Voices on Quality-of-Life and Social-Democracy Issues Shine at China's 'Two Sessions'

March 6, 2015  By Li Wenjie  Editor: Kiki Liu

The annual session of the CPPCC begins on March 3, 2015 after the members of China's 23 provinces, 4 municipalities and 5 autonomous regions had arrived in Beijing with the intention and expectation of contributing their suggestions to the session.

Members of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) National Committee made their voices heard on quality-of-life and social-democracy issues, in Beijing at the "Two Sessions," on March 3 and 4.

The annual session of the CPPCC began on March 3, 2015 after the members of China's 23 provinces, 4 municipalities and 5 autonomous regions had arrived in Beijing with the intention and expectation of contributing their suggestions to the session.

Qian Xueming, a member of the 12th CPPCC National Committee from south China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, voiced his own view on social-welfare benefits for the ever-growing population of migrant workers in urban cities.

"[Migrant workers'] employers sometimes may not cover their payments for their housing provident fund [also known as a housing insurance fund] or provide them with the five social insurances [endowment insurance, medical insurance, unemployment insurance, work-related-injury insurance and childbirth insurance], which goes against the employment principal of the employer's covering all of the worker's insurances. The reason why employers are not covering the payments for the housing provident funds is that its fees are higher than the total of the five social insurances. So, I am appealing for the housing provident fund to be available to all migrant workers upon employment, which will benefit them when they are renting or buying a house," proposed Qian.

Wei Yihong, a member of the 12th CPPCC National Committee and vice mayor of the People's Government of Pu'er, a city in southwest China's Yunnan Province, tabled her proposal to the "Two Sessions" and discussed the road conditions in the Chinese border areas that have a dense population of ethnic minorities.

Wei expressed that the poor road conditions in the these areas was a principle factor in widening or even leading to the gap between the coastal and border areas as far as living standards and economy growth are concerned.

"The Chinese government needs to improve the living standards of dilapidated boarder areas," advocated Wei.

In addition to the poor road conditions, Wei indicated that the issue of environmental protection needed to be a top priority during the sessions, especially with respect to the headline topic of tackling smog in China. Wei cited Pu'er as an example to illustrate the importance of pleasant weather and proper air quality to a city.

"Our city put significant emphasis on environmental protection, and we are proud of the way we have embraced such delightful eco-environmental conditions. It is obvious that positive environmental conditions will exert a positive influence on social development and well-being," continued Wei.

Two other members put forward a recommendation about social democracy.

"We need to improve the relationship between the CPPCC leaders and committee members and then to promote smoother communication and better understanding. Moreover, both leaders and committee members should keep in touch with the masses and even look to experience first-hand the public's feelings or opinions, and formulate practicable policies accordingly," suggested Hou Lu, vice chairperson of the Anhui Dramatists Association.

"New forms of participation in and discussion of government issues should be promoted, which would mean that the general public would have the opportunity to join in and become part of the national discussion of government issues related to social well-being," recommended He Yue, a law professor from Tianjin University.

He advised that during the holding of the CPPCC's biweekly seminar, more members should participate in social consultation on various issues. He expressed that the original figure of 20 members was not enough for proper democratic consultation given the overwhelming number of issues.

Other new forms of involvement, including online or remote participation, were also expected to help promote proper social consultation on national issues.

Wang Yinxiang, Party secretary of China National Aviation Holding Company (CNAH), made a proposal on the enforcement of aviation safety law in China, in light of the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 last year and the crash of Taiwan TransAsia Airways plane earlier this year.

Wang stated that these recent disastrous events — the disappearance or crashing of planes — mean that attention must urgently be focused back onto aviation safety, which had been neglected or simply thought little about in past years.

"With the increasing development of China's economy, more and more Chinese will choose to spend holidays in other countries with famous resorts or beautiful landscapes. The year 2013 witnessed 90 million outbound Chinese tourists, and last year hit a high of 100 million. Therefore, safety measures and regulations ensuring and maintaining passengers' safety should be published this year," stressed Wang.

Wang expressed that pilots need to improve their skills in flying while passengers need to behave well while in the air.

"For example, last year a passenger opened the emergence door of the plane before it took off. Warning was given by a stewardess, but the passenger argued that he was almost suffocated in the plane," said Wang, adding that the bad behavior not only wasted other passengers' time but also the social resources required to resolve that sort of stupidity and inconsideration.

"Another example is one passenger who was unhappy with the service on the plane and threatened to bomb the plane. Related regulations or laws should be introduced to protect other passengers' rights and interests. For these sorts of misconducts or wrongdoings, China currently hands out only minor punishments, such as a slight fine with 15 days of detainment, which is the main reason why China sees a higher number of these kinds of cases. That's not enough, and Chinese law needs to be improved to fill the gap in aviation safety," appealed Wang.

Over the following days, all the members' submission will be handed in for further consideration, with more opinions and proposals to be published during the "Two Sessions," from March 3 to 15.

He Yue, a law professor from Tianjin University and a member of the 12th CPPCC National Committee, advises during the CPPCC on March 4, 2015 that more members should participate in the biweekly social consultation meeting on various issues and expresses that the original figure of 20 members is not enough for democratic consultation on the high volume of issues that need studying. [Li Wenjie/Women of China]

Hou Lu, vice chairperson of the Anhui Dramatists Association and a member of the 12th CPPCC National Committee, suggests that smoother communication and better understanding should be established between leaders and committee members while keeping a close pulse on the public views, opinions, and overall feelings. [Li Wenjie/Women of China]

Hou Lu gives a speech to talk about social democracy during a discussion group at the "Two Sessions," on March 4. [Li Wenjie/Women of China]

Wang Yinxiang, Party secretary of China National Aviation Holding Company (CNAH), proposes on March 4 to talk about the enforcement of aviation safety law in China in light of the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 last year and the crash of Taiwan TransAsia Airways plane earlier this year as well as the various misconducts from Chinese outbound tourists over recent years. [Li Wenjie/Women of China]

Qin Xueming, a member of the 12th CPPCC National Committee from south China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, voices his own opinion on the social-welfare benefits for the ever-growing migrant worker population in the urban cities. [Li Wenjie/Women of China]

Wei Yihong, a member of the 12th CPPCC National Committee and vice mayor of the People's Government of Pu'er, a city in southwest China's Yunnan Province, tables her proposal to the "Two Sessions" and discusses the road conditions in the Chinese border areas with a dense population of ethnic minorities. [Li Wenjie/Women of China]

(Provided by Li Wenjie/Women of China)

Related stories

Comments