National People's Congress

Young NPC member does internet search to find out her duties

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 28 February, 2013, 11:50am
UPDATED : Thursday, 28 February, 2013, 4:03pm

One of the youngest members of the National People's Congress said she had to do research online to find out what her duties would be at the annual meeting in Beijing next week.

Tie Feiyan, 20, newly appointed to the nation’s highest legislative body, said on Wednesday she was still unable to tell the difference between “proposals” and “suggestions”, the Southern Metropolis Daily reported on Thursday.

NPC members are eligible to propose legislation to the congress agenda and vote on them. They can also make suggestions, or give feedback, on topics of discussion.

Tie is one of the only two members born after 1990, out of all 2,987 NPC members who will participate next week’s meeting. Chen Ruolin, a diver and London Olympic gold medallist, is the youngest member, by only four months. 

Tie was told she was a member only last week, and had to do research online to find out what her duties would be.

A worker at a toll booth in Yunnan province, she was granted the status for her heroic acts when she rescued a drowning worker and adopted an abandoned baby girl.

Tie’s lack of knowledge about the NPC meeting underlined the public’s concerns of whether the congress truly represents Chinese citizens. Critics have long portrayed China’s National People’s Congress as merely a rubber-stamp. They argue that members' proposals and votes are nothing but a formality.

Despite her unfamiliarity with the matters of the NPC meeting, Tie said she planned to deliver a proposal on helping children left behind by migrant workers. She said she has already visited a number of communities for feedback.

She said she carries a “heavy responsibility” and pledges not to “fail the people”, the newspaper reported.

Some online users expressed confidence that Tie will fulfull her duties.

“A noble person that is generous in giving help like [Tie] fully deserves the honour [of being an NPC member],” one comment reads. 

Tie will join her Yunnan counterparts in the provincial capital Kunming to study relevant laws and procedures about the meeting before heading to Beijing on Saturday.