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As sessions near their conclusion, real work begins

By Zhao Huanxin ( China Daily )

Updated: 2016-03-14

As national legislators wrap up their annual gathering on Wednesday, I'm assessing the trail they will have left behind in Beijing during their 12-day stay.

Not their footprints, of course. Flipping through the hundreds of pages of proposals, complaints and criticism, I'm amazed at the tremendous scope of the workload that government departments and organizations now face.

As sessions near their conclusion, real work begins


First, the country's Constitution invests a national legislator with the power to place any proposal or idea before the National People's Congress, the country's top legislature, and its standing committee. According to the law, the appropriate government departments and organizations must process and reply to all of them.

Second, legislators' proposals number in the thousands, and they cover all aspects of Chinese life.

Last year, NPC deputies offered a staggering 8,239 proposals, according to He Yehui, deputy secretary-general of the NPC's standing committee. In 2014, the figure was even higher, at 8,576 proposals.

In both years, about 80 percent of the issues raised by the 2,900 or so lawmakers were resolved, or are in the process of being settled, He said.

I talked to dozens of deputies from Southwest China's Guizhou and Sichuan provinces and some from East China's Shandong province, and realized they had usually conducted investigations, organized meetings and even used questionnaires to understand their constituents' needs before heading to Beijing.

Sometimes a legislator's proposal may seem trivial to an outsider, but the issue matters a lot to the people who see the lawmaker as their spokesperson.

Take Sun Jianbo, for instance. The legislator from Shandong is urging lowered thresholds and improved conditions that would allow the disabled to participate in the province's annual marathon on an equal footing.

Then there's Yang Jie, a deputy from Anhui province. Alarmed by the increase in traffic fatalities in rural areas, Yang has proposed revising the country's driver's license examination rules.

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