NPC 2006

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Netizens tell it like it is in messages to premier – SCMP

From the South China Morning Post, via Asia Media (link): Hundreds of thousands of netizens posted appeals and questions to Wen Jiabao on special bulletin boards prepared by main state media websites in the run-up to the premier’s press conference yesterday. The rare opportunity to make their voices heard by the premier attracted a wave […]

Freedom of speech finds new meaning in Wen’s world – Mure Dickie

From the Financial Times (link): For a few moments during his annual press conference in Beijing’s Great Hall of the People, Wen Jiabao, Chinese premier and third-ranking member of the ruling Communist party, almost sounded like a pro-democracy liberal. “A people’s government should accept the democratic supervision of the people . . . Only if […]

Who are those “People’s Representatives” ? – moogee

The following is a full list of Zhejiang Province delegates to this year’s annual session of the National People’s Congress, currently underway in Beijing. The names were posted on March 14 by moogee, along with lists of delegates from Hebei, Liaoning and Shanxi provinces, on the SOHO Xiaobao BBS. (Password = 4) (Translated by CDT. […]

Blunt ideas from `toothless tigers’ – Cindy Sui

From The Standard (link): China’s parliament is widely seen as a rubber-stamp for the Communist Party, but that doesn’t stop delegates and advisers from raising bold and sometimes wacky proposals. This year has seen calls for edible toothpicks, pleas to professional footballers to avoid prostitutes and proposed laws to legalize same-sex marriages and euthanasia.The 3,000 […]

China Premier Vows to Protect Farmers-ALEXA OLESEN

From the Washington Post (link) Premier Wen Jiabao vowed Tuesday to crack down on seizures of farmland for redevelopment – a source of rising rural anger in China – but stopped short of saying whether the communist government might allow farmers to own land. Wen also promised that the world’s largest military would never pose […]

Premier Says China Beset by Corruption and Rural Land Issues – Jim Yardley

From the New York Times (link): Prime Minister Wen Jiabao said Tuesday that China’s rapid economic rise is being accompanied by a “high concentration of all kinds of acute problems,” including official corruption by some officials who “have violated the rights of the people.” Mr. Wen also said the government had “no surprise” revaluations planned […]

China to take small steps towards oil price liberalization- John Bishop

From Forbes (link) China will likely take a step-by-step approach towards liberalizing domestic prices for oil and oil products following this year’s National People’s Congress which is to due to conclude today, analysts said. China’s policymakers must balance the needs of its rural poor who would be hurt by any increase in prices for oil […]

It looks almost democratic, but don’t forget it’s China –

From USA Today (link): Beyond the trappings of a lawmaking body, however, the NPC offers little in the way of democracy. People’s deputies are not actually chosen by the people, but rather by the Communist Party. The NPC has never rejected a bill put before it by the government. “I don’t know who my people’s […]

A virtuous path pledged by China – AP

From the AP, via the International Herald Tribune (link): The top advisory body to China’s Parliament promised Monday to promote an official system of virtues conceived by President Hu Jintao that calls for honesty and plain living, amid discontent over corruption and a growing gap between rich and poor. A resolution passed by the Chinese […]

Environment the hot topic at NPC 2006

Zhou Shengxian, head of SEPA, has been popping up all over the media landscape after making a statement to the 10th session of the National People’s Congress about the need for more concentration on environmental issues. The latest from Reuters via Planet Ark (link): “Scientific approach to development” might seem like at empty slogan, but […]

China to launch 100 state engineering labs by 2010 – Xinhua

From People’s Daily Online (link) China plans to set up 100 state-level engineering laboratories in five years in an effort to push forward innovation of enterprises that used to import advanced technologies, a senior official announced Friday in Beijing. The labs will cover biology, metallurgy and many other sectors, said Zhang Xiaoqiang, deputy director with […]

Bitter harvest for China’s rural majority – Rowan Callick

From the Australian (link) The Chinese rice paddy embodies the country’s cultural heartland, much like the bush does in Australia. But unlike Australia’s population – one of the world’s most heavily urban – two of every three Chinese still live in rural areas. The opening week of China’s annual parliamentary session has demonstrated the “fourth […]

China puts 6 provincial-level officials into prison in 2005 – Xinhua

From Xinhua (link): In the fight against corruption and other job-related crimes, Chinese courts convicted six provincial and ministerial officials to prison in 2005, the same as in 2004, while much more lower level officials were given criminal penalty, chief justice Xiao Yang said Saturday. Courts across the country heard 24,277 cases of embezzlement, bribery […]

China to reform death penalty trials – Xinhua

From People’s Daily Online (link) To promote meticulosity in meting out capital punishment, top judge Xiao Yang said Saturday that Chinese courts will start from this year to open court sessions when hearing death sentence trials in second instance, after taking steps to retrieve the power of death penalty review from provincial courts. “As of […]

Lobbyists target Chinese legislators - WSJ

From Wall Street Journal, via China Daily (link): China’s legislature is taking on a new role: a target for interest groups to lobby. With nearly 3,000 delegates gathered in the capital until next week for the annual meeting of the National People’s Congress, some representatives of different interest groups have also flocked to Beijing. They […]

Sharp Debate Erupts in China Over Socialism and Capitalism – Joseph Kahn

From The New York Times (link): For the first time in perhaps a decade, the National People’s Congress, the Communist Party-run legislature now convened in its annual two-week session, is consumed with an ideological debate over socialism and capitalism that many assumed had been buried by China’s long streak of fast economic growth. The controversy […]

Political advisory system can help China avoid “color revolution”: advisor – People’s Daily

From People’s Daily (link): China’s political consultative system can help the country avoid “color revolution” — a turmoil that troubled some central Asian nations launched by foreign hostile forces, a senior advisor said Friday. The deliberative democracy mechanism under the framework of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) serves as a major channel for […]

China keeps them down on the farm – Philip Bowring

From the International Herald Tribune (link): Necessity as well as good sense lies behind China’s decision in its latest five year plan, revealed at the National People’s Congress, to play down numerical growth goals and target instead the wealth gap and social and environmental issues. But the new goals look likely to be out of […]

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