Xi Jinping (3rd L, front), Li Keqiang (3rd R, front), Zhang Dejiang (2nd L, front), Liu Yunshan (2nd R, front), Wang Qishan (front L) and Zhang Gaoli (front R) sit on the platform during the opening meeting of the second session of the 12th National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, capital of China, March 3, 2014. The second session of the 12th National Committee of the CPPCC, the national advisory body, opened in Beijing on March 3. (Xinhua/Lan Hongguang)
BEIJING, March 3 (Xinhua) -- China's top political advisor Yu Zhengsheng Monday pledged to further efforts to contribute to the deepening of the country's reforms in a comprehensive manner.
Yu, chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), made the pledge in a report delivered at the opening meeting of the Second Session of the 12th CPPCC National Committee that opened in Beijing Monday.
"We will perform all our functions in a spirit of reform and innovation throughout the course of our work, ... and strive to play a bigger role in the development of the cause of the Party and country," Yu said in his report.
In regards to future work of the CPPCC, Yu said the political advisory body must uphold the leadership of the Communist Party of China (CPC), while adhering to and developing socialism with Chinese characteristics.
It should also make sound, reasonable and feasible suggestions, foster the spirit of reform and innovation, and perform its functions for the benefit of the people, Yu said in his first report on the work of the Standing Committee of the CPPCC National Committee.
The top political advisor said the year 2014 is the first year for implementing the CPC Central Committee's decision to comprehensively deepen reform, and is crucial for completing the 12th Five-Year Plan.
The CPPCC will conduct thorough investigations and studies on key reform areas -- including the fiscal and tax system, the judicial system and the Internet management system -- to provide reference materials for the Party and government in their decision making, Yu said.
It will also conduct democratic oversight on how well major reform measures and tasks have been carried out, and put forward candid suggestions and comments thereon, he said.
Further efforts will be made to promote sustained, healthy economic development in addition to social harmony and stability, Yu said.
The CPPCC will strengthen ties with ethnic minorities and religious groups to promote development, unity and harmony in ethnic regions, he said.
In his report, Yu also said the CPPCC should fully play its role as an important channel for consultative democracy, adding that unity and democracy are the "very essence" of the CPPCC.
"We must always focus on unity, constantly strengthen it, and strive to expand it," he said, "... we should give full expression to democracy, encourage members to make criticisms and comments, promote discussion and exchanges of everyone's views, and thereby constantly increase consensus and strengthen unity."
Yu said the CPPCC will build more and better platforms to expand the forms of democracy, increase the frequency of consultation, and get CPPCC committee members to speak willingly and feel free to speak the truth.
He said the CPPCC should have members from Hong Kong and Macao play an active role and improve exchanges between the mainland and the two regions. Exchanges and cooperation across the Taiwan Strait should also be expanded, he said.
He also called on the CPPCC to play a more active role in foreign contacts and public diplomacy.
The annual session of CPPCC National Committee is scheduled to conclude on March 12. About 2,200 members of the CPPCC National Committee from different sectors across the country will discuss major issues concerning the country's development during the session.
Recalling the work of the 12th CPPCC National Committee over the past year, Yu said the political advisory body had "got off to an excellent start."
According to Han Qide, vice chairman of the 12th CPPCC National Committee, a total of 5,884 proposals had been submitted by the CPPCC National Committee members over the past year, and 5,396 of them had been handled as of Feb. 20.
Yu said the CPPCC National Committee had performed its functions of political consultation, democratic oversight, and participation in the deliberation and administration of state affairs.
It also played its role in coordinating relations, pooling strength, making suggestions and proposals to the central leadership, and serving the overall interests of the country, he said.
Achievements were made in serving reform and development, developing consultative democracy as well as in improving its own style of work, Yu said.
Top CPC and state leaders Xi Jinping, Li Keqiang, Zhang Dejiang, Liu Yunshan, Wang Qishan and Zhang Gaoli attended the opening meeting.
A silent tribute was observed for victims of a terrorist attack at a train station in southwestern Chinese city of Kunming, during which knife-wielding assailants from Xinjiang killed 29 civilians and injured another 143 late Saturday.
Founded in 1949, the CPPCC consists of elite figures of the Chinese society who are willing to serve the think tank for the government and for the country's legislative and judicial organs.
As an open forum where the ruling CPC, non-Communist parties and people without party affiliation discuss state affairs freely and on an equal footing, the CPPCC has been the manifestation of China's socialist democracy.
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Preparations for opening of 2nd session of 12th CPPCC National Committee