FOLLOWING is the full text of the Report on the Work of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC), which was delivered by Chairman Zhang Dejiang of the NPC Standing Committee on March 8, 2017 for deliberation at the Fifth Session of the Twelfth National People's Congress and adopted on March 15, 2017:
REPORT ON THE WORK OF THE STANDING COMMITTEE OF THE NATIONAL PEOPLE'S CONGRESS
Delivered at the Fifth Session of the Twelfth National People's Congress on March 8, 2017
Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress
On behalf of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC), I will now present to you the report on the work of the Standing Committee for your deliberation.
Major Initiatives of the Past Year
Over the past year, under the firm leadership of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core, the NPC Standing Committee has comprehensively implemented the guidelines from the 18th National Party Congress and those of the third through sixth plenary sessions of the 18th Party Central Committee; followed the guidance of Deng Xiaoping Theory, the Theory of Three Represents, and the Scientific Outlook on Development; and carefully studied and put into practice the principles from General Secretary Xi Jinping's major addresses and his new vision, thinking, and strategies for the governance of China. We have upheld our commitment to integrating leadership by the Party, the position of the people as masters of the country, and law-based governance, and have exercised the functions and powers granted to us by the Constitution and other laws and worked hard in our role as the country's highest organ of state power, focusing closely on the overall plan for balanced economic, political, cultural, social, and ecological progress, on the coordinated advancement of the Four-Pronged Comprehensive Strategy,(1) and on the implementation of the new development philosophy.
Upholding leadership by the Party is the foundation and lifeblood of both the Party and the country and affects the interests and wellbeing of all the people of China. At its Sixth Plenary Session, the 18th Party Central Committee formally affirmed that General Secretary Xi Jinping is at the core of the Central Committee and of the entire Party, reflecting the will of all members of the Party, all members of the armed forces, and all the people of China. We have built a keen awareness of the need to maintain political integrity, think in big-picture terms, uphold the leadership core, and keep in alignment; closely followed the Party Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core in terms of thinking, political stand, and action; upheld the centralized, unified leadership of the Central Committee and resolutely safeguarded its authority; and worked to see that the line, principles, and policies of the Party as well as the decisions and plans of the Party Central Committee are carried out in the NPC's work.
Since the Fourth Session of the 12th NPC, the Standing Committee has enacted 8 laws, revised 27 laws, passed 7 decisions or resolutions on legal issues, issued 1 legal interpretation, and resolved to present the draft of 1 law and 3 draft decisions on legal issues to this session of the NPC for deliberation. Our legislative work has continued to be characterized by the great number, importance, and pace of activities, and we have further improved the quality of the NPC's legislative work.
We inspected compliance with 6 laws; heard and deliberated 20 work reports from the State Council, the Supreme People's Court, and the Supreme People's Procuratorate; passed 2 resolutions; and conducted 3 special inquiries and 5 research projects. Through these activities, we have achieved continuous progress in the NPC's oversight work, making it more targeted and effective.
We deliberated and approved 8 reports from the NPC's special committees regarding their examination of deputies' proposals, as well as 7 reports from the Credentials Committee pertaining to its review of certain deputies' qualifications. We ratified 3 treaties and agreements concluded between China and foreign countries as well as China's accession to 4 international conventions, and made decisions on or gave approval to the appointment or removal of a number of officials of state bodies. New advances and achievements have been made in every area of the NPC's work.
1. We worked hard to advance legislation in key areas and improve the quality of legislation.
Effective legislation is a prerequisite and foundation for China's law-based governance. Continuing to make legislation our top priority, we focused on major legislative items important to China's reform, development, and stability, gave great attention to the key task of raising the quality of our legislation, and enacted a number of important laws.
1) Major progress was made in developing the system of national security laws.
National security is the foundation of a stable country. Putting into effect the integrative national security concept and giving central consideration to China's conditions and realities, we maintained our political resolve, acted when the time was right for legislation, and worked faster to develop the system of laws related to national security. Following the enactment of the Counter-Espionage Law in 2014 and the National Security Law and the Anti-Terrorism Law in 2015, last year we deliberated and passed the Law on Administration of Activities of Overseas Nongovernmental Organizations in the Mainland of China, the Cybersecurity Law, and the Law on National Defense Transportation, and deliberated the drafts of an intelligence law and a nuclear safety law.
The Law on Administration of Activities of Overseas Nongovernmental Organizations in the Mainland of China brings the administration of activities of overseas NGOs in the mainland of China into line with the rule of law. It will help to protect their legitimate rights and interests and promote exchange and cooperation, while also helping to strengthen China's law-based oversight and regulation and safeguard China's national security and public interests.
The Cybersecurity Law is a fundamental law in the field of cyber security. The law establishes basic regulatory systems for all areas of cyber security that ensure the effective utilization, sound development, law-based regulation, and improved security of cyberspace and establish the right balance between freedom and order, security and development, and national governance and international cooperation.
The Law on National Defense Transportation is the first piece of legislation pertaining to national defense deliberated and adopted by this Standing Committee. The purpose of this law is to facilitate closer military-civilian integration in the field of transportation and improve the capabilities of national defense transportation to serve in times of peace, respond to emergencies, and meet challenges in times of war, thus better serving the country's overall strategy for national security and development.
2) Steady progress was made in developing the General Provisions of Civil Law.
The development of a civil code was an important legislative task proposed at the Fourth Plenary Session of the 18th Party Central Committee, and is a move of enormous importance for fully advancing China's law-based governance and improving the socialist system of laws with Chinese characteristics. After the founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949, the NPC worked on developing civil law in 1954, 1962, 1979, and 2001, but for a number of reasons efforts in 1954 and 1962 failed to produce real results. The work in 1979 and 2001, through careful consideration, led to the adoption of an incremental approach, whereby individual civil laws were to be formulated first and the civil code was to be developed later when the conditions were right to do so. To meet the needs of promoting reform and opening up and developing the socialist market economy, China formulated the General Principles of Civil Law, and introduced a series of civil laws such as the Inheritance Law, the Adoption Law, the Guarantee Law, the Contract Law, the Property Law, and the Tort Law. Now the conditions are all in place for compiling a civil code. The Standing Committee has decided to adopt a two-step approach to develop the civil code: first, developing the general part of the civil code, or the General Provisions of Civil Law; and second, following the enactment of the General Provisions of Civil Law, compiling the individual books of the civil code, striving to form a complete civil code by 2020.
The General Provisions of Civil Law lays out the basic principles and general rules of civil law, and is the leading part of the civil code. The Standing Committee has worked with a strong sense of responsibility and mission to do its utmost to formulate the General Provisions of Civil Law, carrying out three readings to deliberate the draft legislation, and making three open requests for public comments through the NPC's website (www.npc.gov.cn). After careful deliberation and repeated revisions, we have decided to submit the draft of the General Provisions of Civil Law to this session for deliberation. We believe that with the concerted efforts of all deputies, we will be able to make this a piece of legislation that stands the test of time and meets the expectations of the people, and that is characteristically Chinese, thus laying a solid foundation for the civil code.
Note: (1) This refers to making comprehensive moves to finish building a moderately prosperous society in all respects, deepen reform, advance the law-based governance of China, and strengthen Party self-governance.
3) Legislation concerning cultural, social, environmental, and other issues was strengthened.
Seeing that China's legislative work in the cultural sector was lagging behind, last year we strengthened the system of laws on culture by deliberating and passing two important laws related to this sector. The Law on Guaranteeing Public Cultural Services clarifies the duties and responsibilities of the government in the provision of public cultural services, and establishes basic principles and mechanisms for guaranteeing provision. The Film Industry Promotion Law regulates the scripting, filming, release, and showing of films and provides greater support and security for the film industry. These two laws will play a significant role in safeguarding the people's basic cultural rights and interests, enriching their intellectual and cultural life, and promoting core socialist values.
Traditional Chinese medicine is a national treasure. The Law on Traditional Chinese Medicine passed after deliberation by the Standing Committee clearly stipulates: traditional Chinese medicine is the general designation for the traditional medicine of the Han and of ethnic minorities of China. The state shall work hard to develop traditional Chinese medicine, follow the principle of attaching equal importance to traditional Chinese medicine and Western medicine, and put in place a regulatory system suitable to the unique features of traditional Chinese medicine, thereby giving full play to its role in China's health care services.
In keeping with the decisions on reform made by the Party Central Committee related to replacing environmental protection fees with a tax and ensuring law-based taxation, we deliberated and passed the Environmental Protection Tax Law. This is the first tax law deliberated and approved by this Standing Committee; it is of great importance in giving full play to the role of taxation in helping to control and reduce emissions and protect and improve ecosystems and the environment.
We also enacted the Asset Appraisal Law and revised laws including the Law on the Promotion of Privately-Run Schools, the Wildlife Protection Law, the Marine Environment Protection Law, the Law on the Red Cross Society, and the Law on Corporate Income Tax.
4) Legislative mechanisms and methods were refined.
First, we published the guidelines on establishing sound systems under which special committees of the NPC and working bodies of the NPC Standing Committee organize the drafting of important laws. Of all the legislative items deliberated by the Standing Committee this past year, the drafting for 10 items was led by relevant special committees of the NPC and working bodies of the Standing Committee.
Second, we improved the mechanisms for soliciting the opinions of deputies on the drafts of laws and invited them to participate in the research, debate, deliberation, and assessment process so as to ensure their comments and suggestions can be effectively heard and adopted. These efforts have enabled deputies to play a bigger role in the NPC's legislative work.
Third, we formulated the Procedures for Collecting and Discussing Legislative Items, making progress in efforts to better standardize and institutionalize legislative work.
Fourth, we improved the system for staying connected with local communities on legislative matters, and on eight occasions organized activities to solicit comments on seven draft laws from the general public and officials at the community level. This ensured that legislative work was carried out in close connection with the people and was better able to reflect public sentiment.
We held a national symposium on local legislation to guide local legislative work, especially the legislative work of cities with subsidiary districts. Of the 273 cities and autonomous prefectures newly granted local legislative powers by the revised Legislation Law, 269 have, with approval from provincial-level people's congresses, already begun to formulate local regulations.
2. We worked in accordance with the law to issue decisions on a number of major issues.
The work of the NPC is an important part of the work of the Party and the country. We have upheld our commitment to the right political direction and to working with the big picture in mind. When faced with major issues and important matters, we demonstrated the courage to take on responsibility and the ability to fulfill duties, ensuring that the Party's propositions are turned into the will of the state through statutory procedures.
1) We promptly and appropriately dealt with problems related to the case of election bribery in Liaoning Province, working resolutely to uphold the authority and sanctity of the system of people's congresses.
The voting bribery case in Liaoning Province was the first major case of its kind to have occurred at the provincial level since the founding of the People's Republic of China. The perpetrators seriously violated Party discipline, state laws, and the requirements of the intra-Party electoral system and the electoral system of the people's congresses. After the deputies to the Liaoning Provincial People's Congress involved in the case had their qualifications revoked in accordance with relevant laws, those who were members of the Standing Committee of the Liaoning Provincial People's Congress were removed from their positions in accordance with the law. The Standing Committee of the Liaoning Provincial People's Congress, having had over half of its members removed, was unable to convene meetings and carry out its duties. In order to promptly and appropriately resolve this unprecedented and exceptional issue, the NPC Standing Committee acted on the basis of the Constitution and relevant legal principles to make creative institutional arrangements. At the provisionally convened 23rd meeting of the NPC Standing Committee on September 13, 2016, we deliberated and approved the report of the Credentials Committee to revoke, in accordance with the law, the qualifications of 45 NPC deputies elected by the Liaoning Provincial People's Congress for bribing voters. At the meeting, we also deliberated and approved a decision stipulating that the 12th Liaoning Provincial People's Congress shall set up a preparatory committee to exercise certain functions and powers on behalf of its Standing Committee and shall take charge of the preparatory work for the convocation of its Seventh Session.
Our handling of the Liaoning case in accordance with the law and Party discipline fully reflects the Party Central Committee's clear stand and strong resolve for advancing China's law-based governance and ensuring strict Party self-governance. No violation of our socialist democracy or rule of law in any form shall be tolerated.
2) We produced the interpretation of Article 104 of the Basic Law of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region in accordance with the law to firmly oppose any attempt at secession of Hong Kong from our country.
The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region is an inseparable part of the People's Republic of China. To attempt "Hong Kong independence" is to attempt secession, a serious violation of the "one country, two systems" principle, the Constitution of China, and the Basic Law of Hong Kong. The NPC Standing Committee, exercising power entrusted to it by the Constitution and the Basic Law, produced the interpretation of Article 104 of the Basic Law of Hong Kong. The interpretation clearly establishes that, as stipulated by Article 104, to "swear to uphold the Basic Law of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China and swear allegiance to the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China" is not only the exact phrasing that must be included in the oath prescribed by Article 104, but is also a legal requirement and condition for any person standing for election or taking up any position of public office specified in the Article. The interpretation clarifies the legal procedures that must be adhered to when taking the oath of office and the statutory content that must be included in the oath; it makes clear that anyone who violates this stipulation on oath taking is to be legally disqualified from assuming office and that any person who makes an oath insincerely or breaks their oath will be held legally responsible.
This interpretation fully demonstrates the Chinese central leadership's resolve in upholding the "one country, two systems" principle and its firm stand against any attempt at secession of Hong Kong from the Chinese nation; it embodies the firm will of 1.3 billion Chinese people, including those in the Hong Kong region, to safeguard their country's sovereignty, security, and developmental interests.
3) We issued the decision on carrying out trials for reform of the national supervision system to provide a legal guarantee for this major political structural reform.
As a major policy decision made by the Party Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core to improve the political structure, deepening reform of the national supervision system has a direct bearing on the big picture and is of immense and far-reaching significance for improving Party conduct, upholding integrity, and combating corruption and for modernizing China's governance system and capacity for governance. In order to build up experience before advancing this major reform throughout the country, the Party Central Committee has decided to launch trials in several localities. In line with the principle that "all major reforms must have a legal basis," the Chairperson's Council of the NPC Standing Committee produced a proposal in accordance with the law, which was carefully deliberated by the Standing Committee and resulted in the decision to carry out trials for reforming the national supervision system in Beijing and in Shanxi and Zhejiang provinces. The decision stipulates that supervisory committees shall be established in pilot areas to exercise supervisory functions and powers; that a supervisory committee shall be created by the people's congress at the same level, and be responsible to and overseen by the same-level people's congress and its standing committee as well as the supervisory committee at the next level up; and that supervisory committees shall supervise the exercise of public power by all government employees in their regions in accordance with the law and within the scope of their supervisory authority. It also stipulates that the applicability of certain stipulations in the Law on Administrative Supervision, the Criminal Procedure Law, the Organic Law of the Local People's Congresses and Local People's Governments, and other relevant laws shall be provisionally adjusted or suspended in order to ensure law-based, orderly advancement of the pilot reform.
3. We provided a legal guarantee for relevant reforms.
In working to bring legislation into line with China's reform, we revised and improved laws related to reform in a timely manner, issued decisions on relevant pilot reforms, and heard and deliberated reports on the progress of pilot reforms. We have thus been able to ensure that reform and rule of law complement and reinforce one another.
1) We revised multiple laws using a coordinated approach, in a continued effort to support the reform of the government review and approval system.
For specific articles from different laws that deal with similar issues or the same matter and need to be revised for the sake of a reform, our approach is to issue a decision for revisions to be made across laws by putting forward multiple drafts at the same time. This is an important method we adopt to promote the relevant reform through legislation. Over the past four years, using this approach, we have deliberated and approved 13 such revision decisions, revising 74 laws and decisions on legal issues. In 2016, we deliberated and adopted the decision to revise six laws at the same time, including the Energy Conservation Law and the Law on the Prevention and Control of Occupational Diseases, as well as the decision to revise 12 laws, including the Foreign Trade Law, the Customs Law, and the Coal Industry Law. We thus made consistent changes to their articles pertaining to government review and approval or verification of professional qualifications and related matters.
2) We issued authorization decisions in accordance with the law to provide legal basis for pilot reforms.
We authorized the Supreme People's Court and the Supreme People's Procuratorate to pilot a system of sentence bargaining in criminal cases in 18 cities including Beijing. Meanwhile, we reviewed our experiences with the pilot project of accelerated procedures for certain criminal cases that we authorized in 2014 to be carried out in these 18 cities, and incorporated this pilot project into the pilot sentence bargaining system to expand, improve, and continue running it under the new pilot system. We heard and deliberated the mid-term report of the Supreme People's Court on the pilot reform of the system of people's assessors, and that of the Supreme People's Procuratorate on the pilot reform for the filing of public interest litigation by procuratorates. We demanded that guidance and oversight be stepped up and a comprehensive evaluation of the results of these pilot reforms be made so as to accumulate experience for revising and improving relevant laws.
In order to ensure law-based advancement of the pilot reforms concerning a salary system for public servants based on both position and rank, incorporation of the maternity insurance into the basic medical insurance scheme, and the system of military officers, we deliberated and passed three separate decisions on making provisional adjustments to the applicability of certain stipulations in relevant laws, so as to guarantee that these pilot reforms are carried on in line with the rule of law.
3) We reviewed our experiences with pilot reforms and enabled the spread of applicable practices to more regions by revising and improving relevant laws.
We have remained committed to advancing reform on the basis of rule of law and strengthening the rule of law through reform. For reform measures that require preliminary trials, we shall authorize the necessary trials in accordance with the law; for reform measures that have proved to be effective in practice and are ready to be applied to other regions, we shall act in a timely manner to review these measures and revise and improve relevant laws accordingly. In 2013 and 2014 we issued two decisions authorizing the State Council to make provisional adjustments to items requiring government review as prescribed by certain laws in the pilot free trade zones in Shanghai, Guangdong, Tianjin, and Fujian. After considering the motion that the State Council had put forward on the basis of its thorough review of experiences gained from the trials, last year we made a coordinated effort to revise the Law on Foreign-Funded Enterprises and three other laws at the same time. We thus elevated the reform measures tested out in pilot free trade zones into provisions of law, and correspondingly terminated the two authorization decisions.
4. We made issues of public concern the focus of our intensified efforts to inspect compliance with laws and oversee work performance.
We earnestly exercised the oversight powers granted to us by the Constitution and other laws. While continuing to pursue a problem-oriented approach, we intensified our oversight work and adopted new oversight methods, thereby increasing its effectiveness.
1) We made strengthening law compliance inspections a top priority.
The vitality and authority of the law lie in its implementation. In taking the strict implementation of laws as a key task in advancing the law-based governance of China, we continued to strengthen and improve inspections of compliance with laws. Over the past four years, we have carried out a total of 20 inspections. In 2016, we inspected compliance with six laws, namely the Food Safety Law, the Law on Workplace Safety, the Road Traffic Safety Law, the Environmental Protection Law, the Water Law, and the Law on Promoting the Application of Scientific and Technological Advances.
Through practice, we have continuously deepened our understanding of the patterns that underpin the work of inspecting compliance with laws, and have developed a procedure for this work, which consists of the following six steps:
First, the subject of the inspection is determined. Inspections will focus on laws related to issues of pressing importance for economic and social development and of common concern among the people.
Second, inspection is well organized. I, as Chairman, and the vice chairpersons of the Standing Committee lead inspection groups in inspecting law compliance in various localities. We make use of both inspections by the Standing Committee and inspections by local people's congresses entrusted by us, so as to expand the coverage of inspection. We emphasize the importance of visiting the community level to see real conditions there, so as to ensure problems are accurately identified.
Third, a comprehensive report detailing inspection results is produced. The report should contain practical and effective suggestions and serve as an important basis on which problems can be addressed and relevant systems improved.
Fourth, thorough deliberation on the inspection report is carried out. Members of the Standing Committee fully express their opinions and pool their knowledge. If necessary, a special inquiry is organized based on the deliberation, with leading officials from the State Council and its relevant departments in attendance to hear comments and answer questions.
Fifth, impetus is provided to the improvement of actual work. We urge the State Council, the Supreme People's Court, and the Supreme People's Procuratorate to carefully examine and handle our inspection and deliberation results and adopt effective measures to resolve pronounced problems, with relevant special committees of the NPC exercising follow-up oversight.
Sixth, the State Council, the Supreme People's Court, and the Supreme People's Procuratorate are required to report on their rectification work. We then make arrangements for deliberating their reports in view of actual conditions.
These six steps form a complete process for carrying out oversight on the implementation of laws, enabling our oversight work to become more systematic, targeted, and effective.
2) We helped ensure the people's safety in life and work.
We inspected compliance with three laws in the field of public safety and carried out special inquiries on them. We urged governments at all levels to affirm and practice the principle of putting people first and pursuing safe development, and to work hard to guarantee food, transportation, and workplace safety.
Food is the most basic necessity of the people, and safety must be the top priority in food production. Putting into practice General Secretary Xi Jinping's requirements of applying the strictest possible standards, oversight, punishment, and accountability to ensure food safety, we inspected compliance with the Food Safety Law nationwide, covering every step from farm to table. Special attention was given to key areas such as edible agricultural products and infant formula, to places where groups of people eat together such as kindergartens and schools, to weak links in food safety oversight and supervision, and to prominent problems in the regulation of food vendors, small-scale food production sites, and online food ordering. On the basis of the inspection, we put forward responsible suggestions and comments to help ensure that every bite of food is safe. Giving earnest consideration to our comments and suggestions, the State Council developed the National Plan for the 13th Five-Year Plan Period for Food Safety. Local authorities also acted promptly to strengthen their oversight institutions and capability for ensuring food safety, and adopted strong measures to tackle prominent problems in food production and sale. Food and drug supervisory and regulatory authorities investigated and handled 106,000 violations of laws or regulations. Public security agencies uncovered more than 8,300 food safety offences. A total of 18 provincial-level governments introduced new, or revised existing, local statutes and regulations to better regulate food production and processing by small producers and vendors.
When inspecting compliance with the Law on Workplace Safety, inspection groups entered mines, factory workshops, and construction sites, so as to hear firsthand what the people in the field had to say and stress the importance of never sacrificing safety for the sake of development. Based on what we learned from the inspection, we urged relevant authorities to ensure production and operations entities have fulfilled their primary responsibilities, impose in accordance with the law stringent punishments for violations of workplace safety laws or regulations, and intensify focused efforts to tackle problems in key industries and sectors.
When inspecting compliance with the Road Traffic Safety Law, we targeted prominent issues such as trucks being illegally modified or carrying oversized and overweight loads, electric bikes exceeding stipulated standards, and deficiencies in traffic safety facilities on rural roads. Inspection groups acquired an in-depth understanding of the situation through a variety of methods such as unannounced visits and investigations, field surveys, and questionnaires. We required that supervision and oversight over the enforcement of the law be strengthened and serious measures be taken to stop illegal production, sale, and use of vehicles.
During the special inquiries that followed the law compliance inspections, members of the Standing Committee had face-to-face discussions with leading officials of the State Council and its relevant departments to get to the root of the problems and discuss measures for improvement so as to ensure people's safety in life and work.
3) We gave impetus to ecological and environmental conservation and improvements.
In actively responding to the people's earnest expectation for a good environment, in 2014 we comprehensively revised the Environmental Protection Law; in 2016, we inspected compliance with this law and held a special inquiry following the inspection, and for the first time, heard and deliberated the State Council's report on the state of the environment and the fulfillment of environmental protection targets. We required relevant authorities to ensure full enforcement of environmental protection laws and regulations and put great effort into addressing the environmental problems which are of great concern to the people, such as air, water, and soil pollution, so that the people can really feel improvements in the environment. We urged local governments at all levels to make annual reports on the state of the environment and the fulfillment of their environmental protection targets to people's congresses at the same level and their standing committees in accordance with the law, and to willingly accept oversight by people's congresses and the public.
Lush mountains and lucid waters are as valuable as gold and silver. We inspected compliance with the Water Law, carried out research investigations on the implementation of the Law on the Prevention and Control of Water Pollution, and heard and deliberated the State Council's report on the establishment and management of nature reserves. We required that the strictest possible management system for water resources be put into action, the protection of water ecosystems and management of water environments be strengthened, sustainable use of water resources be guaranteed, and efforts to protect and restore natural ecosystems be accelerated, so that we can forever keep our mountains green and our waters clear.
4) We helped to ensure steady and sound economic and social development.
We kept firmly in mind the Party Central Committee's major decisions and plans on economic work, as we worked to strengthen oversight of economic work as well as review and oversight of government budgets and final accounts. We heard and deliberated the State Council's reports on the implementation of the plan for national economic and social development, on the management of state-owned assets and reform of their management system, and on scientific and technological innovation in agriculture and forestry. We inspected the implementation of the Law on Promoting the Application of Scientific and Technological Advances. We emphasized that the government should adapt to, approach in the right way, and steer the new normal in economic development; press ahead with supply-side structural reform; ensure substantive progress in cutting overcapacity, reducing excess inventory, deleveraging, lowering costs, and strengthening areas of weakness; put great effort into pursuing innovation-driven development; work quickly to replace old drivers of growth with new ones; effectively guard against and defuse risks; and ensure a good start to the 13th Five-Year Plan.
We heard and deliberated the State Council's reports on the final accounts of the central government, on budget implementation, and on auditing work, and examined and approved the 2015 central government final accounts and the revision of the 2016 central government budget. We heard and deliberated the State Council's reports on the rectification of problems discovered in auditing and on the progress achieved in deepening reform of the system of transfer payments. We required that the proactive fiscal policy be well implemented, reform of fiscal and tax systems and relevant legislative initiatives be accelerated, the compilation and management of budgets and final accounts be put under standard procedures, the effectiveness and transparency of transfer payments be raised, and management of local government debt be strengthened. To see greater participation of deputies and the public in the work of budget review, we formulated the guidelines on establishing a mechanism for soliciting opinions from deputies and people from all sectors of society before government budgets are reviewed.
We also heard and deliberated the State Council's reports on the progress of the reform and development of higher education and on the enforcement of the Law on Entry and Exit Administration. We conducted research on the development and implementation of supporting rules and regulations for the Law on Regional Ethnic Autonomy.
5) We worked hard to promote the spirit of the Constitution.
We comprehensively implemented the system of pledging allegiance to the Constitution. We organized, in accordance with the law, six ceremonies for 25 officials to publicly pledge allegiance to the Constitution when they took office, demonstrating the sanctity and authority of the Constitution. On the occasion of the third National Constitution Day, and the opening of a history exhibition hall for the 1954 Constitution in Hangzhou, General Secretary Xi Jinping gave important instructions, stressing that raising public awareness of the Constitution is an important task in advancing the law-based governance of China. The General Office of the NPC Standing Committee, together with relevant departments of the central authorities and the Standing Committee of the Zhejiang Provincial People's Congress, organized a National Constitution Day seminar in Hangzhou to spread knowledge of the Constitution and promote its implementation.
We heard and deliberated the State Council's report on the implementation of the resolution on the sixth five-year initiative to popularize knowledge of the law, and adopted a resolution on launching the seventh five-year initiative to raise public awareness of the rule of law. We required that great effort be made to understand and communicate General Secretary Xi Jinping's major expositions on comprehensively advancing the law-based governance of China, give play to the role of the "critical minority" consisting of leading officials in promoting the practice of respecting, studying, abiding by, and applying the law throughout society and particularly among public servants, and affirm the authority of the Constitution and other laws.
Attaching great importance to ensuring judicial impartiality, we heard and deliberated the report of the Supreme People's Court on enhancing judicial openness and the report of the Supreme People's Procuratorate on strengthening oversight of investigative activities. We helped improve judicial credibility through our efforts to promote deepened reform of the judicial system, increase judicial openness, and standardize judicial behavior.
We formulated the procedures for recording and reviewing normative documents to standardize and institutionalize this work. Over the past year, we reviewed every one of the 30-plus administrative regulations and judicial interpretations submitted by the State Council, the Supreme People's Court, and the Supreme People's Procuratorate, handling 92 suggestions on the review work from various departments. We conducted oversight to ensure correction of provisions discovered to be inconsistent with the law, so as to safeguard the unity of the country's legal system.
5. We worked to see that deputies to the NPC fully played their principal role.
We regarded giving full play to the role of deputies as an important measure for boosting the vitality of the NPC's work, and have continued to deepen and expand our work related to deputies.
1) We worked to see better communication between the Standing Committee and deputies and between deputies and the people.
We implemented the guidelines for ensuring members of the Chairperson's Council and members of the Standing Committee maintain close contact with NPC deputies. This has helped us to strengthen our ties with deputies. We made it a regular practice for deputies to observe Standing Committee meetings, participate in law compliance inspections, and join the activities of special committees of the NPC and working committees of the Standing Committee. Over the past four years, we saw a cumulative deputy attendance of over 1,270 at Standing Committee meetings in a nonvoting capacity, as well as an attendance of over 1,200 in law compliance inspections and other activities. We urged the State Council, the Supreme People's Court, and the Supreme People's Procuratorate to strengthen their contact with deputies. In 2016, the State Council and its relevant departments invited over 1,700 deputy participants in their research activities and discussions, and the Supreme People's Court and the Supreme People's Procuratorate involved over 600 deputies in their research projects. We issued the guidelines on improving the system by which deputies to people's congresses maintain contact with the people. For this purpose, we advanced the development of venues and online platforms enabling deputies to develop closer ties with the public, and improved the mechanism for relevant government departments to process and give feedback on the proposals and requests of the public passed on to them by deputies.
2) We improved our efficiency in examining deputies' proposals and ensuring handling of their suggestions.
Relevant special committees completed their examination of all 462 proposals referred to them by the Presidium of the Fourth Session of the 12th NPC. Of these, we have adopted 10 legislative items addressed in 32 of the submitted proposals; are deliberating 7 legislative items addressed in 26 of the proposals; and have included 42 legislative items discussed in 123 of the proposals in our annual legislative plan or five-year legislative program. All 8,609 suggestions, criticisms, and comments submitted by deputies have been handled, and 80.6% of the problems raised therein have been resolved or have been scheduled for gradual resolution.
The State Council, the Supreme People's Court, the Supreme People's Procuratorate, and relevant government departments attached great significance to the handling of deputies' suggestions, and the General Office of the Standing Committee and relevant special committees of the NPC worked conscientiously to coordinate and oversee this work. The State Council convened multiple executive meetings to hear reports on the handling of deputies' suggestions, and put forth the requirement that relevant departments make the handling of deputies' suggestions a standard and high-priority annual task, strengthen their communication with deputies, promptly respond to deputies' concerns, and accept deputies' oversight so as to ensure sound decision-making. In short, the comments and suggestions of deputies were seriously considered and adopted by relevant government departments as they developed policies and carried out their work.
3) We helped deputies improve their thinking, work style, and capabilities.
We meticulously formulated and carried out study and training plans for deputies, helping them grasp and put into practice the guidelines of the Sixth Plenary Session of the 18th Party Central Committee and improve their thinking and work style. Last year we organized three study sessions and one seminar on special topics, which were attended by more than 1,000 deputies. We also organized research projects and inspection tours for deputies, which yielded a number of fruitful results and helped to move forward work in relevant fields.
6. We gave full expression to the NPC's role in serving China's overall interests through its international exchanges.
We remained committed to the principle of complying with and working for China's overall development interests and diplomatic work. We carried out overall planning for and greatly advanced the NPC's foreign relations work.
We strengthened and improved the mechanism of regular exchanges with foreign parliaments. The NPC has a mechanism for regular exchanges or carries out political dialogue with the parliaments of 20 countries including Russia, the United States, the United Kingdom, India, Brazil, and South Africa, as well as with the European Parliament. Last year, we established mechanisms for cooperation with the parliaments of Kenya and Israel.
Delegations headed by members of the Chairperson's Council visited 19 countries including Zambia, France, Finland, and Vietnam, helping maintain the positive momentum of high-level exchanges with these countries. As Chairman of the Standing Committee of the NPC, I attended the Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), at which I delivered a speech presenting China's stand on promoting peaceful development of the world and greater democracy in international relations. The attendance of the Chairman of the NPC Standing Committee at the IPU Assembly for the first time in history has helped to greatly increase the international influence of the NPC.
We explored new forms of multilateral parliamentary diplomatic activities, working together with the IPU to hold, in China for the first time, a seminar for members of parliaments of Asian and African countries. We stepped up foreign exchanges and cooperation at various other levels, such as those conducted by NPC special committees, bilateral friendship groups, working bodies of the Standing Committee, and local people's congresses. We continued to arrange for the NPC Tibetan Delegation to proactively conduct foreign exchanges. Over the past year, we received 55 parliamentary or other delegations.
Based on the NPC's unique features and strengths, we put great effort into improving its foreign relations work in both scope and depth.
First, we strived to ensure that the consensus achieved between Chinese and foreign leaders is upheld, and worked to consolidate and enhance mutual political trust and foster mutual respect of each other's core interests and major concerns, thus strengthening the political basis for the development of China's relations with these countries.
Second, we worked to promote mutually beneficial practical cooperation with other countries across various fields. We helped increase the complementarity between the development strategies of China and other countries concerned in the Belt and Road Initiative, and urged the parliaments of these countries to provide legal guarantees and favorable policy environments for bilateral pragmatic cooperation and personnel exchange.
Third, in working to serve China's development strategy and the development of its democracy and rule of law, we strengthened international exchanges on the topic of state governance, learned from other countries' legislative experiences, and stepped up our work of explaining China's major legislative items to the outside world.
Fourth, by telling stories of China well and spreading Chinese visions, experience, and approaches, we have been able to see better understanding and wider recognition of China's development path and foreign and domestic policies in the international community.
Fifth, in responding to false statements and inappropriate actions by certain countries regarding the Taiwan question and issues concerning Tibet and the South China Sea, we resolutely safeguarded China's sovereignty, security, and developmental interests by issuing statements, engaging talks, and taking other actions.
Ratifying treaties and agreements concluded with foreign countries is a legally mandated duty of the NPC Standing Committee. The Paris Agreement has been the most important achievement of the multilateral efforts to address climate change in recent years. We deliberated and ratified this agreement, which demonstrates China's willingness to shoulder its responsibilities as a large developing country and enables China to play an even bigger role in multilateral initiatives on climate change.
7. We intensified self-improvement efforts.
We have continuously given top priority to improving our thinking and theoretical competence, held firm to ideals and convictions, stayed confident in the path, theory, system, and culture of Chinese socialism, and strengthened our sense of responsibility and mission. We threw ourselves into the Party-wide drive to help Party members better meet Party standards by studying the Party Constitution, Party regulations, and General Secretary Xi Jinping's policy addresses, and consciously equipped ourselves with the latest achievements in adapting Marxism to Chinese conditions and used them to guide our practice and advance our work.
We successfully organized Standing Committee seminars and strived to improve our capability for better performing our duties in accordance with the law. We strived to meet the requirements related to ensuring strict Party self-governance in every respect; made solid progress in improving Party conduct, promoting integrity, and fighting corruption; strictly implemented the Party Central Committee's eight-point decision on improving Party and government conduct; and continued to improve our work style. We improved the system for reporting attendance of meetings, and worked hard to raise the quality of deliberation. Administrative bodies of the Standing Committee and special committees willingly accepted the special inspection and oversight by the central discipline inspection team and conscientiously worked to rectify problems identified in the inspection, thus improving themselves and their work in all respects.
We strengthened leadership over the work of special committees and stressed the need for them to fulfill their crucial role. Special committees earnestly carried out their legally mandated duties and did a great deal of productive work, such as taking the lead in organizing the drafting of major legislative items, organizing inspections of compliance with laws, and carrying out in-depth research and studies. The Leading Party Members' Group of the Standing Committee set up branch groups in special committees to strengthen their work in relation to Party building. Fellow Deputies,
The Standing Committee's achievements this past year have been made under the sound leadership of the Party Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core. They are the result of the careful, diligent, and hard work of all NPC deputies, members of the NPC Standing Committee and special committees, and the staff of the administrative bodies of the Standing Committee and special committees; the close coordination and cooperation of the State Council, the Supreme People's Court, the Supreme People's Procuratorate, and local people's congresses at all levels and their standing committees; and the full trust and great support of the entire Chinese people. On behalf of the Standing Committee, I would like to express our highest respect for and sincere gratitude to them all.
In reviewing what we achieved over the past year, we are keenly aware that the work of the Standing Committee still has room for improvement. We still need to make legislation more targeted and effective under the new circumstances, where legislation initiatives are growing in number and the pace of and requirements for legislation are increasing. We need to increase the intensity and improve the methods of our oversight work to address the prominent problems of non-compliance with laws, lax law enforcement, and failure to prosecute violations of the law. We need to see better communication between the Standing Committee and deputies and between deputies and the public, and improve the thinking and work style of deputies and members of the Standing Committee. We must take these problems seriously and strive to improve our work in all respects by listening to comments and suggestions from deputies and all sectors of society with an open mind and willingly accepting their oversight.
Major Tasks for This Year
In 2017, the Communist Party of China will convene its 19th National Congress, the most important political event of the year for the Party and the country and an event of far-reaching significance. 2017 is also an important year for the implementation of China's 13th Five-Year Plan and for the country's advancement toward finishing building a moderately prosperous society in all respects. It is therefore extremely important that the NPC accomplishes all of its work for the year well.
The overall requirements for the work of the NPC Standing Committee this year are as follows:
-- Uphold the firm leadership of the Party Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core
-- Implement fully the guidelines from the 18th National Party Congress and those of the third through sixth plenary sessions of the 18th Party Central Committee
-- Take as our guide Deng Xiaoping Theory, the Theory of Three Represents, and the Scientific Outlook on Development
-- Fully grasp and put into practice the principles from General Secretary Xi Jinping's major addresses and his new vision, thinking, and strategies for the governance of China
-- Remain committed to the underlying principle of making progress while keeping performance stable
-- Safeguard the authority of the Constitution and other laws
-- Strengthen legislation in key areas, with the focus on raising the quality of legislation
-- Deliver proper and effective oversight
-- Support and ensure deputies' law-based performance of their duties
-- Ensure successful accomplishment of all the work of the current NPC and its Standing Committee
-- Greet the convocation of the 19th National Party Congress with great achievements
This year, we will ensure fulfillment of the following tasks.
1. Produce effective legislation to promote development and help ensure good governance
The law is of great value to the governance of a country, and good laws are a prerequisite for good governance. With a view toward putting in place a socialist rule of law system with Chinese characteristics, the 12th NPC and its Standing Committee have conscientiously exercised state legislative powers, enacting, revising, repealing, and interpreting laws as necessary. By grasping and following the principles of legislative work, we have been able to continuously improve it.
In reviewing the experience gained in recent years, we have realized that to do our legislative work well we must adhere to the following principles:
First, uphold the Party's leadership over legislative work. We must work in line with the objectives and tasks set by the Party Central Committee for China's legislative work. The Leading Party Members' Group of the Standing Committee must promptly request instructions from and submit reports to the Party Central Committee on major issues and matters in legislation.
Second, allow legislation to play its guiding and driving role. We must remain committed to coordinating the advancement of both rule of law and reform and to ensuring rule of law and rule of virtue work in concert with one another. We must instill core socialist values into the development of the rule of law, and develop the rule of law to provide a guarantee for the country's reform, development, and stability.
Third, ensure the NPC plays its dominant role in legislative work. We need to improve legislative systems and mechanisms, strengthen organization and coordination in relation to legislative work, and make this work more timely, systematic, targeted, and effective.
Fourth, legislate more effectively and democratically. In line with the idea of putting the people first in legislation and making legislation for them, we must build up broad consensus on legislation and ensure that legislative bodies properly fulfill their important role of voicing, balancing, and adjusting the interests of different sectors of society.
This coming year, we will better adhere to the above mentioned ways of thinking, principles, and methods, given their proven effectiveness in our legislative work. We will strengthen both legislation in key areas and work regarding the enactment, revision, abolition, and interpretation of laws related to reform. We will raise the quality of legislation and ensure that the objectives and tasks set for legislative work are met and accomplished.
First, we will carry out the decision and plan of the Party Central Committee on deepening reform of the national supervision system. This means that we will revise the Law on Administrative Supervision to turn it into a national supervision law, so as to provide a legal guarantee for our efforts to put in place a centralized, unified, authoritative, and highly-efficient national supervision system.
Second, we will improve the legal system with a view toward building new systems for development. After issuing the General Provisions of Civil Law, we will step up our work on compiling the individual books of a civil code. We will strengthen protection of civil law rights and improve our system of laws and regulations concerning equal protection of property rights. To ensure law-based taxation, we will formulate laws on specific taxes, such as a tobacco leaf tax law and a tonnage tax law. To improve the modern market system, we will work on establishing an e-commerce law and revising several laws, including the Anti-Unfair Competition Law, the Law on Promoting Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises, the Law on Farmers' Specialized Cooperatives, the Securities Law, and the Standardization Law.
Third, we will strengthen the development of laws and regulations concerning social, cultural, ecological, and other issues. We will formulate a community correction law, a basic medical and health care law, and a law on public libraries, so as to improve the social governance system, push forward the building of a Healthy China, and guarantee the people's cultural rights and interests. To promote ecological progress, we will enact a law for the prevention and control of soil pollution and revise the Law on the Prevention and Control of Water Pollution. We will formulate a nuclear safety law, an intelligence law, and a law on international judicial assistance in criminal matters, and revise the Surveying and Mapping Law. We will also revise the Organic Law of the People's Courts and the Organic Law of the People's Procuratorates.
Fourth, we will effectively carry out work concerning the authorization of pilot reforms.
2. Deliver proper and effective oversight
Oversight by the NPC and its Standing Committee over the work of the State Council, the Supreme People's Court, and the Supreme People's Procuratorate, and over the enforcement of the Constitution and other laws, is both an inherent requirement and institutional design of the system of people's congresses and a practice that embodies the constitutional principle that all state power belongs to the people. The 12th NPC Standing Committee has effectively exercised the power of oversight granted to it by the Constitution and other laws and has adhered to the basic principle that oversight must be proper and effective. Throughout this process, we have developed a deeper understanding of the designed functions of oversight by people's congresses as well as the principles governing this work.
To exercise proper oversight, it is vital that we consistently uphold leadership by the Party and coordinate our oversight work nationwide. We must exercise oversight in strict accordance with our legally mandated powers and statutory procedures. We must have both the courage and the competence to carry out oversight and properly manage the relationship between oversight and support, so that we can truly help the State Council carry out administration in accordance with the law and help the Supreme People's Court and the Supreme People's Procuratorate administer justice impartially. This is a way for us to work together with them and help them strengthen and improve their work.
To deliver effective oversight, it is crucial that we keep to a problem-oriented approach and identify the focal points of our oversight work, while keeping in mind the overall work of the Party and the country. We should improve the way we carry out oversight, conducting follow-up oversight to get to the bottom of problems and see real results. This will allow us to work toward resolution of major and difficult issues of common concern to NPC deputies and the general public, and to ensure that the people gain a greater sense of benefit.
This coming year, we will keep in mind and put into practice the new development philosophy and adhere to the vision of people-centered development. We will strengthen oversight over the implementation of laws and over the work of the State Council, the Supreme People's Court, and the Supreme People's Procuratorate, so that we can help ensure steady and sound economic development as well as social harmony and stability.
First, we will intensify oversight of the implementation of laws. We will inspect compliance with the Pharmaceutical Administration Law, the Product Quality Law, the Copyright Law, the Law on the Prevention and Control of Environmental Pollution Caused by Solid Wastes, the Seed Law, and the Cybersecurity Law.
Second, we will strengthen oversight of government budgets and final accounts. We will hear and deliberate the State Council's reports on the central government's final accounts for 2016, on auditing work, on budget implementation, and on the rectification of problems discovered in auditing. We will conduct research on topics such as standardizing non-tax revenue management, and explore ways to put in place a system through which the State Council reports to the NPC Standing Committee on the management of state-owned assets. We will press ahead with the integrated online oversight of budgets.
Third, with a focus on the government's comprehensive initiatives to ensure steady growth, advance reform, make structural adjustments, improve living standards, and guard against risks, we will hear and deliberate reports of the State Council on the implementation of the plan for national economic and social development and on the work to advance supply-side structural reform and accelerate transformation and upgrading of manufacturing. We will hear and deliberate reports of the State Council on poverty reduction progress, on allocation and utilization of government funds for education, on drug administration, and on protection of cultural heritage. We will hear and deliberate the State Council's reports on the state of the environment and the fulfillment of environmental protection targets in 2016, and on its work concerning grassland ecological conservation and environmental protection. We will conduct research on the implementation of the Law on the Protection of Minors, on economic and social development in townships where ethnic minorities live, and on protection of the rights and interests of overseas Chinese.
Fourth, with a view to promoting judicial impartiality, we will hear and deliberate reports of the Supreme People's Court and the Supreme People's Procuratorate on their work to comprehensively deepen judicial reform.
Fifth, we will make consistent efforts to strengthen oversight over enforcement of the Constitution. We will hold events to mark National Constitution Day and organize in accordance with the law swearing-in ceremonies for pledging allegiance to the Constitution. We will accelerate the building of a nationally unified information platform for recording and reviewing normative documents so as to improve our work in this regard.
3. Ensure well-organized elections of deputies to people's congresses
The election of deputies is the foundation of the system of people's congresses and is of great importance for consolidating the Party's position as the governing party, ensuring the position of the people as masters of the country, and strengthening state power. In line with the Party Central Committee's arrangements and requirements concerning the election of new deputies to people's congresses, we will formulate the necessary legal documents and organize the election of deputies to the 13th NPC, acting in accordance with the Constitution and other laws including the Electoral Law for the National People's Congress and Local People's Congresses. We will provide guidance to electoral bodies to help them organize elections well, study the lessons learned from the voting bribery case in Liaoning Province, and, through a combination of strict preventative measures and disciplinary regulations, ensure that the right direction is maintained in elections and the elections are conducted honestly. We will ensure that elections of deputies to the 13th NPC are properly organized in the Hong Kong and Macao special administrative regions. Review of deputies' qualifications will be strengthened in accordance with the law. We will see that the national joint conference on the election of new deputies to people's congresses at the county and township levels fully plays its role, and ensure elections at these two levels are well organized.
4. Strengthen and improve the NPC's deputy-related work
During these past four years, the deputies to the 12th NPC, bearing in mind the great trust the people have placed in them, have performed their duties in accordance with the law and participated in the exercise of state power so as to represent the interests and will of the people. Their efforts have laid a solid foundation for the work of the NPC and its Standing Committee, and they have made great contributions to the development of the cause of the Party and the country. To ensure that the people serve as the masters of the country, we will continue to respect the principal position of deputies, consciously accept oversight from deputies and the public, and see to it that people's congresses and their standing committees always represent the people.
This coming year, we will continue to listen to deputies' comments and suggestions using a variety of channels, urge the State Council, the Supreme People's Court, and the Supreme People's Procuratorate to strengthen their communication with deputies, and broaden channels through which deputies can learn about state affairs and the government's work. We will invite deputies to observe meetings of the Standing Committee, and arrange for them to participate in the Standing Committee's law compliance inspections and attend relevant meetings and study and training activities of special committees. We will implement the guidelines on improving the system by which deputies to people's congresses keep in contact with the people, so as to ensure deputies better communicate with the people and respond to each and every one of the people's concerns. We will help deputies improve their political stand, thinking, and work style and ensure they are better able to carry out their duties, and we will strengthen oversight of deputies to see that they carry out their duties and functions in accordance with the law.
5. Ensure success in all other aspects of the NPC's work
We will actively carry out foreign relations work.
In accordance with the Party Central Committee's major policies and overall plan for China's diplomatic work, we will consolidate and deepen mechanism-based exchanges with relevant foreign parliaments, especially those of neighboring countries and countries participating in the Belt and Road Initiative. We will actively take part in multilateral parliamentary diplomatic activities and make use of both top-level exchanges and friendly exchanges at other levels to enhance political trust and pragmatic cooperation with other countries and deepen friendship with other peoples, thus helping create a favorable external environment for China's development.
We will improve the NPC's information and public communication work and theoretical research.
To maintain the initiative in work concerning the public discourse, we will work to understand, explain, and communicate the new theoretical and practical accomplishments that the Party Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core has made in upholding and improving the system of people's congresses and in fully advancing the law-based governance of China, and we will demonstrate clearly the achievements and progress China has made in developing socialist democracy and the rule of law. To maintain the right tone in public communication, we will improve the NPC's press release work and enhance its public communication capacity. We will hold events to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the implementation of the Basic Law of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.
We will continue to promote the development and improvement of the work of local people's congresses.
We will take steps to strengthen the work and development of people's congresses at the county and township levels, organize study sessions for leading members of the standing committees of county-level people's congresses, and offer better guidance on legislative work to local people's congresses.
In accordance with the Party Central Committee's requirement that the system by which people's congresses discuss and decide major issues be improved and that people's governments at all levels report to people's congresses at the same level before publishing major policy decisions, we will make sure that people's congresses properly perform their tasks in discussing and deciding major issues and better carry out their functions as organs of state power.
We will strengthen self-improvement of the Standing Committee in all respects.
We will improve our thinking and theoretical competence; take a clear stand in emphasizing politics; raise our awareness of the need to maintain political integrity, think in big-picture terms, uphold the leadership core, and keep in alignment; and safeguard the authority of the Party Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core and uphold its centralized, unified leadership. We will deepen our understanding of the guiding principles of the Party's strict self-governance so as to ensure better implementation of them, strictly observe political discipline and rules, and create an honest and upright political environment. We will comprehensively improve the administrative bodies of the Standing Committee and special committees. Utilizing the lessons learned from addressing the problems discovered by the central discipline inspection team during its special inspection of these bodies, we will help these bodies better assist and support deputies and ensure their officials are loyal to the Party, honest, and responsible.
Today, we are closer than ever in history to realizing the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation, and we have greater confidence in achieving this goal and greater capability to do so than ever before. Rallying even closer around the Party Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core, let us stay true to the Party's founding mission and continue to move forward as we work with creativity and tap into our potential to uphold, implement, and develop the system of people's congresses, achieve the Two Centenary Goals,(1) and realize the Chinese Dream of national rejuvenation.
Note(1) This refers to completing the building of a moderately prosperous society in all respects by the time the Communist Party of China celebrates its centenary in 2021 and turning the People's Republic of China into a modern socialist country that is prosperous, strong, democratic, culturally advanced, and harmonious by the time it celebrates its centenary in 2049.