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China Letter-News and Human Rights

China human rights news with focus on the Uygur of Xinjiang, Tibetans and Tibet, Chinese mining workers, religion, corruption and censorship.

Thursday, March 18, 2004

China's parliament sheds rubber stamp reputation?


Straits Times


Legislators cartoon courtesy Strait Times "National People's Congress delegate Zhou Xiaoguang broke new ground recently when she took television advertisements seeking public views on what issues she ought to raise during this year's sitting of parliament."

The Straits Times journalist argues by providing some examples that the Representatives at the recently concluded National People's Congress are far more active in soliciting the opinions of their "constituents" than their predecessors and as such the NPC is not any longer the "Rubber Stamp" parliament that it has been.

Well from all reports there does appear more activity by the Representatives as the examples given would seem to attest. Many other examples were also supplied during the course of the Congress by the likes of the official Chinese news organs such as the People's Daily.

That is all very encouraging and it would seem to be heading in the right direction, but let us remember that " democracy" is a learnt thing, an ingrained cultural thing. It can not be turned on at a drop of a hat or even at the direction of the Politburo.

It will take much education to bring the country up to speed on how to run a democracy even if the Party gave it's full support.

I have argued elsewhere in this blog that we are talking at least two generations and again that is only with the full support of the party.

At the moment the NPC remains a "Rubber Stamp" institution, that fact has not changed. What perhaps has changed is what some representatives see their role as being. If they see their role as being pro-active and act accordingly by getting out among their "constituents" (they are not universally elected) than it will ultimately put pressure on the party to reform. A grass roots revolution so to speak.

I do not know how widespread this new thinking is that the article describes but I would suggest at this stage that it is not very.

But, nevertheless promising.

Take a look at the article it gives some good insight into the process of the NPC.

Linked Article Read Rating: Worthwhile