CPC opens 1st online public opinions on natl congress; offers reference for report of 20th congress
Published: Apr 15, 2022 05:56 PM
A national flag-raising ceremony is held at Tian'anmen Square during a ceremony marking the centenary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) in Beijing, capital of China, July 1, 2021.(Photo: Xinhua)

A national flag-raising ceremony is held at Tian'anmen Square during a ceremony marking the centenary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) in Beijing, capital of China, July 1, 2021. Photo: Xinhua

The Communist Party of China (CPC) is asking the public to contribute opinions on its 20th national congress to be held in the second half of 2022, marking the first time in the CPC's history that work related to national congress has included publicly solicited opinions. 

Chinese analysts said that these opinions expressed online will be collected, analyzed and then provided as a reference to the drafting of the report of the 20th national congress, and some of the common problems raised by netizens will be dealt with immediately or assigned to responsible departments for further research. 

The call for public submissions, a practice of whole-process people's democracy, revealed the CPC Central Committee's inclusive working style of pooling the wisdom of the masses and the good image of the CPC as confident, open, honest and innovative, analysts said.

The 20th national congress is held at an important time as the Party embarks on a new journey to build a modern socialist society in all respects, and the report produced in connection to the congress, containing the development plan of next five or even 15 years, is of great significance, Yang Xuedong, a professor of political science at Tsinghua University, told the Global Times. He noted that drafting the report of 20th National Congress requires scientific and democratic decision-making based on fully soliciting opinions from different sectors. 

"Soliciting online opinions reflected the confidence and openness of the CPC, which hopes to listen to different voices rather than suppressing them," Yang said. 

Opinions and suggestions can be made via online platforms, including the websites and mobile apps of People's Daily, Xinhua News Agency and China Media Group, from April 15 to May 16. The CPC receives public opinions and suggestions on the full and strict Party governance, high-quality development, comprehensive reform and opening-up, whole-process people's democracy, law-based state governance, socialist cultural advancement, people's livelihoods and ecological progress.

On Friday, the first day online platforms launched opinion soliciting portals, many opinions and suggestions posted through Xinhua's page were about standard of living, especially protecting the rights of elderly people and women, some proposed streamlining the process of screening digital health code for seniors who do not use mobile phones and introduce social welfare funds and volunteer groups to offer nursing services for seniors. 

The People's Daily online reported on Friday that the outlet received nearly 10,000 messages in the first 12 hours after it launched the page. The number of internet users in China had hit 854 million as of June 2019.

Zhang Shuhua, director of the institute of political sciences of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times on Friday that soliciting ordinary people's opinions reflected CPC's principles of serving the people and relying on the people and fulfilled the whole-process people's democracy, first raised by President Xi Jinping in November 2019 during a tour in Shanghai.

The CPC and the country's major decisions in the past were made after multiple field surveys, soliciting opinions from different sectors, think tanks, and other means, Zhang said.

Soliciting opinions from online platforms is a natural development in expanding citizens' participation in political affairs, analysts said. 

Zhang said that in the future, more diversified means for people to express opinions for the Party and country's decisions will be introduced. 

Xinhua said that all the opinions will be sorted and analyzed to provide reference for the work of the 20th national congress. 

Chinese analysts further explained that opinions will be listed as references for the draft of the report of the 20th national congress and for problems and critics, responsible government departments will provide an immediate response. 

Forming the report of the 20th national congress by soliciting public opinions further proved that the important political documents issued by China's ruling party both represent the people and are supervised by the people, a sharp contrast with West's democracy which is democracy controlled by elites and only safeguards the interests of the minority, analysts said.