Full consultations are conducted with representatives from all walks of life before the State makes major policy decisions in order to strengthen unity and co-operation among all ethnic groups, political parties, social sectors and democratic personages without party affiliation and promote the progress of the cause of socialist construction.
And the consultations have been conducted in the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) since it was founded in 1949.
The CPPCC is composed of members of the Communist Party of China, the eight non-Communist parties in China, non-government organizations, public figures with no party affiliation, representatives of local communities and ethnic minorities, representatives of compatriots from Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macao, and returned overseas Chinese, and individuals invited as special representatives.
Sixty per cent of CPPCC members are non-CPC members and come from almost all important fields in China.
The CPPCC has adopted this democratic consultation system and all members are welcome to express their different opinions and suggestions.
Since the founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949, consultations have been conducted in the CPPCC on many major issues concerning China's economic development, political life, social activities and the united front.
More than 50,000 proposals have been raised by the CPPCC members in the past 50-plus years and almost half of them are on economic development issues.
The main function of the CPPCC is to hold political consultations, exercise democratic supervision and concern itself with the country's governance.
Political consultation is held on major central and local government policies, on important political, economic, cultural and social issues before decisions are made as well as in the process of implementation.
Democratic supervision is exercised over the enforcement of China's Constitution, laws and regulations, the implementation of the major policies and the performance of government departments and their employees by making proposals and criticisms.
The CPPCC may hold meetings to put forward proposals to the Communist Party of China and government, and its special committees may do the same. The CPPCC members may conduct inspections, put forward draft resolutions, report on particular issues and make proposals and criticisms through other means.
The CPPCC is elected for a five-year term and a plenary session is held annually.
The current chairman of the 10th CPPCC National Committee is Jia Qinglin.
(Source: People's Daily Online)