BEIJING (AFP) - A Communist-controlled debating body opened its annual meeting in Beijing on Tuesday with a warning not to imitate Western politics, after authorities pledged to implement the "rule of law with Chinese characteristics".
Membership of the largely-ceremonial Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, or CPPCC, is a sign of political approval in China, and it counts some of the country's mega-rich among its 2,153 members.
At its opening session at Beijing's Great Hall of the People, Yu Zhengsheng, chairman of the CPPCC's national committee, warned members to "never copy the political systems of foreign countries", according to state-run China News Service.
Yu, who is a member of the Communist Party's elite Politburo Standing Committee, also urged members to exhibit "positive energy" - a concept sometimes promoted by Chinese President Xi Jinping and implying vocal support for the ruling party.
The "rule of law" is one of Xi's newly proclaimed "Four Comprehensives" political theory, but the concept has a different meaning in China than elsewhere.
Last week the country's supreme court denounced "judicial independence" and "separation of powers", calling on judges to "resolutely resist the influence of the West's erroneous thought and mistaken viewpoints".
In addition to the CPPCC, the National People's Congress (NPC), China's official parliament, is also set to open its annual meeting this week.
Both chambers are part of the Communist-controlled machinery of government.
Their annual "two sessions" come amid an much-publicised anti-corruption drive under Xi that has claimed the scalps of several senior Communist Party figures and shows no signs of slowing.
Among them is Ling Jihua, who was once a protege of former president Hu Jintao but is now under investigation for corruption after his son was killed in a Ferrari crash in Beijing.
Ling was removed as a vice chairman of the CPPCC National Committee and stripped of his membership on Saturday along with two other disgraced cadres, the official Xinhua news agency reported earlier.
Speculation has mounted over whether another "tiger", or senior official, will fall following the targeting last year of former internal security chief Zhou Yongkang.