Paralympics and another publicity campaign with the theme of “ensuring good public security for the 60th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China.” We developed a publicity campaign that was carried out in conjunction with disaster relief to increase awareness of the law in the tents of the disaster zone following the massive earthquake in Wenchuan county, Sichuan province. We developed a publicity campaign to increase public awareness of the law in farming and pasture areas, urban communities, temples and households in Tibetan areas following the serious and violent disturbances that occurred on March 14, 2008, in which buildings were burned, stores were looted, cars were crushed and people were attacked and killed in the streets of Lhasa, Tibet. We developed a publicity campaign to increase public awareness of the law with the theme of “safeguarding the authority of the Constitution and the law to promote social harmony and stability” following the July 5 disturbances in Urumqi to create a good environment for the rule of law conducive to carrying out our major tasks and coping with major events. Three, we developed a publicity campaign to increase public awareness of the law to aid in safeguarding social stability. We have devoted a great deal of effort to increasing public awareness of the laws and regulations related to safeguarding social stability, advising the people on how to properly express their demands to redress infringement of their interests and resolving issues and disputes in accordance with the law in an all-out effort to safeguard social stability.

 December 2, 2009, a judge shows Tianjin middle school students around the People’s Court in Nankai District, Tianjin. In conjunction with the 9th National Legal Publicity Day, the Education Bureau of Nankai District and the People’s Court of Nankai District jointly arranged an open day at the court called, “A Look at the Big Classroom of the People’s Court” to increase public awareness of the law. Judges led a hundred middle school students from Nankai District on a visit to the People’s Court of Nankai District where they visited the litigation service center and courtroom to learn about the litigation service process and relevant legal knowledge. / Supplied by Xinhua

 Reporter: The key targets for the fifth five-year plan for increasing public awareness of the law are leading cadres, public servants, young people, corporate executives and rural residents, which gave a strong boost to publicity and education work to increase awareness of the law throughout society. Could you please tell us a little about the achievements made in the publicity and education work among the key target populations?

 Wu Aiying: A great deal of effort has been put into publicity and education to increase awareness of the law among leading cadres. The Ministry of Justice, the Organization Department of the CPC Central Committee and the Publicity Department of the CPC Central Committee jointly issued “Opinions on Stepping Up Efforts to Encourage Leading Cadres to Study and Use the Law to Strengthen Capacities for Government Administration in Accordance with the Law” and called a joint national meeting to allow leading cadres to exchange experience in studying and using the law and made specific arrangements for leading cadres to study and learn how to use the law. All localities and departments have adopted a number of ways to teach leading cadres about the law and how to use it. Since the fifth five-year plan for increasing public awareness of the law was launched, total cadre attendance at all the sessions was more than 24,000 at the provincial and ministerial level and more than 400,000 at the level of prefecture and provincial department. Leading cadres have become significantly more conscientious in studying and using the law and have become better at making policy decisions, administering government affairs and handling matters in accordance with the law. We stepped up publicity and education efforts to increase awareness of the law among public servants and continued to provide on-the-job training in knowledge of the law, with attendance at all of the sessions totaling more than 40 million nationwide. We stepped up publicity and education work to increase awareness of the law among young people, taking full advantage of the roles of the schools, families and society as an integrated network to teach young people about the law, and promoted fulfillment of the plan to teach primary and secondary school students about the law by ensuring an adequate supply of teaching planning, teaching materials, class time and teachers. As a result, students increased their knowledge of and respect for the law. We stepped up publicity and education work to increase awareness of the law among corporate executives to promote better compliance with the law in enterprise operation and management. Finally, we stepped up publicity and education efforts to increase awareness of the law among rural residents and migrant workers in cities, with attendance of rural cadres at the training sessions totaling over 12 million, raising awareness of the law among rural residents.

 Reporter: Increasing awareness of the law among the six key target areas is an important task as well as a bright spot in the fifth five-year plan for increasing public awareness of the law. Please tell us a little about the measures adopted and achievements made in this campaign.

 Wu Aiying: We carefully carried out the campaign to increase awareness of the law in government organs and teach government personnel about the socialist rule of law, which helped civil servants better understand the rule of law and helped ensure that they administer government affairs in accordance with the law and better serve society. We diligently carried out the campaign to increase awareness of the law among the rural population, setting up more education bases in rural areas to increase public awareness of the law. We carried out a campaign with the theme of “increasing awareness of the law in the countryside” and a campaign with the theme of “increasing awareness of the law in rural households” through various media, promoting the development of a new socialist countryside. We diligently carried out a campaign to increase awareness of the law among urban communities, increasing awareness of the law among urban residents and making urban communities more harmonious. We carried out a campaign to increase awareness of the law in schools to strengthen the education network and education bases for increasing awareness of the law among young people, teaching them about the law and making them more aware of the importance of abiding by the law. We carried out a campaign to increase awareness of the law in enterprises, increasing awareness among corporate executives of the importance of abiding by the law in enterprise operations and promoting better compliance with the law in enterprise management. We carried out a campaign to increase awareness of the law in work units to improve the system for learning about the law and broaden the scope of study, ensuring better compliance with the law in the government regulation of all trades and industries.

 Reporter: What kinds of innovations have been made in the fifth five-year plan for increasing public awareness of the law?

 Wu Aiying: All localities and departments have been actively working since the launch of the fifth five-year plan for increasing public awareness of the law to make innovations in publicity and education work to make it more practical and more appealing to the general public. One, innovations were made in the approach to the work. By putting people first and serving the people and first of all taking into consideration the demands of the people concerning the law in publicity and education work, we focused on laws and regulations that affect the working and living conditions of people to educate the public while serving them. Two, innovations were made in the work systems and mechanisms. We constantly reviewed successful experiences and practices in publicity and education work to improve the mechanisms for increasing awareness and use of the law and the mechanisms for assessing and overseeing various systems of publicity and education in this field, helping to make publicity and education work more institutionalized and standardized. Three, innovations were made in the methods and media used in the work. We took full advantage of the mass media, including radio, television, newspapers and the Internet. Displays of legal knowledge were set up in new locations such as long corridors in public places and in parks in cities and rural areas. We greatly expanded the use of new platforms such as LED screens, large-screen televisions on buildings, mobile phone news, televisions in urban public transport and mobile communications to continuously increase the public’s exposure to knowledge about the law. December 4, the National Day for Increasing Awareness of the Law, has become an important part of the effort. 

 Reporter: An important task in the fifth five-year plan to increase public awareness of the law is to teach people about the legal system while putting the rule of law into practice to promote governance in accordance with the law. Could you please tell us a little about the progress made in this area?

 Wu Aiying: We have been working across the country over the past few years to ensure that government affairs are handled in accordance with the law, making orderly progress in developing cities and regions that are models for the rule of law and making dramatic progress in developing communities that are models for the rule of law. The Ministry of Justice and Ministry of Civil Affairs recognized more than 1,400 villages as models for democratic rule of law and developed model communities for democratic rule of law and demonstration areas for government administration in accordance with the law all across the country over the last 4 years, bringing the country closer to the goal of ensuring governance in accordance with the law throughout society.

 Reporter: There are three key areas in the efforts of the justice, procuratorial and law enforcement systems to maintain stability, i.e. promoting resolution of social conflicts, making innovations in the management of society and ensuring just and clean law enforcement. Could you please explain to us how this publicity and education campaign is playing a role in these three key areas?

 Wu Aiying: We conscientiously organized and carried out a campaign with the theme of “stepping up publicity and education efforts to increase public awareness of the law and resolving social conflicts” and worked to ensure that governments at all levels and public servants carry out decision-making and handle affairs in accordance with the law and work to reduce social conflicts and disputes at the source in order to reduce conflicts among different groups in society. We advised the public on how to properly express their demands to redress infringement of their interests in accordance with the law so that social conflicts and disputes could be resolved through mediation whenever possible. As part of the effort to make innovations in the management of society, we stepped up publicity and education efforts to increase awareness of laws and regulations related to the management of society, helping to ensure that governments and social agencies manage the affairs of society in accordance with the law, advising the public on how to handle affairs in accordance with the law and bringing the country closer to government administration by the rule of law throughout society. Working to ensure just and clean law enforcement, we stepped up efforts to teach leading cadres and law enforcement personnel about the concept of the socialist rule of law and increased publicity and education efforts to increase their awareness of laws and regulations to ensure clean government, thus helping to create a good environment for just, clean and impartial enforcement of the law.  

(From Qiushi in Chinese, No. 6, 2010)


Note:  Interview conducted by Yang Shaohua and Yi Saijian, reporters of Qiushi Journal  

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