Zhang Dejiang, chairman of the Standing Committee of China's National People's Congress (NPC), delivers a work report of the NPC Standing Committee during the second plenary meeting of the fifth session of the 12th NPC at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, capital of China, March 8, 2017. (Xinhua/Zhang Ling)
BEIJING, March 8 (Xinhua) -- China's top legislator on Wednesday pledged further conformity to the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee with Xi Jinping as the core.
National lawmakers should unite more closely "around the CPC Central Committee with Xi Jinping as the core," to develop the system of the people's congress and realize the dream of national rejuvenation, said Zhang Dejiang, chairman of the National People's Congress (NPC) Standing Committee, while delivering a work report of the NPC Standing Committee.
The endorsement of Xi as the core "reflects the will of all members of the Party, all members of the armed forces and all the people of China," Zhang told nearly 3,000 NPC deputies gathered at the Great Hall of the People.
The NPC, the highest body of state power, opened its annual session on Sunday to set the national development agenda for this year.
The system of the people's congress enables the people to exercise their power as "masters of the state."
It was at the first session of the 12th NPC in March 2013 that Xi was elected Chinese president. He had been elected general secretary of the CPC Central Committee in November 2012 at the 18th CPC National Congress
Zhang's remarks echoed Yu Zhengsheng, China's top political advisor, who also voiced conformity to the CPC Central Committee with Xi as the core when the annual session of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) National Committee opened on Friday.
Dubbed as the "two sessions," the dual meetings are among the most important political events where development agendas are reviewed and discussed, and key policies adopted.
In reviewing the work last year, Zhang said the NPC Standing Committee advanced legislation in key areas, including developing the system of national security laws, drafting general provisions of civil law and making the law on environmental protection tax.
Decisions were made on major issues, including disqualifying 45 NPC deputies elected by the Liaoning Provincial People's Congress for bribing voters and interpreting Article 104 of the Basic Law of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region to oppose any attempt at secession of Hong Kong from China.
Zhang announced the national legislature's major tasks for 2017, a crucial year in the journey toward a moderately prosperous society by 2020. The CPC will convene the 19th National Congress later this year to elect new leadership for the next five years.
In 2017, effective legislation will be produced to promote national development under the leadership of the Party.
The Leading Party Members' Group of the NPC Standing Committee must promptly request instructions from and submit reports to the CPC Central Committee on major issues in legislation, Zhang said.
According to the plan, the legislature will revise the Law on Administrative Supervision to turn it into a national supervision law amid efforts to establish a "centralized, unified, authoritative and highly-efficient" national supervision system.
The draft general provisions of the civil law was submitted for review after three readings last year. If adopted, it will bring China one step closer to the country's first civil code. Compiling of the individual books will be stepped up so that the civil code could be enacted in 2020.
The legislature will also formulate laws on e-commerce, nuclear safety, intelligence and soil pollution prevention, among others, according to the report.
"Good laws are a prerequisite for good governance. The legislation plans this year will help crack hard nuts in future reforms which have entered the deep-water zone," said NPC deputy Sun Xianzhong, a researcher with Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. "It reflects Xi's governance thought and the common will of the people."
The Party's leadership is also highlighted in the legislature's oversight over the work of the State Council, the Supreme People's Court and the Supreme People's Procuratorate.
The NPC and its Standing Committee will strengthen oversight of the implementation of plans for supply-side structural reform and poverty alleviation, both fundamental to building a well-off society, according to the work report.
This has been the fifth and last session of the 12th NPC. The legislature will ensure well-organized elections of deputies to people's congresses, including those to the 13th NPC, Zhang said.
The election of deputies to the 13th NPC shall be completed in January 2018, according to the draft decision.
The legislature will also work to understand, explain, and communicate the new theoretical and practical accomplishments that the CPC Central Committee with Xi as the core has made in upholding and improving the system of people's congress and in advancing the rule of law, Zhang said.
"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 capacity to do so than ever before," he said.
China stresses the unity of Party leadership, people being masters of the country and the rule of law.
"Chinese philosophy of governance includes two concepts: 'minyi,' or public opinion, and 'minxin,' or the hearts and minds of the people," said Wen Yang, a researcher with the Institute of China Studies at Fudan University.
"New ideas, thought and strategies of state governance under the leadership of the CPC Central Committee with Xi as the core have solid foundation of public opinion. Proven successful by experience, they have won the people's hearts," he said.