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4th Ld-Writethru-China Focus: China's top political advisory body begins annual session

BEIJING, March 3 (Xinhua) -- The Third Session of the 11th National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), the country's top political advisory body, opened in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing Wednesday.

More than 2,000 CPPCC National Committee members, from across the country, will discuss major issues concerning the nation's development during the annual meeting scheduled to conclude on March 13.

After the session started at 3 p.m., CPPCC National Committee Chairman Jia Qinglin delivered a report on the work of the CPPCC National Committee's Standing Committee over the past year.

"The CPPCC (last year)...made important contributions to effectively responding to the impact of the global financial crisis, pushing forward the process of building a moderately prosperous society in all respects, and promoting the great cause of peaceful reunification of the motherland," Jia said.

"The CPPCC's cause entered a period of unity, harmony, pragmatic progress and vigorous development," he said.

Top Communist Party of China (CPC) and state leaders Hu Jintao, Wu Bangguo, Wen Jiabao, Li Changchun, Xi Jinping, Li Keqiang, He Guoqiang and Zhou Yongkang were present at the opening meeting.

Founded in 1949, the CPPCC consists of elite members 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.

In the work report, Jia pledged that the CPPCC would make more efforts in 2010 to boost the nation's economic development and the improvements in people's well-being, maintain social harmony and stability, promote ethnic unity and religious harmony, and strengthen emotional ties between people across the Taiwan Strait.

"The CPPCC will carry out thorough investigations and studies on improving the institutions, mechanisms and policy orientation for accelerating the transformation of the pattern of economic development," Jia said.

He vowed that the CPPCC would give its full attention to factors affecting social stability that have their source in the excessive income gap, and offer solutions and suggestions on adjusting the pattern of national income distribution.

Meanwhile, he said that the CPPCC would continue to support economic and social development of ethnic minorities and ethnic minority areas.

"The CPPCC will strive to achieve leapfrog development and lasting stability in Tibet and Tibetan ethnic areas in Sichuan, Yunnan, Gansu and Qinghai provinces," he said.

In addition, Jia promised more work be done this year to increase cross-Strait contacts.

"The CPPCC will carry out investigations and studies on cross-Strait economic, trade and cultural cooperation, deepen cross-Strait exchanges and cooperation, and strengthen emotional ties between people across the Strait," he said.

A total of 5,820 proposals were filed by CPPCC National Committee members over the past year, covering issues in various fields, and the vast majority of them had been dealt with by authorities concerned, according to the CPPCC National Committee's Standing Committee.

"That indicates the role CPPCC plays in boosting social development is increasingly significant," said Chen Dezhan, a CPPCC member and director of the Science and Technology Department with the Shandong Normal University.

Du Mei, a CPPCC member and writer from north China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, spoke highly of Jia's work report.

"I submitted a proposal last year that a museum on ethnic literature be established to promote the country's ethnic culture, and such a museum was soon established in Hohhot," Du said. She is from the Ewenki ethnic group, which has a population of less than 100,000.

This year, her proposal goes beyond ethnic issues.

"I will propose to lengthen the class break time for primary school pupils -- from the current 10 minutes to 15 minutes. I think the education authorities should make more considerate arrangements for the children's healthy growth," she said.



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