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Government Documents
UPDATED: March 25, 2011
Hold High the Great Banner of Deng Xiaoping Theory for an All-round Advancement of the Cause of Building Socialism With Chinese Characteristics’ Into the 21st Century
Report Delivered at the 15th National Congress of the Communist Party of China on September 12, 1997

(2) Improve the legal system.

The smooth progress of the undertakings of the Party and the state inevitably requires that there must be laws to go by, that the laws must be observed and strictly enforced, and that lawbreakers must be prosecuted. We shall strengthen legislation, improve its quality and form a socialist legal system with Chinese characteristics by the year 2010. To safeguard the dignity of the Constitution and other laws, we must see to it that all people are equal before the law and no individuals or organizations shall have the privilege to overstep it. All government organs must perform their official duties according to law and guarantee the citizens' rights in real earnest by instituting a system of responsibility for law enforcement and a system of assessment and examination. We shall promote the reform of judicial affairs to ensure institutionally that the judicial organs are in a position to exercise adjudicative and procuratorial powers independently and fairly according to law, and establish a system for investigating and prosecuting anyone who is held responsible for unjust or misjudged cases. We shall improve the ranks of law-enforcing and judicial personnel. We shall educate the populace about the law to make them more aware of its importance. In particular, we shall enhance the leading cadres' awareness of the importance of the legal system and their ability to perform their duties according to law. We must closely integrate the improvement of the legal system with the promotion of cultural and ethical progress and make sure that they advance synchronously.

(3) Reform the structure of government institutions.

Unwieldy organization, overstaffing, failure to separate the functions of the government from those of enterprises and serious bureaucracy directly hamper the deepening of the reform and economic development and impair the relationship between the Party and the masses. This problem calls for an urgent solution and must be studied from an overall point of view. Special forces should be organized to work out plans to solve it. In accordance with the requirements of a socialist market economy, we need to alter the functions of the government and separate them from those of enterprises so that enterprises will be truly given the power with regard to production, operation and management. Following the principle of simplification, uniformity and efficiency in the reform, we shall establish a highly efficient, well-coordinated and standardized administrative system, with a view to improving their service for the people. The departments in charge of comprehensive economic management should shift their functions to macroeconomic control, and specialized economic departments should be reorganized or reduced. We shall improve the work of departments supervising law enforcement and cultivate and expand social intermediary organizations. We shall deepen the reform of the administrative system, statutorily delimiting the structures, functions, sizes and working procedures of the state organs and ensuring that their sizes are kept within authorized limits and their redundant personnel are reduced. We shall also deepen the reform of the personnel system by introducing a competitive and incentive mechanism and improving the system of public servants to build up a contingent of administrators who are highly competent and professionally specialized.

(4) Improve the system of democratic supervision.

Our powers are given to us by the people and all cadres are their servants who must be subjected to supervision by the people and the law. We should deepen the reform in this connection, improve the legal system of supervision, and establish and improve a mechanism ensuring that our cadres exercise their authority within the framework of law. The departments handling affairs of immediate concern to the people should carry out an open administrative system to make sure what they do is fair, just and open. We shall integrate the supervision by Party members with that by the law and the masses and give scope to the role of supervision by public opinion. We shall strengthen the supervision over the enforcement of the Constitution and other laws to safeguard the uniformity of the legal system of the state as well as the supervision over the implementation of general and specific policies of the Party and the state to see to it that they are truly carried out. We shall also strengthen the supervision over cadres at all levels and especially leading cadres to prevent them from abusing their powers. We must severely punish those in charge of law enforcement who break the law and those who accept bribes.

(5) Maintain stability and unity.

With the deepening of the reform and opening up and the readjustment of economic relations, many changes have taken place in the various contradictions in the economic and social life and, in particular, some contradictions concerning the people's immediate interests are rather conspicuous. The Party committees and governments at all levels must work conscientiously, responsibly and enthusiastically to solve the people's practical problems in their life and work. With regard to contradictions among the people, we should go deep into the realities, carry out investigation and study and do ideological and political work well. As the circumstances may differ, we should properly use economic, administrative or legal means to tackle the contradictions and prevent them from becoming more acute.

Sound public security is of prime importance for the safety of people's lives and property as well as the reform, development and stability. We should improve the work of the procuratorial, judicial and public security departments. We must crack down on all kinds of crime according to the law and eradicate social evils such as pornography, gambling, and drug abuse and trafficking. In our efforts to improve all facets of public security, we need to combine punishment with prevention and lay more stress on the latter. We should intensify education and management to reinforce the responsibility system and bring about a sound environment for public security.

Building socialist democracy is a gradual historical process, so it should be advanced under the leadership of the Party, in light of China's conditions, step by step, and in an orderly way. The more developed socialism is, the more developed democracy will be. We should continue to promote a Chinese-style socialist democracy by exploring the law of its development in practice, and enable it to display greater vitality in the 21st century.

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