BEIJING (CHINA DAILY/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - As the country's top political advisory body starts its first plenary session on Saturday (March 3), some 2,158 national political advisers will gather in Beijing to share their insights on China's major political, economic and social issues.
They were approved at the 24th session of the Standing Committee of the 12th Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) National Committee on Jan 24. More than half are new members.
Members include government officials, entrepreneurs, military officers, members of non-Communist parties, individuals of no parties, experts and scholars, individuals from Hong Kong and Macau and representatives of religions and ethnic minority groups.
More workers and farmers made the list, which also includes basic education and vocational education workers as well as professionals such as doctors, nurses, public health and disease prevention workers at grassroots levels.
All 56 ethnic groups in China are represented in the nation's top advisory body, according to the CPPCC.
Some 859 members are from the Communist Party of China, accounting for 39.8 per cent of listed members, according to official data.
The average age of members is nearly 56. Some 1,971 members hold university degrees or above. There are 105 academics from the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Chinese Academy of Engineering among the members, according to the CPPCC.
The CPPCC is an important organ for multiparty cooperation and political consultation under the leadership of the Communist Party of China, as well as an important means of promoting socialist democracy in China's political activities.
In practice, CPPCC members serve as advisers for government, legislative and judicial organs and put forward proposals on major political and social issues in the world's most populous nation and second-largest economy.
The main functions of the CPPCC are to conduct political consultation, exercise democratic supervision and participate in the discussion and the handling of State affairs.
Political consultation covers major principles and policies proposed by the central and local governments and matters of importance concerning political, economic, cultural and social affairs.
Democratic supervision covers such issues as the implementation of the Constitution; the enforcement of laws and regulations; the implementation of major policies formulated by the CPC Central Committee and State organs; the implementation of the national economic and social development plans; fiscal budgets; and how duties, legal adherence and the integrity of State organs and their staffs are conducted.
CPPCC members exercise supervision by putting forward proposals and providing constructive criticism.