The Communist Party of China (CPC) opens the 19th National Congress at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, capital of China, Oct. 18, 2017. (Xinhua/Li Tao)
by Xinhua writers Li Laifang and Lou Chen
BEIJING, Oct. 23 (Xinhua) -- With an absence of potted plants in meeting rooms and expensive dishes in dining halls, delegates have noticed the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) is a frugal affair.
"I am sure you will not find even a drop of alcohol in our dining halls," Li Wanjun, a delegate from northeast China's Jilin Province, told Xinhua. "It is plain and practical, but we are all satisfied and more enthusiastic and down-to-earth in our discussion."
"We are here for the meeting, not for comfort," said Li, who had been a delegate to the Party's 18th national congress.
FAIRNESS AND JUSTICE
The congress reflects the profound changes in Party building over the past five years, shown by people's satisfaction with the anti-corruption results and improved work styles of officials.
The country's changes and achievements in various sectors have been hailed by the about 2,300 delegates to the week-long congress, which opened Wednesday. They come from different walks of life, including officials, researchers, farmers and production workers.
The twice-a-decade congress of the ruling Party has ushered in a new era for socialism with Chinese characteristics, charting the course for developing China into a modernized, strong country by the middle of the century.
Chen Meirong, a delegate from northwest China's Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, has felt the changes in her 30-plus years of judicial practice, particularly in the past five years.
Chen, 53, a district court judge in Shizuishan City, told Xinhua that a clean and just environment has taken shape in local grassroots law enforcement due to judicial reforms.
She attributed the progress, such as the dramatic drop in interference in judicial cases, to the implementation of reforms including the judicial accountability system and rules to ensure judges and prosecutors execute their duties justly and independently. She refused a senior district official who wanted to invite her to discuss a complicated lawsuit that was in the appeal process last year.
"As the rule of law goes deep in people's minds, their legal awareness and acceptance of legal verdicts are growing," said Chen.
Amid a tight congress schedule, she wrote down dozens of pages of notes about the report to the congress and other documents, as she participated in heated discussion or reviewed materials alone in her hotel room. She spent her free time responding to TV and newspaper interviews.
In the new era, a better life for the people should include fairness and justice throughout the lawsuit process, she said.
CRAFTSMANSHIP AND INNOVATION
The Party has attached unprecedented importance to innovation to achieve sustained quality growth with strategies, huge investment and support measures.
The delegates, backbones of various industries, have revealed a dynamic, innovative and promising CPC, which has led the nation to unprecedented development and aims "to develop China into a great modern socialist country" in the middle of the century.
Li Wanjun, a senior technician at a railway vehicles factory, was excited and encouraged by the spirit of craftsmanship mentioned in the key report to the Party congress.
"The report is a great boost to the morale of front-line technical workers. We should strive for perfection and remain innovative to jointly push Chinese manufacturing to a higher level," said Li of Changchun Railway Vehicles Co., Ltd. of China Railway Rolling Stock Corporation (CRRC), China's largest rolling-stock maker. Its high-speed trains, named Fuxing (rejuvenation), run on the Beijing-Shanghai line at a speed of 350 km per hour, the fastest in the world.
Two days prior to the congress, the first China-made subway cars tailored for use in Boston in the United States rolled off production lines at Li's factory.
Li's retired father was one of the plant's first workers. Li has carried on his father's hardworking spirit and made innovations.
After years of reliance on foreign technology, China has developed its own key technology in high-speed train manufacturing. Li, 49, has contributed to the transformation.
Li established new welding methods for train bogies, a key component of high-speed trains, making a breakthrough in electric multiple unit technology.
China's high-speed trains have made travel more convenient and been exported to a number of countries.
"The great achievement in high-speed trains should be attributed to the leadership of the Party, which can accomplish big things and realize what we have never dreamed of," said Li.
Li said his living standards have improved remarkably in recent years, as a growing income has allowed him to move into a bigger house and drive a better car.
"As China aims for strong manufacturing, we industrial workers have a new mission and opportunity to make our high-speed trains connect the world and benefit mankind."
Wang Guangjin, 40, a congress delegate and researcher of the Nuclear Power Institute of China in the southwestern Sichuan Province, is also optimistic about the goal of a strong country.
After graduating from Sichuan University with a doctorate, he joined the institute in 2005 and developed China's own electrical penetration assembly in 2008, a key device for nuclear power plants, breaking the monopoly of foreign firms in the Chinese market.
Earlier this year, the team developed an upgraded electrical penetration assembly for Hualong One, a domestically developed third-generation reactor design, which has been adopted by nuclear plants under construction at home and abroad.
"We must firmly keep in mind that innovation is the primary force to drive development," he said. "Our country's enhanced economic strength has provided solid support for research and development."
"In the new era, I believe China will lead the world in more fields, in addition to high-speed trains and nuclear power," said Wang, who is proud of the achievements in science and technology.
On the sidelines of the congress, he and other delegates visited an exhibition on China's outstanding achievements over the past five years at the Beijing Exhibition Center.
"The center was crowded. Everyone was happy and proud when viewing the achievements," said Wang.
"The achievements have been made under the leadership of the Communist Party of China, and it is our common will to further strengthen the Party leadership," he added. "As our Party becomes increasingly purified, its rule will be more efficient."
The 96-year-old CPC, which is dedicated to serving the people, is leading the nation to a moderately prosperous society in 2020.
Zheng Zhaolong, a delegate from northeast China's Heilongjiang Province, got up at 4 a.m. to harvest beans in the fields before boarding a train for Beijing to attend the congress.
"I had to get the harvest off my mind before getting into the congress agenda," said Zheng, 38, head of a farmers' cooperative. About 35 families have joined the cooperative to grow organic potatoes and beans.
Zheng, along with delegates from rural areas, found reassurance in the announcement that the current round of land contracts for farmers will be extended for another 30 years upon expiration.
"Land is the lifeline of farmers. The contract extension is a strong reassurance for farmers, cooperatives and other contractors. They can go ahead and plan irrigation, infrastructure and long-term soil treatment," said Zheng.
He also expects more policies to support the newly coined "rural vitalization strategy."
"There is great potential to grow high-quality grains in Heilongjiang, because the land there is vast, unpolluted and productive. I'm working with companies to expand the market to raise farmers' income," he said.
Pei Chunliang, a delegate from central China's Henan Province, is Party chief of Peizhai village. Pei was a barber before becoming an entrepreneur and running companies in cement, tourism and commerce. His friends told him to put his money in real estate, but he spent it building houses and reservoirs for his hometown.
When he was elected to lead the village in 2005, he started to expand his volunteer efforts to help the poor. He demanded each Party member in the village lend a helping hand to a poor farmer.
"Strong Party leadership will ensure that no one falls behind in our drive for a moderately prosperous society and future common prosperity," he said.
"I firmly believe our motherland will be stronger and stronger. Our lives will be better and better," said Mirgul Ekimhan, a delegate and a primary school teacher from the northwestern Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.