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China Daily Website

Grassroots get a bigger say in top legislature

Updated: 2013-02-28 00:41
( China Daily and Xinhua)

Greater diversity at NPC helps to better reflect the will of the people

The National People's Congress is becoming more representative and connecting with the grassroots as increasing numbers of migrant workers, women and rural deputies join the top legislative body, experts said.

Two hundred more non-officials have been elected as national lawmakers to the 12th National People's Congress than the previous one in 2008.

A total of 1,042, or nearly 35 percent of the 12th NPC deputies, are government and Party officials, according to the top legislative body. This is down almost 7 percentage points from the previous session.

The top legislature confirmed the credentials of all 2,987 deputies to the 12th NPC on Wednesday, the same number as the 11th NPC.

Xue Qingchao, a researcher at the Party History Research Center of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, said the changing ratio will help "improve the representation of the people, motivate political participation at grassroots levels, nurture more practical government decisions and better reflect the people's will, wishes and interests".

More migrant workers and women, as well as younger people, have become deputies.

A total of 401 workers and farmers have been elected deputies, a 63 percent jump from the 11th NPC, the NPC Standing Committee announced.

Han Dayuan, a professor of law at Renmin University of China, said more rural deputies elected embody the principle of equality.

"It will contribute to the country's rural-urban integration, greatly encourage farmers' political participation and speed up the development of democracy. It may also help push forward reform of the household registration system," Han added.

The younger generation is also emerging, with two deputies born in the 1990s and 74 in the 1980s.

Chen Ruolin, the youngest deputy, was born in December 1992. She won a gold medal in the women's synchronized 10-meter platform diving competition at the 2012 London Olympics.

Tie Feiyan, also born in 1992, is a road toll collector in Yunnan province. Chinese netizens have dubbed her "the most beautiful girl born after 1990", because she rescued people from drowning and has adopted an abandoned infant.

The number of female deputies has risen to 699, accounting for 23.4 percent. The proportion rose nearly 2.1 percentage points from a year earlier.

According to the 12th NPC Standing Committee, 409, or more than 13 percent, of the deputies do not belong to the Han ethnic group. China has 56 ethnic groups, with Han people accounting for the majority.

All of the deputies were elected in December and January from 35 electoral units representing 34 Chinese regions and the People's Liberation Army.

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