How China works: why and how it is so successful in taking care of its citizens, Part II

This is a more detailed description of how China works, from China Writers’ Group member Frans Vandenbosch. Here is Part I,

Let me add my own viewpoints on these three institutions; viewpoints I have collected over the years from various people and sources:

National Party Congress

This is indeed the Communist Party organisation, which has the real power. They are selecting the new laws which will be submitted to the National People’s Congress. They  decide which laws are sufficiently tried out, finetuned and ready to be approved.

National People’s Congress

In our western media, including Wikipedia, they are defined as the “Rubber Stamping Institute”, approving the laws. That’s absolutely not true.

Look at the decisions of the 14th National People’s Congress in March this year. The elections were held end of last year. There are 2977 members, of which 2187 newcomers. The Communist Party China has 118 seats, there are 14 independents and 43 seats belonging to the smaller parties. In my opinion, it is highly unfair that these smaller parties have so many seats because, compared to their number of members they should get only 1.4 % of the seats. (instead of 36%)

Not just the smaller parties, but also the ethnic minorities (from Xinjiang, Xizhang, The Koreans, Vietnamese, Manchu, and so many more) are also largely over represented in the NPC. Only the Hui (a minority muslim group) are scattered over almost all the other political parties, including the CPC.

The National People’s Congress does not blindly approve all the (mostly meticulously prepared) law proposals. About one on five laws are either amended or radically send back to the ministries or commissions to reassess the whole law proposal.

The law-making process in China is more than a bit different from the way they’re making laws in the West:

Very, very few laws are ad hoc. The Chinese culture is based on long term viewpoints, not on the issues of the day. There are no lobbyists, trying to influence the law-making process. All laws are based on benchmarking the “best-in-class” laws of (often western) countries. These countries are selected on basis of the quality of their legal system for a certain particular law.  (The Chinese law on labour relations is in many aspects a copy of the Belgian law)

Most of the laws go through a process of preliminary proposal, small scale testing in a few cities or province, then adjusting based on the feedback from the local communities.  It is not uncommon that there are 4 to 5 loops, where a law proposal is going through the proposal-testing-adjustment process so many times until the outcome is satisfying enough to submit it to the NPC.

The whole process from preliminary planning to final approval by the NPC is usually taking 4 to 5 years.

National Committee of the People’s Political Consultative Conference

This is where the more creative work is done, where they come up with ground-breaking new and controversial ideas for law reform.

Here, the many top quality Chinese Think Tanks and other organisations can submit their sometimes weird ideas and proposals to the representatives of the People.

Chinese Think Tanks

are so very different from Western Think Tanks. They are remarkably straightforward, almost always criticizing one or another crooked condition in the Chinese society. They provide reports with facts and figures, based on sound research. The reports are never “spectacular”, they’re always very harmonious, well aware that they’re actually working for the betterment of the Chinese society. They contain several proposals and options which they have already weighted for the feasibility.

Chinese Think Tanks are all the time looking for cooperation with Western Think Tanks but unfortunately, almost all Western Think Tanks are US or other government funded and extremely biased and anti-China. Very few Western Think Tanks have the privilege to cooperate with Chinese Think Tanks.

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