|China's top advisory body begins annual session|
BEIJING, March 3 (Xinhua) -- The Tenth National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), China's top advisory body, convened its fifth annual full session here Saturday, calling for its members' contribution to social harmony and utmost effort for the preparation for the 17th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC).
"The year of 2007 is of great importance for the causes of our Party and the whole country, as the 17th CPC National Congress is scheduled to convene in the second half of this year, which is not only a big event for the Party itself, but also for the political life of all the people," said Jia Qinglin, chairman of the CPPCC National Committee, in a keynote report on the work of the advisory body in the past year and its work scheme in 2007.
Jia urged CPPCC members to "welcome the successful convening of the CPC National Congress by earnestly performing our duty in political consultation, democratic supervision and participation in and discussion of state affairs with a great sense of political responsibility."
Jia said that CPPCC members should be prepared to learn and implement the spirit of the CPC congress and make contribution to accomplish the goals raised at the congress.
The CPPCC should fully play its role to promote the harmonious relations between different parties, nationalities, religions, social classes, and compatriots from both home and overseas, said Jia.
He said the advisors' proposals on improving social equality, morality, stability and maintaining harmony between human beings and the nature over the previous year have contributed to the country's drive of building a harmonious society.
The CPPCC should strengthen its contact with the compatriots in Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan and those living abroad to maintain the long-term prosperity in Hong Kong and Macao, to push forward the peaceful and stable development of the cross-Strait relations and to realize the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation, he said.
President Hu Jintao, top legislator Wu Bangguo, Premier Wen Jiabao and other top CPC and state leaders including Zeng Qinghong,Wu Guanzheng, Li Changchun and Luo Gan were seated on the central rostrum when the session opened in the Great Hall of the People in downtown Beijing at 3 p.m. (Beijing time).
Huang Mengfu, CPPCC National Committee vice chairman, reported to the advisors at the opening meeting on how their proposals and suggestions had been handled since the advisory body's last session in March 2006.
The political consultants have raised 5,158 proposals on economy, science, culture and sports, politics and social security issues since last March, and over 98 percent have received response from relative departments or have been handled in line with China's laws and regulations, according to Huang.
More than 2,000 CPPCC National Committee members will underline major concerns of the nation during the 12-day meeting.
Three plenary meetings that focus on economy, social and cultural development, and political construction will be held during the session, which is scheduled to conclude on March 15.
The CPPCC National Committee members will also be present at the annual session of the 10th National People's Congress (NPC), China's top legislature, slated to kick off on March 5, hearing and discussing the report on the government work by Premier Wen Jiabao, reports on the work of the Supreme People's Court and the Supreme People's Procuratorate, and the drafts of the property right law and the corporate income tax law.
Founded in 1949, the CPPCC consists of elite members of the Chinese society who are willing to serve as the think tank for the government and for the country's legislative and judicial organs.
As an open forum where the ruling Communist Party, the non-Communist parties of China and people with no party affiliations discuss state affairs freely and on an equal footing, the CPPCC National Committee has been the manifestation of China's socialist democracy.