The following is the full text of the Report on the Work of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC), which was delivered by Chairman Wu Bangguo of the NPC Standing Committee on March 9, 2010 for review at the Third Session of the 11th NPC and adopted on March 14, 2010:
REPORT ON THE WORK OF THE STANDING COMMITTEE
OF THE NATIONAL PEOPLE'S CONGRESS
Delivered at the Third Session of the Eleventh National People's Congress on March 9, 2010
Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress
Wu Bangguo, Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, delivers work report at the Third Session of the Eleventh National People's Congress on March 9, 2010. (Xinhua Photo)
I have been entrusted by the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC) to present this report on its work for your deliberation and approval.
Major Work of the Past Year
The year 2009 was the most difficult year for our country's economic development since the beginning of the new century. Faced with a complex situation and severe challenges, the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC), with Comrade Hu Jintao as General Secretary, united with and led the people of all the country's ethnic groups in fortifying their confidence, meeting difficulties head-on, and winning new victories in socialist economic, political, cultural, social, and ecological development.
Over the past year, the NPC Standing Committee comprehensively implemented the guiding principles of the Seventeenth National Congress of the CPC and the third and fourth plenary sessions of the Seventeenth CPC Central Committee; took Deng Xiaoping Theory and the important thought of Three Represents as its guide; thoroughly applied the Scientific Outlook on Development; intimately integrated the leadership of the Party, the position of the people as masters of the country, and the rule of law; carried out its duties in accordance with the law and the guiding principles of the Second Session of the Eleventh NPC, firmly focusing on the overall work of the Party and state; and made new progress in all of its work. In the last year, the NPC deliberated 22 bills and draft decisions on legal issues and passed 14 of them; adopted two resolutions; listened to and deliberated 14 reports by the State Council, the Supreme People's Court, and the Supreme People's Procuratorate and an investigative report on a special topic and a follow-up inspection report; checked compliance with three laws; handled 518 bills submitted by NPC deputies; approved six treaties and accords China concluded with foreign countries and accession to an international convention; made decisions on and approved the appointment and removal of a number of employees in state organs; and made new contributions to building socialism with Chinese characteristics.
1. Taking decisive steps toward creating a socialist legal system with Chinese characteristics by both enacting new laws and sifting through existing ones
Last year was a key year for reaching the goal of creating a socialist legal system with Chinese characteristics by 2010. While raising the quality of legislation, we made decisive progress in creating such a system by both enacting new laws and sifting through existing ones.
1) We revised the Electoral Law of the National People's Congress and Local People's Congresses and pressed ahead with the self-improvement and self-development of the socialist election system with Chinese characteristics. In order to implement the requirement set forth at the Seventeenth National Party Congress that we gradually achieve the goal of electing deputies to people's congresses based on the same population ratio in urban and rural areas, the NPC Standing Committee made the revision of the Electoral Law of the National People's Congress and Local People's Congresses a focus of its legislative work and promptly began this work. After conscientiously sorting through deputies' proposals and suggestions, conducting thorough investigations and studies, and listening to the opinions of a wide range of sources, we formulated a draft amendment to the Electoral Law. The Standing Committee held a meeting to perform a preliminary evaluation of the draft amendment in October, after which it posted the entire text of the draft on the NPC website and broadly solicited the opinions of the people and all sectors of society. The Standing Committee undertook a further evaluation of the draft at its December meeting and decided to present it to this session of the NPC for its deliberation and approval. The members of the Standing Committee all agree on the guiding ideology and work principles for this amendment to the Electoral Law. We believe that the amendment that proposes electing deputies to people's congresses based on the same population ratio in urban and rural areas and assures an appropriate number of deputies from every locality, ethnic group, and sector is in accord with the guiding principles of the Seventeenth National Party Congress, the realities of our country's economic and social development, and the willing of the people; better embodies the principle that all people, all localities, and all ethnic groups are equal; is beneficial for broadening the scope of people's democracy; and guarantees that the people are masters of the country. Everyone emphasized that amending the Electoral Law and pressing ahead with the self-improvement and self-development of the socialist election system with Chinese characteristics is an important aspect of upholding and improving the system of people's congresses and a necessary requirement for developing socialist democratic politics.
Amending the Electoral Law is a major issue in our legislative work and also an important item on the agenda of this session of the NPC. Before this session, we distributed the draft amendment to the Electoral Law to all NPC deputies and asked them to carefully read, discuss, and comment on it as necessary preparation for deliberation of it at this session. The Standing Committee has also explained the draft amendment at this session. We believe that through the efforts of all deputies, we can amend and improve the Electoral Law.
2) We promulgated and submitted for deliberation a succession of important laws. The Law on Tort Liability is an important civil law that has a direct bearing on the vital interests of the people, and the Ninth NPC carried out an initial review of it as a draft civil law. The Standing Committee of this NPC has exerted considerable effort to carry out major revisions to this draft and deliberated it on a number of occasions. The newly formulated Law on Tort Liability takes our country's conditions and realities as its starting point; details, supplements, and improves the basic system established on the general principles of civil law; and clarifies the basic principle for assigning tort liability and the way that liability is borne. It sets forth specific provisions on issues for which there is public concern and widespread agreement, such as medical malpractice, environmental pollution, product defects, traffic accidents, and damage caused by animals. This law is of great importance for protecting the legitimate rights and interests of civil subjects, preventing and punishing infringements of rights, reducing and resolving conflicts in society, and promoting social harmony and stability.
Establishing a sound Social Security Law is a major issue that affects the vital interests of hundreds of millions of people; therefore, all sides are paying great attention. The Standing Committee attaches great importance to the work of formulating the Social Security Law. On the basis of proposals and suggestions made by deputies to the Tenth NPC, we urged the State Council to research and formulate a draft law. On the basis of thorough investigations and studies, widely solicited opinions from society, and a conscientious review of practical experience, the Standing Committee of the current NPC deliberated the State Council's draft a number of times and made major revisions to it. First, we made specific provisions for old-age, medical, workers' compensation, unemployment, and maternity insurance in separate chapters. Second, we set up a system for workers to transfer their basic old-age insurance accounts from one locality to another, and raised the level of unified management of basic old-age insurance funds. Third, we clearly stipulated that the state would gradually set up a new satisfactory old-age insurance system for rural residents, and formulated principles and provisions for the new type of rural cooperative medical care system. Fourth, we improved employers' and insured persons' oversight of social security, strengthened the oversight authority of the standing committees of people's congresses at all levels over the revenue and expenditures, management, and investment operations of social security funds, and insisted that parties in charge of social security funds ensure they are managed and used properly.
The draft Law on Administrative Enforcement, which the Standing Committee is in the process of deliberating, defines the principles that must be adhered to in administrative enforcement; clarifies the set limits of authority, the enforcing bodies, and related procedures for administrative enforcement; and requires that administrative enforcement be assessed before it is adopted, and that its implementation be subject to periodic evaluation to ensure that the exercise of administrative enforcement is standardized, limited, and subject to oversight in order to avoid and prevent abuses of power. It also endows administrative bodies with necessary means of enforcement, and guarantees that administrative bodies carry out their duties in accordance with the law.
The state compensation law directly affects the exercise of public power and the protection of citizens' legitimate rights and interests. On the basis of the serious problems reported by NPC deputies and people from all walks of life, the draft amendment to the Law on State Compensation improves provisions of the law mainly in order to make it easier to seek compensation, improve the procedures for awarding compensation, clarify the scope of compensation and the responsibility for producing evidence, and ensure that compensation is paid.
In the 20 plus years since the promulgation and implementation of the Organic Law of Villagers' Committees, villagers' self-governance - consisting principally of democratic elections, decision making, supervision, and oversight - has developed by leaps and bounds and won the heartfelt support of rural residents. At the same time, we need to recognize that as our country's economy and society develop and rural residents' political enthusiasm continually increases, we should constantly press ahead with the self-improvement and self-development of the socialist system of villagers' self-governance with Chinese characteristics. The draft amendment to the Organic Law of Villagers' Committees mainly revises and supplements provisions in order to improve procedures for electing and dismissing members of villagers' committees; perfect democratic procedural systems such as villagers' congresses, villagers' conferences and villagers' meetings; and strengthen the oversight and democratic discussion of village affairs.
The draft laws that we are deliberating have wide-ranging implications, will have a significant impact on society, and have complex legal ramifications; therefore, we must proceed carefully. We need to continue to listen to the suggestions of NPC deputies, all sectors of society, and especially people at the primary level, and devote ourselves to completing the revisions in order to promulgate and implement them as soon as possible.
The Standing Committee also drew up the Law on Mediation and Arbitration of Rural Land Contract Management Disputes, the National Defense Mobilization Law, the Law on the People's Armed Police Force, the Law on Diplomatic Personnel Stationed Abroad, and the Law on the Protection of Offshore Islands. It revised the procedural rules for the Standing Committee, the Postal Law, the Statistics Law, and the Copyright Law, and passed a decision granting jurisdiction over Hengqin Island where the new campus of Macao University is located to the Macao Special Administrative Region.
3) We made great strides in the current stage of the work of sifting through existing laws. Making a concerted effort to sift through existing laws is an important measure for ensuring that we establish a socialist legal system with Chinese characteristics in 2010; an internal requirement for ensuring that the legal system is scientific, unified, and harmonious; and a focus of the legislative work of this Standing Committee. On the basis of the work arrangements made by the Standing Committee, all the special committees and executive organs of the Standing Committee, together with the State Council, Central Military Commission, Supreme People's Court and Supreme People's Procuratorate began comprehensively combing through existing laws beginning in the second half of 2008. After sifting through existing laws, it was clear that some laws clearly do not meet the requirements for economic and social development. There is discordance of varying degrees within the provisions of laws, and a lack of accompanying regulations make it difficult to effectively enforce some laws. To address these problems, the Standing Committee carried out scrupulous research and repeated discussions, and dealt with each in one of three ways. First, it passed the decision to repeal some laws. Based on this decision, it repealed eight laws and decisions on related legal issues, including the Organic Regulations on Police Stations and the Organic Regulations on Urban Community Offices. Second, it decided to revise some laws. It revised 141 clauses of 59 laws, and identified a number of other laws that clearly need to be revised and added them to the legislative agenda and annual plan to ensure they would be dealt with quickly. Third, it urged the State Council and other relevant bodies to promptly draw up auxiliary regulations for some laws, and explicitly demanded that when a legislative subject is chosen and a draft law is written in the future, auxiliary regulations should also be drawn up so they can be put into effect at the same time.
2. Concentrating on core issues, emphasizing key points, and achieving positive results in promoting the implementation of the major decisions and arrangements of the CPC Central Committee
Faced with the severe impact of the global financial crisis, the Central Committee sized up the situation and responded calmly by adopting a proactive fiscal policy and a moderately easy monetary policy, and fully implementing and constantly enriching and improving the package plan and policies and measures for responding to the impact of the crisis. The Standing Committee concentrated on core issues, emphasized key points, and made promoting the implementation of the major decisions and arrangements of the Central Committee the top priority of NPC oversight work. We exercised our oversight functions and powers in accordance with the law, applied a variety of oversight methods, and supervised and supported the State Council, Supreme People's Court, and Supreme People's Procuratorate in carrying out their work on the basis of the targets and tasks set forth in their work reports, in order to ensure that the year's tasks for economic and social development were accomplished successfully.
1) We strengthened oversight of economic work. Maintaining steady and rapid economic development was the foremost task in our economic work last year. It was especially important to improve the NPC's oversight of economic work due to the special circumstances under which our economic development encountered acute difficulties. At each meeting of the Standing Committee last year, we heard and deliberated reports of the State Council on its work in this area, and the Standing Committee and special committees carried out investigations and studies closely related to this issue.
Given that the central government's investment plan was not only on a large scale and wide-ranging, but the time for implementing it was tight and the work load heavy, in order to ensure its effective implementation the Standing Committee, on the basis of advice from NPC deputies, chose four topics and launched three-month investigations and studies on projects to improve people's wellbeing such as low-income housing, education, and health; technological upgrading; innovations in science and technology; and water conservancy. The reports on these investigations and studies were heard and deliberated together with the related work report of the State Council at the Standing Committee meeting held in October. Investigation groups of the Standing Committee fully affirmed the results achieved by all localities and departments in conscientiously implementing the central government's investment plan. At the same time, to counter outstanding problems, such as the preparatory work of some projects not being done well, supporting funds not being fully available, local governments being saddled with risky debts, progress being uneven, and projects being launched indiscriminately, we promptly discussed these problems with local governments and relevant departments of the State Council by means of forums and exchanges, and submitted preliminary investigative reports to the State Council to help relevant authorities improve their work, policies, and measures. We invited leading comrades of relevant departments of the State Council to attend the Standing Committee meeting in October to hear our comments and suggestions personally. During the meeting, members of the Standing Committee stated that to use investment to stimulate economic growth, we must stay firmly rooted in the present while looking ahead to the future, plan scientifically, and not try to do more than we are capable of; strictly maintain the orientation of investment and optimize the investment structure; and ensure local governments make supporting funds available, standardize management procedures, and strengthen supervision over investment to prevent redundant construction and make sure funds are used where they are most needed. After the meeting, we collated the comments and suggestions of Standing Committee members and other comrades attending the meeting as observers, and submitted them together with the investigative reports to the State Council to study and deal with them. We required that the State Council submit a written report to the Standing Committee on how it dealt with them by the end of this April. It must be stressed here that we conducted investigations and studies on the special topics and deliberated the related work report of the State Council during the implementation of the central government's investment plan, and that it was a useful attempt by the Standing Committee to increase the intensity and raise the level of its oversight work. It not only made the NPC's oversight work expeditious, but also enriched its methods of oversight work. In future, we will further review our experiences and continually improve.
The Standing Committee attached great importance to raising the quality and efficiency of economic growth and promoted economic restructuring and industrial upgrading. In addition to hearing and discussing the report on the implementation of the plan for national economic and social development in the first half of 2009, as is customary, we also made special arrangements to hear and deliberate reports of the State Council on transforming the pattern of economic development and restructuring the economy and on promoting the development of small and medium-sized enterprises. Members of the Standing Committee agreed that, owing to common efforts of the country from top to bottom, economic growth picked up each quarter in 2009, the economic turnaround gradually gained momentum, and overall economic development was better than expected. All this proved that the series of decisions, arrangements, policies, and measures made by the Central Committee to deal with the impact of the global financial crisis were correct, timely, and effective. Members of the Standing Committee stated that the serious difficulties encountered in China's economic development were both the result of the global financial crisis and a reflection of the problems of China's overall extensive pattern of development and an irrational economic structure; and that the global financial crisis makes the task of restructuring even more urgent. They emphasized that we need to correctly handle the relationships between maintaining economic growth and restructuring the economy, and between solving current difficulties and sustaining long-term development; set economic turnaround on a foundation of structural optimization and upgrading; and make responding to the impact of the global financial crisis the means by which we increase the sustainability of our development. First, we need to vigorously carry out technological upgrading in enterprises, with the focus on conserving energy, reducing its consumption, and developing a circular economy. Second, we need to strengthen technological innovation, accelerate R&D on high-end products, and upgrade industries and products. Third, we need to energetically develop emerging industries, with the focus on a green economy and a low-carbon economy, and foster new areas of economic growth.
Improving oversight of government budgets has always been an important aspect of the Standing Committee's oversight work. At the Standing Committee meeting in June last year, we heard and deliberated reports on the final central government budget for 2008 and the auditing work report, examined and approved the final budget for 2008, and discussed the implementation of the 2009 budget in the first five months of the year. Members of the Standing Committee noted that national revenue had declined significantly from January to May compared to the previous year, resulting in a serious discrepancy between revenue and expenditures, and making it extremely difficult to meet the budget targets for the whole year. In response to this, the State Council and its relevant departments should take this problem seriously and adopt more effective measures to solve it. First, they must conscientiously implement policies for structural tax reductions, support the development of enterprises, strengthen tax collection and management in accordance with the law, and strive to reverse the steady decline in fiscal revenue. At the same time, they must collect only prescribed taxes to avoid placing an unreasonable burden on enterprises. Second, they must use budgetary funds more effectively, strictly control the orientation of investment and policies, and ensure funding for key projects and crucial areas. At the same time, they must firmly practice austerity, refrain from taking on more than they could handle, act diligently and frugally in all their dealings, oppose extravagance and waste, avoid launching new projects indiscriminately, and never do things for appearance's sake. Third, they must press ahead with reform of the fiscal and taxation systems, set up a sound public finance system in which the financial resources of the central and local governments are commensurate with their respective responsibilities, standardize the transfer payment system, and promptly establish a mechanism to ensure adequate basic financial resources for county-level governments. At the same time, they must strictly enforce laws and regulations as well as economic and financial discipline, strengthen the oversight and supervision of key areas of revenue and expenditure, standardize budget preparation and implementation, and guard against financial risks.
2) We strengthened oversight of solving problems affecting people's wellbeing. Ensuring and improving people's wellbeing is an inherent requirement for applying the Scientific Outlook on Development and the ultimate goal of our economic development. Deputies to the NPC and members of the Standing Committee attach great importance to this issue. The Standing Committee listened to and deliberated 11 special work reports by the State Council, the Supreme People's Court, and the Supreme People's Procuratorate last year, six of which directly related to problems of deep concern to the people and affected their wellbeing. Last year we carried out three investigations of compliance with laws and all three directly concerned problems affecting people's wellbeing.
We strengthened follow-up oversight in a variety of ways to promote the comprehensive, balanced, and sustainable development of employment and social security programs. First, the NPC Chairperson's Council decided to have the Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee make follow-up inspections after we heard and deliberated the State Council's report on developing the social security system in rural areas in April, and the Standing Committee heard and deliberated the report on follow-up inspections at its December meeting. Second, having investigated compliance with the Labor Contract Law in 2008, last year we heard and deliberated the State Council's reports on reforming and developing vocational education and promoting employment and reemployment. Third, in light of new circumstances and new problems arising as a result of the global financial crisis, last year we carried out a new round of inspections on compliance with the Trade Union Law last year on the basis of the compliance investigations we carried out in 2004. While fully affirming the positive progress achieved in these areas, members of the Standing Committee also made the following comments and suggestions. First, we need to increase government funding for social security in rural areas, establish a stable funding mechanism for rural social security, constantly improve the rural social security system in accordance with the principle of taking all factors into consideration, work hard to extend the new type of rural old-age insurance system to all rural residents, and promptly solve the problems of transferring basic old-age pension accounts for rural migrant workers moving from one region to another and providing social security for landless rural residents. Second, we need to conscientiously implement a more active employment policy; do our utmost to expand employment and promote reemployment, with the focus on college graduates, rural migrant workers, and the needy; further strengthen training in vocational skills; set up a sound mechanism to ensure funding for vocational education; and gradually make secondary vocational education free. Third, we need to make full use of the role of trade unions in safeguarding workers' legitimate rights and interests and keeping labor relationships stable, and promptly set up a wage negotiation mechanism with the participation of workers, a mechanism for regular pay increases, and a mechanism to ensure wages are paid on time.
In June 2009, the Standing Committee made special arrangements to hear and deliberate the State Council's report on recovery and reconstruction following the devastating earthquake that hit Wenchuan, Sichuan Province. Members of the Standing Committee fully endorsed the work done in the first stage of post-earthquake recovery and reconstruction and approved the work plan for the next stage. We emphasized that we need to put people's wellbeing first, stay firmly rooted in the specific conditions of areas devastated by the earthquake, have long-term development in mind, ensure quality and results, improve our planning and policies, and steadily press ahead with the recovery and reconstruction work. We need to put our efforts into building housing for quake-affected urban and rural residents, especially those with severe difficulties; intensify the recovery and reconstruction work on public facilities such as schools and medical and health institutions as well as infrastructure such as transport and water conservancy facilities; and quickly build the quake-stricken area into a desirable homeland where people live and work in peace and enjoy social harmony and prosperity.Food safety is vital to people's health and lives and has drawn widespread attention from deputies to the NPC and all sectors of society. The Standing Committee attaches great importance to work in this area. Shortly after the Law on Food Safety was passed in February 2009, the Standing Committee began to check compliance with it throughout China and urged relevant departments to promptly formulate, sort out or improve supporting regulations, quickly draw up sound food safety standards, set up a risk monitoring and assessment mechanism for food safety, further improve the oversight and supervision system, strengthen food safety oversight capabilities, exercise scientific oversight and supervision of food from production to sale, and strive to improve the food safety situation. In addition, we checked compliance with the Stockbreeding Law and made important suggestions concerning preventing and controlling animal diseases, preventing drastic fluctuations in the price of livestock products, focusing on regulating the use of clenobuterol hydrochloride and sulfa-drug additives, supporting safe disposal of infected livestock and poultry, and the full utilization of resources.
In order to promote justice in the judicial system and ensure social fairness, every year the Standing Committee focuses on major problems of common concern to the people and strengthens oversight of the work of the Supreme People's Court and the Supreme People's Procuratorate. In response to such problems as the difficulty of ensuring compliance with court decisions and dereliction of duty, infringements of rights, and criminal acts by employees of state organs, last year the Standing Committee heard and deliberated the report of the Supreme People's Court on strengthening the enforcement of civil law, maintaining authority in the legal system and justice in the judicial system, and the Supreme People's Procuratorate's report on strengthening procuratorial work regarding dereliction of duty and infringements of rights, promoting government administration in accordance with the law, and impartial justice. Members of the NPC Standing Committee gave a positive appraisal of the Supreme People's Court's and the Supreme People's Procuratorate's willingness to submit to the oversight of the NPC and their efforts to effectively clear long-pending cases of law enforcement and improve their work, and expressed the hope that courts and procuratorates at all levels would carry out judicial and procuratorial work for the people's benefit; improve the quality of judicial and procuratorial workers; intensify institutional improvements; standardize judicial and procuratorial actions; make greater efforts to enforce civil law and investigate and prosecute cases of dereliction of duty, infringements of rights, and criminal acts; safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of concerned parties; and ensure criminal behavior is prosecuted in accordance with the law.
3. Adhering to the basic state policy of conserving resources and protecting the environment, and promoting the work to address climate change Climate change is a major challenge facing the whole of humankind. It is attracting increasing attention from countries around the world, and cooperation among the international community is needed to address it. Intensifying our efforts to address climate change is an inherent requirement for developing scientifically and for raising our ability to develop sustainably. There is widespread concern among NPC deputies and Standing Committee members on this issue. The Standing Committee further intensified its work in this area by passing a special resolution, hearing and deliberating special work reports, amending relevant laws, and participating in international cooperation.
In light of the new situation and requirements resulting from the need to respond to climate change, and on the basis of suggestions put forward by the Environment and Resources Protection Committee when it dealt with NPC deputies' proposals, the Standing Committee added two items to the agenda of its August meeting. One was to hear and deliberate the State Council's report on addressing climate change, and the other was for the NPC Standing Committee to pass a resolution on addressing climate change. These were important measures taken by the Standing Committee to respond to climate change. Members of the Standing Committee believe that China is a large responsible country that has always paid close attention to the problem of climate change and made enormous efforts to tackle it. China considers conserving resources and protecting the environment to be its basic state policies, and has made achieving sustainable development a national strategy. It has formulated laws and regulations pertaining to all areas affecting climate change, and adopted and implemented the National Climate Change Program. It has made conserving energy, reducing emissions, and increasing forest coverage binding targets in the national long- and medium-term development plan. It has adopted other related policies and measures, and made a positive contribution to slowing and responding to climate change. The Standing Committee's resolution further clarified the guiding thoughts, basic principles, and required measures of China's response to climate change; reiterated its principled stand that it will actively participate in international cooperation to address climate change; and emphasized the need to adhere to the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities. The resolution also stated that with a high sense of responsibility to the survival and long-term development of humankind, China is willing to work with the international community to promote complete, effective, and continuous implementation of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and its Kyoto Protocol and make new contributions to address climate change. Before this, at its April meeting, the Standing Committee heard and deliberated the State Council's report on its progress in preventing and controlling air pollution, and demanded the State Council make accelerating economic restructuring and transformation of the pattern of economic development the fundamental policy for improving air quality, and ensure that the targets for reducing major air pollutants set forth in the Eleventh Five-Year Plan are reached. Last November the State Council called an executive conference to study and make arrangements for addressing climate change. At the conference, the State Council stated that it would decrease carbon dioxide emissions per unit of GDP by 40-45% from the 2005 level, raise the share of non-fossil fuels in primary energy consumption to around 15%, and increase forest coverage by 40 million hectares and forest stock volume by 1.3 billion cubic meters over 2005 by 2020. In addition, the State Council stated it would incorporate these figures into China's long- and medium-term plan for national economic and social development as binding targets. All this was widely acclaimed in the international community, especially in developing countries.
The Standing Committee also intensified its legislative work for a green economy and a low-carbon economy in order to address climate change. On the basis of bills submitted by NPC deputies, the Standing Committee promptly revised the Law on Renewable Energy on the basis of an in-depth review of practical experience and extensive consultation with relevant parties. The revised law has further clarified the main content and principles for formulating plans for developing and using renewable energy; improved systems for drawing up, examining, approving, and filing such plans; created a national system based on law to guarantee the purchase of all electricity generated from renewable energy, a mechanism to compensate power grid operators who purchase such electricity, and a national fund for developing renewable energy. The revised law also requires power grid operators to increase their capacity for absorbing electricity generated from renewable energy. All this is of great significance for promoting sound and rapid development of China's renewable energy industry, adjusting its energy structure, and intensifying the development of a resource-conserving and environmentally friendly society.
We attach great importance to international exchanges and cooperation in addressing climate change and have made them an important component of the NPC's foreign relations work. During various types of occasions, such as receiving foreign visitors, visiting other countries on invitation, and hosting or attending international meetings, we have adopted a variety of means to widely publicize China's principled stand, policies, and measures, and give detailed accounts of the tremendous efforts we have made and the positive results we have achieved in fighting climate change. We worked hard to promote pragmatic cooperation in the areas of the low-carbon economy, renewable energy, and clean energy, established close communication and coordination with international parliamentary organizations and with national congresses or parliaments of other countries, deepened mutual understanding, increased cooperation and consensus, and promoted an atmosphere of cooperation in which all countries join hands in fighting global climate change.
4. Respecting the important position of NPC deputies and making better use of their role
Deputies to the NPC are members of the country's highest organ of state power. The NPC cannot perform its work well without giving full play to its deputies. We took upholding and improving the system of people's congresses as our starting point, respected the important role of deputies, and maintained an attitude of serving them. We further improved our work system, strived to improve the level of our services to deputies, supported deputies in the lawful exercise of their duties, ensured they were able to do so, and made better use of their role.
1) We diligently handled deputies' bills and proposals. We effectively combined the work of handling deputies' bills and proposals with Standing Committee work and ensured deputies fully played their role. Special committees dealt with 518 bills assigned to deputies by the Presidium of the Second Session of the Eleventh NPC. Of these bills, 13 involved six laws, all of which have been deliberated by the Standing Committee; 34 involved six laws that are now being deliberated by the Standing Committee; and 249 involved 42 legislative items that have been included in the legislative plan. Deputies made 7,426 proposals, comments and suggestions, and we have either resolved or made plans to resolve problems raised in 5,523 of them, 74.4% of the total.
2) We further expanded deputies' participation in the work of the Standing Committee and special committees. In order to hear all the comments and suggestions of deputies and increase the vitality of the NPC's work, the Standing Committee invites deputies and heads of groups of deputies making bills to attend its meetings as observers, and special committees invite deputies to attend their plenary meetings, special-topic meetings, forums, and debates. The Standing Committee also invites deputies from different backgrounds to participate in inspections on compliance with laws and investigations and studies on special topics. More than 400 deputies participated in these activities last year. Deputies attending meetings as observers and participating in such activities carefully prepared in advance and actively contributed to the discussions. This gave the people a voice and played an important role in improving the quality of the work of the Standing Committee and special committees.
3) We continued to improve services to deputies. We organized inspection tours for more than 1,800 deputies and investigations and studies on special topics for over 1,900 others. These activities resulted in more than 100 reports. We arranged for deputies from Hong Kong, Macao, and Taiwan to go on inspection tours and carry out investigations and studies on the mainland. We formed 264 deputy activity groups, and held six training sessions on special topics for more than 1,200 deputies. We improved our work of ensuring that deputies receive the services they require.
5. Continuing to comply with and serve the country's overall diplomatic work and increasing the NPC's foreign contacts
The NPC's foreign contacts are an important component of the country's overall diplomatic work. We continued to comply with and serve the country's overall diplomatic work, took the particular nature of the NPC's foreign contacts as our starting point, strengthened and improved the mechanism of regular exchanges with national congresses and parliaments of other countries, and strengthened our friendly foreign contacts at all levels. All this made a positive contribution to extending the important period of strategic opportunities for China's development and promoting the building of a harmonious world with lasting peace and prosperity for all.
We successfully hosted the third meeting of the cooperation council consisting of the NPC, the Russian Federation Council, and the State Duma of Russia. The two sides reached an important consensus on strengthening their cooperation under the new circumstances and noted that their contacts should enhance mutual political trust, safeguard common interests, promote pragmatic cooperation and a common response to the global financial crisis, and carry on a lasting friendship, and lay a solid social foundation for Sino-Russian relations. We promptly invited the leader of the new US Congress to visit China, and successfully organized the first official visit to the United States by a chairman of the NPC Standing Committee in the past two decades, both of which were highly significant for promoting contacts between the two congresses and developing Sino-US relations. The two sides exchanged views on contacts between them, Sino-US relations, and other important issues of common concern. Both sides agreed that they should maintain close contact, strengthen exchanges on a regular basis, conduct multilevel friendly exchanges, deepen frank and open dialogue, expand mutual political trust, promote pragmatic cooperation, and be constructive forces for promoting the sound, steady development of Sino-US relations. We deepened our exchanges with the national parliaments and congresses of Japan, the Republic of Korea, the United Kingdom, Germany, Canada, Egypt, and Chile as well as with the European Parliament through the mechanism of regular exchanges, and at the same time successfully began exchanges with the French National Assembly and the Italian Senate under the same mechanism.
In accordance with the overall arrangements of the Standing Committee, members of the Chairperson's Council, special committees, executive organs of the Standing Committee, and bilateral friendship groups improved their high-level contacts and exchanges in their specific fields with national parliaments and congresses of other countries; deepened their work related to leaders of these parliaments and congresses, their members, and aides to these members; and achieved excellent results. We also actively engaged in multilateral diplomatic activities among parliaments and congresses and played a constructive role in the Inter-Parliamentary Union, the Asia-Pacific Parliamentary Forum, the Latin American Parliament, and other international and regional parliamentary organizations.
During our dealings with foreign contacts, especially those with Western parliaments and congresses, we repeatedly pointed out that it is entirely understandable that different countries have different views, even disagreements, on some issues due to the differences in their history, culture, stages of development, social systems, and ideology. Countries with disagreements may sit down and talk about them, and if they are temporarily unable to reach agreement then they can at least increase their mutual understanding. Disagreements should not become obstacles to cooperation; nor can they be allowed to serve as a pretext for interfering in the internal affairs of other countries. We believe in promoting democracy in international relations, respecting the diversity of the world and the rights of peoples of all countries to independently choose their development paths, and refraining from interfering in other countries' internal affairs and imposing one's will upon others. We oppose the support or disguised support for separatist forces advocating the independence of Taiwan and Tibet, and the "East Turkistan" separatist forces under the pretext of freedom of speech and religious beliefs to interfere in China's internal affairs. We remain committed to developing friendly cooperation with all countries based on the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence. We stress that mutual respect for national sovereignty and territorial integrity and respect and consideration for each other's core interests are the political bases upon which China establishes and develops relations with foreign countries and international organizations. On this point, we will never change.
6. Adhering to the correct political orientation and continuing to strengthen self-development
The Standing Committee is the permanent organ of the NPC, and it has been assigned important responsibilities by the Constitution and laws. Intensifying its self-development efforts is of the utmost importance for better exercising its power, fulfilling its responsibilities, and doing its work well.
We continued to give top priority to ideological and political development, adhered to the correct political orientation throughout the performance of the NPC's functions in accordance with the law, reached a thorough understanding of the essential differences between our country's system of people's congresses and Western capitalist countries' systems of political power, and constantly became more purposeful and resolute in keeping to the socialist path of political development with Chinese characteristics and in upholding and improving the system of people's congresses. At the same time, we carried out capacity building and institutional development. First, we continued to provide training for NPC deputies on how to carry out their duties, organized regular group study sessions, and held lectures on the topics of each Standing Committee meeting. In light of their work, all Standing Committee members learned from the people, past experience, and experts and worked hard to understand relevant problems in the course of formulating laws, adopting resolutions, deliberating and approving work reports, and carrying out inspections on compliance with laws. Second, we strengthened investigations and studies, stayed firmly grounded in our legislative and oversight work, visited community-level organizations, and acquired an understanding of particular conditions. We focused on widespread problems that indicate an unhealthy trend, and strove to identify their root causes, provide reasonable solutions based on good grounds, and make practicable decisions. This both improved the quality of the Standing Committee's work and prompted other parties to improve their work. Third, we improved our work system. We promptly revised the procedural rules of Standing Committee meetings, further standardized the order of procedures, and raised the efficiency of procedures at meetings. We made use of the activities celebrating the 60th anniversary of the founding of New China and the 10th anniversary of the implementation of the Basic Law of the Macao Special Administrative Region to extensively publicize the socialist path of political development with Chinese characteristics, the system of people's congresses, and the principle of "one country, two systems," and to vigorously expand and deepen publicity of the NPC's work.
The special committees of the NPC have capable personnel, a rich fund of knowledge, and a wealth of experience. They made full use of these unique features and strengths; focused on the central tasks of the NPC and its Standing Committee; carried out investigations and studies to attain a deep understanding of particular circumstances, earnestly researched, deliberated, and drafted bills; strengthened their communication and coordination with other parties; enhanced cooperation among themselves; and made a large number of valuable comments and suggestions; thereby effectively raising the overall level of the Standing Committee's work.
Taking advantage of the opportunity created by consolidating achievements in the campaign to thoroughly study and apply the Scientific Outlook on Development, and taking improving Party building as their fulcrum, the organs of the NPC improved their work systems; comprehensively invigorated their own development; fully aroused the enthusiasm, initiative, and creativity of their employees; and expanded their role in collectively providing advice, assistance, and service.
Last year was the 30th anniversary of the founding of standing committees of local people's congresses at and above the county level. Their founding was an important measure for improving the system of local political power as well as a major development and improvement in our country's system of people's congresses. We hosted forums and a variety of other commemorative activities to review and exchange successful experiences and practices in strengthening and improving the work of local people's congresses, and further strengthened our ties with them. The Standing Committee invited leading members of the standing committees of people's congresses of provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities directly under the central government to attend all its meetings as observers, and earnestly listened to their comments and suggestions. We also promptly informed these local standing committees of related developments. Local people's congresses and their standing committees have long fully supported and closely cooperated with the NPC Standing Committee in carrying out its legislative, oversight, deputy-related, and foreign relations work, and worked with it to constantly carry its work forward.
The achievements of the NPC Standing Committee last year were the result of the unity, cooperation, and hard work of all NPC deputies, and the members of the Standing Committee and the special committees under the correct leadership of the Party Central Committee with Comrade Hu Jintao as General Secretary as well as the active cooperation and common efforts of local people's congresses at all levels and their standing committees. Credit is also due to the State Council, the Supreme People's Court, and the Supreme People's Procuratorate for their assistance, and to the general public for their full support. On behalf of the NPC Standing Committee, I would like to express our sincere thanks to all of them.We are also keenly aware that some areas of our work, such as making use of the role of NPC deputies, improving the quality of legislation, and making oversight more effective, still fall considerably short of the expectations of the people and demands of deputies. We will willingly accept the oversight of the people, listen to deputies' suggestions with an open mind, constantly improve our work, and make better use of the roles of the NPC and its Standing Committee as the highest organs of state power, working bodies that carry out their responsibilities in accordance with the law, and representative bodies in close contact with the masses.
Major Tasks for This Year
The year 2010 is the last year for implementing the Eleventh Five-Year Plan and an important year for accelerating the transformation of the pattern of economic development and continuing to make progress in building a moderately prosperous society in all respects. The general requirements for the work of the Standing Committee are as follows: to comprehensively implement the guiding principles of the Seventeenth National Party Congress, the third and fourth plenary sessions of the Seventeenth CPC Central Committee, and the Central Economic Work Conference; take Deng Xiaoping Theory and the important thought of Three Represents as our guide; thoroughly apply the Scientific Outlook on Development; intimately integrate the leadership of the Party, the position of the people as masters of the country, and the rule of law; adhere to the guiding principles of the Third Session of the Eleventh NPC; focus on the overall work of the Party and the government in carrying out our functions and powers in accordance with the law; strive to improve the quality of legislation; ensure that the goal of formulating a socialist legal system with Chinese characteristics is reached on schedule; make oversight more effective; promote implementation of the Central Committee's major policies and arrangements; and make new, greater contributions to promoting steady and rapid economic development, accelerating the transformation of the pattern of economic development, and maintaining social harmony and stability.
1. Ensuring that the goal of formulating a socialist legal system with Chinese characteristics is reached on schedule
Formulating a socialist legal system with Chinese characteristics by 2010 was the overall target set at the Fifteenth National Party Congress for our legislative work in this new historical period. Reaching this target on schedule is our bounden duty and the primary task of our legislative work and a top priority of the NPC's work this year. While steadfastly improving the quality of legislation, we need to redouble our efforts and work vigorously to promptly enact laws that form the framework of the legal system, lose no time in revising laws that are not suited to economic and social development, continue to improve social legislation, give greater emphasis to legislation supporting a green economy and a low-carbon economy, complete the work of sifting through existing laws and regulations, and ensure that a socialist legal system with Chinese characteristics is established on schedule, thereby successfully accomplishing this historic mission entrusted to us by the Party and the people.
1) We will promptly formulate new laws. We will finish deliberating and revising the draft Social Security Law and further improve the legal system concerning social security to dispel the people's worries and better maintain social harmony and stability. We will continue to deliberate the draft Law on Administrative Enforcement and further promote government administration in accordance with the law to better safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of our citizens. We will submit for deliberation the draft VAT Law and the draft Law on Vehicle and Vessel Tax, further improve the system of fiscal and tax laws, and standardize the management of tax revenue. We will also research and formulate a People's Mediation Law, Law on Education and Correction of Illegal Acts, Law on the Application of Laws to Civil Relationships Involving Foreign Interests, and Law on the Protection of Our Natural Heritage. We will urge relevant authorities to promptly draw up drafts for laws, including the Law on Basic Medical and Health Care and the Social Assistance Law.
2) We will promptly revise some existing laws. We will revise the Law on Deputies to the People's Congress and the Organic Law of Villagers' Committees, and constantly promote the self-improvement and self-development of the socialist political system with Chinese characteristics. We will revise the Administrative Supervision Law to further improve the mechanism for checking and overseeing state power and strive to prevent and punish corruption at the source. We will revise the Budget Law to ensure that budgets are more complete and are implemented in a more standardized way and overseen more strictly. We will continue to deliberate the draft amendment to the Law on State Compensation, research revisions to the Land Administration Law, Forest Law, Water and Soil Conservation Law, Law on the Prevention and Treatment of Occupational Diseases, and Law on Officers in the Reserve Forces.
3) We will make legislation more scientific and democratic. We will make progress this year on the foundations of what we have already accomplished. First, we will ensure NPC deputies fully play their role in legislative work. Regardless of whether we are debating and making decisions concerning legislative items or drawing up and deliberating draft laws, we will earnestly study and accept suggestions expressed in deputies' bills and invite concerned deputies to participate in legislative work. Second, we will expand the orderly participation of our citizens in the legislative process. We will maintain and improve the mechanism for announcing draft laws to the public; improve the effectiveness of legislative forums, debates and pubic hearings; select issues of widespread concern contained in draft laws and fully debate them; earnestly solicit opinions from a wide range of sources, especially the people at the primary level; continuously improve draft laws; and adopt a suitable method for giving feedback to society on how suggestions were dealt with. Third, at an appropriate time we will launch a pilot project to evaluate legislation after it is enacted. Based on problems the Standing Committee discovers in its investigations of law compliance as well as new circumstances and problems arising in the implementation of laws, we will select one or two laws affecting the vital interests of the people for the pilot project and develop a work mechanism for evaluating legislation after it is enacted.
4) We will supervise and guide efforts to sift through administrative regulations and local statutes. Administrative regulations and local statutes are integral components of the socialist legal system with Chinese characteristics. Thanks to the common efforts of everyone involved, China currently has more than 690 administrative regulations and over 8,800 local statutes. They have played an important role in ensuring effective implementation of laws, promoting administration in accordance with the law, and managing local affairs. Nevertheless, we must also be aware that some existing regulations and statutes are unsuited to present circumstances, are not coordinated with each other, or lack supporting regulations and statutes. On the basis of the substantial results we achieved last year in amending existing laws, we will supervise and guide the State Council and local people's congresses in thoroughly amending their exiting administrative regulations and local statutes and completing the work by the end of the year.
5) We will continue to improve the filing and examination of normative documents. Administrative regulations, local statutes, statutes of autonomous bodies, specific regulations, legal interpretations and other normative documents must be filed in accordance with the law. We will take the initiative to carry out inspections in key areas. We will study and examine individually the legal interpretations newly issued by the Supreme People's Court and the Supreme People's Procuratorate, and supervise them in thoroughly reviewing the legal interpretations they made before 2005.
It must be emphasized here that developing socialist democratic politics is a goal our Party will constantly pursue. At the Third Plenary Session of the Eleventh Central Committee, the Party reviewed the lessons since the founding of the People's Republic, particularly those of the Cultural Revolution. It made the historic policy decision to shift the focus of the work of the Party and the state to economic development and introduce reform and opening up. It also made developing socialist democracy and improving the socialist legal system an important strategic task in building socialism with Chinese characteristics. Through the common efforts of everyone involved, a socialist legal system with Chinese characteristics had been basically established by the end of the Tenth NPC's term. There are now laws that cover almost every area of the country's economic, political, cultural and social activities, and these laws effectively ensure and promote the development of the cause of socialism with Chinese characteristics. At the same time, we need to realize that rapid economic and social development, constant progress in socialist democratic politics, a rich and varied cultural life, the enthusiastic creation of a harmonious society, structural and institutional reforms and innovations, and the expansion of economic globalization continually place new demands on our legislative work. Legislation remains an important task of the current NPC. Our legislative work this year will be arduous and doing it well will be glorious. In order to meet our legislative goals set forth by the Central Committee on schedule, we must maintain a correct political orientation, put people first, proceed from China's actual conditions, seek truth from facts, and ensure the uniformity of law. We must also properly handle the relationships between powers and rights, between the stability of law and the uncertainty of practice, and between the foresightedness and feasibility of our laws and regulations in order to provide firm legal guarantees for promoting reform and opening up and socialist modernization, implementing the rule of law as a fundamental principle, and developing a socialist country ruled by law.
2. Focusing on implementing the CPC Central Committee's major decisions and arrangements and carrying out oversight work
China is in an important period of strategic opportunities for its economic and social development as well as a period of serious social problems, and its tasks for promoting reform, development, and stability are arduous and formidable. The Central Committee has made comprehensive arrangements to succeed in this year's work by drawing up the "five points requiring greater attention." It has emphasized the need to give greater attention to improving the quality and performance of economic growth; transforming the pattern of economic development and restructuring the economy; advancing reform, opening up, and independent innovation, and enhancing the vigor and vitality of economic growth, improving people's wellbeing, and maintaining social harmony and stability; and taking both the international and domestic situations into consideration to achieve steady and rapid economic development. The NPC Standing Committee needs to conscientiously implement the Law on Oversight; improve oversight of economic work and the handling of issues affecting people's wellbeing, focus on the "five points requiring greater attention," strive to tighten and improve oversight and increase its effectiveness; implement the major decisions and arrangements of the Central Committee; and ensure this year's tasks and objectives for economic and social development are successfully accomplished.
1) We will focus on transforming the pattern of economic development, and strengthen oversight of economic work. Since the policy of reform and opening up was first implemented, China has made tremendous achievements in economic and social development that have attracted worldwide attention. At the same time, China displays the traits of the new stage of social and economic development. Against the backdrop of the global financial crisis, the existing pattern of economic development is clearly unsuitable; therefore, accelerating its transformation has become an inherent requirement for ensuring sustainable economic development and social harmony and stability. Based on China's particular conditions, at its Seventeenth National Congress, the Party thoroughly analyzed the domestic and international situations we faced, and took accelerating the transformation of the pattern of economic development and improving and upgrading the industrial structure as urgent and major strategic tasks that have an overall bearing on the national economy. It clearly stated that to promote economic growth, we must shift from relying mainly on investment and exports to relying on a coordinated combination of consumption, investment, and exports; from relying on secondary industry as the major driving force to relying on primary, secondary, and tertiary industries to jointly drive economic growth; and from relying heavily on increased consumption of materials and resources to relying mainly on advances in science and technology, a better quality of the workforce, and innovation in management. That issue was emphasized again at the Central Economic Work Conference in 2009. Accelerating the transformation of the pattern of economic development and improving and upgrading the industrial structure are important objectives and strategic measures for implementing the Scientific Outlook on Development, as well as major tasks of this year's economic work. The NPC Standing Committee needs to carry out its oversight of economic work focusing on this theme, strive to intimately integrate maintaining steady and rapid economic development with accelerating the transformation of the pattern of economic development, promote transformation in the course of development, and work for development in the course of transformation.
First, by listening to and deliberating the State Council's reports on the implementation of the plan for the first half of 2010 and the implementation of the central budget for the same period, the reports on the central government final budget and the auditing work for 2009, and examining and approving the final budget for 2009, we will urge the implementation of a proactive fiscal policy, a moderately easy monetary policy, and other macro-control policies; check compliance with the requirements to boost consumer demand, actively yet prudently press ahead with urbanization, make basic public services more equal and guide the orderly relocation of industries; and promote steady and rapid economic development.
Second, by listening to and deliberating the State Council's reports on the development of the service sector and the culture industry, we will urge the implementation of policies and measures for supporting the development of emerging industries, promote restructuring, and foster new areas of economic growth.
Third, by checking compliance with the Law on Energy Conservation and the Law on the Promotion of Cleaner Production, we will promote the implementation of the Resolution of the NPC Standing Committee on Addressing Climate Change and relevant laws; encourage key industries to carry out technological upgrading aimed at conserving energy, reducing its consumption and developing the circular economy; and improve and upgrade traditional industries, to ensure that the targets for conserving energy and reducing emissions set forth in the Outline of the Eleventh Five-Year Plan are met on schedule.
Fourth, by checking compliance with the Law on Scientific and Technological Progress, we will help improve the scientific and technological innovation system based on the combined efforts of enterprises, universities and research institutes, increase our independent innovation capacity, and promote the application of scientific and technological advances in production.
Fifth, by listening to and deliberating the State Council's report on national food security and inspecting compliance with the Law on Popularization of Agricultural Technology, we will promote the implementation of policies to support and benefit agriculture, rural areas, and farmers; strengthen agricultural and rural infrastructure; accelerate the development of modern agriculture; oversee and inspect the implementation of the plan for increasing grain production capacity by 50 million tons nationwide and the completion of the task to reinforce the country's dilapidated large reservoirs; promote the building of a new socialist countryside; and ensure stable and increasing agricultural production and as well as steady income increases for farmers.
Sixth, focusing on relevant special topics, we will continue to carry out follow-up investigations and studies on the implementation of the central government's investment plan, and urge relevant departments to carefully study and handle the suggestions contained in the Standing Committee's reports on these investigations and studies and the comments put forward by Standing Committee members during their deliberation to promote the smooth progress of major investment projects of the central government.
Seventh, by inspecting compliance with the Law on the Protection of Investments by Compatriots from Taiwan, we will strengthen protection of the legitimate rights and interests of Taiwan investors on the mainland.
2) We will focus on promoting social harmony and stability, and strengthen oversight of the work to solve problems affecting people's wellbeing. Since the policy of reform and opening up was first implemented, not only has China experienced sustained and rapid economic growth but people's wellbeing has have improved considerably, and there has been a long period of social and political stability. Nevertheless, we must recognize that China is still in the primary stage of socialism and will remain so for a long time, and the principal problem in Chinese society is between the ever-growing material and cultural needs of the people and our backward social production. At present, Chinese society is generally harmonious, but there are a number of disparities that affect social harmony, and there are relatively serious problems in employment, social security, income distribution, education, medical care, housing, workplace safety and public security that concern the immediate interests of the people. It has been explicitly stated at the Sixteenth National Party Congress, the Sixth Plenary Session of the Sixteenth CPC Central Committee, and the Seventeenth National Party Congress that we must move faster to build a harmonious society, with the focus on improving people's wellbeing, and strive to ensure that all our people enjoy the rights to education, employment, medical treatment, old-age care, and housing. Ensuring and improving people's wellbeing is an essential requirement for applying the Scientific Outlook on Development and a priority for our economic and social development this year. The NPC Standing Committee needs to focus on solving the most practical problems of the utmost and immediate concern to the people and urge relevant authorities to correctly handle the relationship between economic development and people's wellbeing; always put people first, strive to solve social problems and develop social programs; improve public administration and services; promote social equality and justice; foster a culture of harmony; and coordinate social development with economic, political, cultural and ecological development.
First, by listening to and deliberating the State Council's report on deepening reform of the medical and health care system, we will inspect progress of the implementation of recent key reforms; press ahead with the development of the basic medical care system, national basic drug system, and basic medical and health care service system; and promote equal access to basic public healthcare services and the pilot reform of public hospitals.
Second, by listening to and deliberating the State Council's report on diverting the rural labor force and safeguarding the rights and interests of rural migrant workers, we will help solve major problems rural migrant workers have concerning wages, working conditions, training, basic old-age and medical care insurance, workers' compensation, and schooling for their children. We will also inspect the progress in bringing rural migrant workers into the urban public service system.
Third, by inspecting compliance with the Law on the Protection of Rights and Interests of Women, we will help solve problems women have concerning equal employment, equal remuneration for work of equal value, land-related rights and interests, workplace safety, health and retirement protection; and facilitate better implementation of the basic state policy of equality of men and women.
Fourth, by listening to and deliberating the State Council's report on the economic and social development of ethnic minorities and ethnic minority areas, we will urge the relevant authorities to implement the Law on Regional Ethnic Autonomy and the policies and measures of the central leadership to accelerate economic and social development in Tibet, Xinjiang and other ethnic minority areas, particularly the new policies and measures of the central leadership to support the development of Tibet, Tibetan ethnic areas in four provinces, and Xinjiang and further solidify and develop the socialist ethnic relations of equality, unity, mutual assistance and harmony.
Fifth, by listening to and deliberating the report by the Supreme People's Court on the work of civil trials and the report by the Supreme People's Procuratorate on the work of improving procuratorial work concerning the dereliction of duty and infringements of rights, we will help courts and procuratorates constantly improve their work, and safeguard judicial impartiality, social equality, and justice.
Sixth, by listening to and deliberating the State Council's report on strengthening road traffic safety management, we will promote implementation of the Road Traffic Safety Law, urge relevant authorities to improve the system of accountability for road traffic safety management, and promote civilized and standardized law enforcement. We will also inspect the implementation of compulsory third-party liability insurance for motor vehicles and the arrangements for social assistance funds for victims of road traffic accidents.
3) We will focus on making oversight more effective, and further improve oversight methods. Oversight powers are important powers granted to people's congresses by the Constitution and laws. Oversight by people's congresses carries the force of law and is carried out in the name of the country and the people. People's congresses exercise their oversight powers collectively in accordance with the law and prescribed procedures. They do not exercise administrative, judicial or procuratorial powers, nor do they directly deal with specific issues. Over the years, we have made tremendous efforts to strengthen and improve the oversight work of people's congresses with considerable success, created a body of effective work mechanisms and methods, and helped solve major problems that have an overall impact and are of deep concern to the people. Experience shows that oversight by people's congresses in accordance with the law helps governments, courts and procuratorates improve their work. Accepting oversight by people's congresses also facilitates governments' administration in accordance with the law as well as the impartial justice of courts and procuratorates. To properly handle their relations with governments, courts and procuratorates when overseeing their work, it is important for people's congresses to act in strict accordance with the Law on Oversight. This requires us to always uphold the approach of concentrating on core issues, identifying priorities and seeking substantive results, and constantly improve the way we carry out oversight. This year, we will intensify oversight in the following three areas.
First, we will further intensify oversight of budgets. Overseeing the implementation of central and local budgets is an important power granted by law to the NPC Standing Committee and an important guarantee for comprehensively implementing the budgets approved by the NPC and its resolutions on them. The Standing Committee used to deliberate the report on the implementation of budgets for the first five months of the year at its June meeting when it heard and deliberated the final budget of the central government for the previous year. In order to make the NPC's oversight of budgets more effective and in accordance with the Law on Oversight and the Budget Law, we will hold a special hearing and deliberation at the August meeting of the Standing Committee on the State Council's report on the implementation of the budgets since the beginning of this year and focus on examining the implementation of the NPC's resolutions on budgets; the main revenue and expenditures in central and local budgets; the implementation of fiscal policy and fiscal and taxation measures; the availability and use of funds for key expenditures such as agriculture, education, science and technology, culture, health and social security; transfer payments from the central government to local governments; and the issuance of government bonds.
Second, we will carry out investigations and studies on compiling the Outline of the Twelfth Five-Year Plan. To implement the guiding principles of the Seventeenth National Party Congress and the Central Economic Work Conference, in the first half of this year we will organize NPC special committees and executive bodies of the Standing Committee to carry out investigations and studies on issues involved in the compilation of the Outline of the Twelfth Five-Year Plan, including the distribution of national income; economic restructuring; employment and social security; development of education, science and technology, culture and health; agriculture, rural areas and farmers; energy conservation, emissions reductions and environmental protection; and reform of the fiscal and taxation systems. We will put forward a substantial number of comments and suggestions to provide the central government with material for making decisions, and prepare the NPC to deliberate and approve the outline during its session next year.
Third, we will make inquiries and interrogations on special issues in accordance with the law. Inquiries and interrogations are legal means by which people's congresses oversee governments, courts and procuratorates. On the basis of the Law on Oversight and the guiding principles of the Decision of the NPC Standing Committee on Intensifying Oversight of Economic Work, this year we will select a number of issues of widespread concern to NPC deputies; hear reports on those issues by relevant departments of the State Council; and as provided for in relevant laws, ask main leaders from those departments of the State Council to listen to suggestions, respond to inquiries and answer questions.
The 2010 Shanghai World Expo, with the slogan "a better city, a better life," will be an international arena for cities to showcase their cultural fruits, share their experience and ideas of development, and explore how to coordinate urban and rural development. The Expo will be another global event hosted by China, taking up where the Beijing Olympic Games left off. We will give our utmost support to all preparatory work to ensure the Expo is successful, spectacular and unforgettable.
3. Continuing to strengthen work in the areas of services for NPC deputies, foreign contacts and self-improvement
We need to further strengthen and improve work related to deputies. We will earnestly implement the guiding principles of the Central Committee Document No. 9, 2005, continue to improve the work system, improve quality in the handling of deputies' bills and proposals, expand their involvement in the work of the Standing Committee and special committees, better organize inspection tours and investigations and studies for them, improve the way they carry out activities in groups, intensify their training in special areas, provide better services for them, and get them to fully play their role in supervising state affairs.
We need to further strengthen and improve the NPC's foreign contacts, with the focus on exchanging high-level visits, effectively advancing regular exchanges with national parliaments and congresses of major countries, and actively participating in the preparations for and the activities of the Third World Conference of Speakers of Parliaments. We will earnestly engage in activities related to the Shanghai World Expo with foreign countries, expand and develop friendly dealings and cooperation with foreign parliaments and congresses on many levels and in many areas, continue to improve our overseas publicity work, and make better use of the NPC's role in foreign contact.
We need to further strengthen and improve the NPC's publicity work. We will strengthen organization and coordination; channel the orientation of public opinion; make full use of television, radio, newspapers, magazines, and the Internet and other new media; flexibly use all means of communication; and widely publicize the system of people's congresses and the latest progress of all the NPC's endeavors.
We need to further strengthen self-improvement. We will maintain the correct political orientation in the NPC's work throughout, and keep the Party, politics, the overall situation, the people, and the rule of law firmly in mind. We will undertake study on a large scale, stay close to the people, and work in a realistic and pragmatic manner. We will carry out thorough investigations and studies, organize workshops on special topics, and genuinely improve our capability to fulfill our duties in accordance with the law. We will make full use of special committees, strengthen coordination and collaboration between them, and improve the overall quality of their work. We will forge closer ties with standing committees of local people's congresses, learn from the positive experiences of local people's congresses in carrying out their duties in accordance with the law, and improve democracy and the legal system together. Bodies of the NPC should further improve their ideology and work style, their organizational systems, and their quality and capabilities; and collectively advise and assist and provide good services for NPC deputies, the Standing Committee, and special committees in the performance of their duties in accordance with the law.
Our goals spur us to action, and our tasks are daunting and onerous. Let us rally closely around the CPC Central Committee with Comrade Hu Jintao as General Secretary, hold high the great banner of socialism with Chinese characteristics, take Deng Xiaoping Theory and the important thought of Three Represents as our guide, and thoroughly apply the Scientific Outlook on Development. Let us come together, forge ahead, work solidly, and strive to achieve new success in building a moderately prosperous society in all respects and open up new vistas for the cause of socialism with Chinese characteristics.