The second session of the 12th National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative (CPPCC) and the second session of the 12th National People’s Congress (NPC) opens in Beijing. A total of 36 representatives from the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS), including NPC deputies and CPPCC members, attend the two sessions, and put forward their motions and proposals.
Looking at the motions and proposals put forward by the CASS representatives, it can be seen that they focus mostly on the national economy and on the people's welfare, as well as cultural and scientific issues. When they participate in the administration and discussion of state affairs, these CASS representatives play a special role, doubling as both scholars and official representatives.
Proposals for the comprehensive deepening of reform
The topic which received the most attention in the NPC and CPPCC 2014 Annual Sessions is undoubtedly the comprehensive deepening of reform. In order to promote reform, it is necessary to start from a suitable cut-in point.
Liu Shucheng, a member of the CPPCC National Committee and CASS member, deliveres his proposals on this issue. Even though he is an economist, Liu suggests that the rule of law should be the starting point for reform, rather than the economy.
Liu’s proposal points out that strengthening the construction of legal institutions would be not just a partial reform but an overall one, covering the six major fields of the economy, politics, culture, society, ecology and Party building.
Liu mentions in his proposal that the general objective of the comprehensive deepening of reform is to improve and develop the socialist system with Chinese characteristics, as well as promoting the modernization of national governance. This will require creating more mature and complete systems in every area, including the legal field.
Sun Xianzhong, a deputy to the NPC and a research fellow (professor) of the Institute of Law of CASS, also claims that it is necessary to properly implement the rule of law in China, so as to support the comprehensive deepening of reform.
Spotlight on urbanization
Urbanization has become the major engine of China’s economic development. This is the reason why many of the CASS representatives’ motions and proposals are related to this issue.
As CPPCC National Committee member and research fellow of the Institute of World History of CASS Yu Jinrao says, “the whole of society has now reached a consensus: the key to urbanization is the urbanization of the people, and this process needs the support of industry.”
Zhong Ying, a member of the CPPCC National Committee and a research fellow of the Institute of Contemporary China Studies of CASS, also puts forward a proposal, suggesting that there is an urgent need for perfecting the relevant systems and reforming marketization in the allocation of the capital element of urbanization. Zhong’s proposal holds that it is necessary to adjust the strategic thinking on urbanization, exclude arbitrary administrative intervention, deal properly with the situation of the financial industry and support private capital.
Urbanization is not simply an economic and social problem, but it is related to a variety of deep-rooted national and cultural issues.
Zhuo Xinping, deputy to the NPC and director of the Institute of World Religion of CASS, focuses his attention on the migration of ethnic minorities during the process of urbanization. He claims that the migration of minorities is an inevitable occurrence within the process of urbanization, and that we should take active measures to manage it. This will have positive consequences for both social harmony and national unity.
One of the proposals delivered by Song Zhenhao (a member of the CPPCC National Committee and research fellow of the Institute of History of CASS) relates to the protection of cultural relics and the implementation of the “Project of Rural Memory”. As Song explains, “the core of the ‘Project of Rural Memory’ is to effectively preserve tangible and intangible cultural relics in their place of origin through the construction of folk art museums and rural and community museums, so as to showcase, publicize, protect and inherit important local cultural relics”.
Focusing on the people’s welfare
Zhou Hong, a deputy to the NPC and director of the Institute of European Studies of CASS, puts forward a motion which combines her different fields of professional knowledge. The motion is on how to improve China’s national image and enhance the country’s discourse power. Zhou feels that since the start of the 21st century, when international communication entered the era of globalization, it has become an urgent task to elevate the country’s capability in the fields of conducting international communication, leading world public opinion, improving the national image, winning international support and protecting the national interest.
Chen Zhongyi, a member of the CPPCC National Committee and the director of CASS’s Institute of Foreign Literature, makes a proposal centered on the preservation and inheritance of the national classics. “National classics are a significant basis of national identification. However, the weight of national classics is relatively low within the curricula of universities as well as senior, junior and primary schools. It is therefore necessary for the Ministry of Education and certain related departments of dissemination to adjust the way in which the national classics are taught and spread, so as to pass down the best of national culture to future generations”, says Chen.
The proposals put forward by the experts and scholars from CASS also focus on the development of philosophy and the social sciences.
Chao Ke, a deputy to the NPC and deputy director of the Bureau of Scientific Research Management of CASS, advises that an innovation award for philosophy and the social sciences should be established as soon as possible. Chao claims that in a strict sense, the promotion of the highest achievements in philosophy and the social sciences is also an important measure for deepening reform in the field of philosophy and the social sciences, as well as enhancing China’s discourse power.
The motions and proposals made by CASS representatives also often focuses on the people’s welfare. For instance Li Lan, a member of the CPPCC National Committee and a research fellow in the Institute of Linguistics, not for the first time puts forth a proposal on the issue of school buses this year.
The Chinese version appeared in Chinese Social Sciences Today (CASS Issue), No. 237, 7th of March, 2014.
Chinese link: http://cass.cssn.cn/yaowen/201403/t20140307_1021750.html
Translated by Chen Meina
Revised by Gabriele Corsetti