Chinese Parliamentary Sessions 2013

March 2013 sees the annual meeting of the two legislative and consultative bodies of China, where major policies are decided and key government officials appointed. The National People's Congress (NPC) is held in the Great Hall of the People in China's capital, Beijing, and with 2,987 members, is the largest parliament in the world. It gathers alongside the People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) whose members represent various groups of society.

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POLITICS

NPC local deputies to push human rights in mainland China

Newly elected deputies pledge to push human rights and greater legal justice on the mainland

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 20 December, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 28 February, 2013, 3:55pm
 

Some newly elected local deputies to the National People's Congress vowed to push forward the mainland's development in human rights, rule of law, and overall social changes.

Former secretary for security Ambrose Lee Siu-kwong, who won with the second highest count of 1,387 votes, expressed hope that the nation would make improvements in human rights as its economy grows.

"China has improved in human rights. As to whether it is enough, I think there is room for further improvement," Lee said. "I hope to speak out, with 35 other NPC deputies, in the hope our country's human rights could improve to the extent as the substantial growth in the economy."

On the 1989 democracy movement in Beijing, Lee said: "The June 4th incident is a very sensitive issue. It was a major event in Chinese history. To me, it was a tragedy. It should be left to the history for a fair judgment."

New People's Party lawmaker Michael Tien Puk-sun, who was re-elected with 1,176 votes, said he would write to the NPC to ask why Liu Xia, whose husband is jailed dissident and Nobel Peace laureate Liu Xiaobo , had been put under house arrest.

"I will [enquire] what crimes she committed that made her come under house arrest. NPC deputies are quite familiar with the national law. If it replies and states the charge, the public can at least know about it," he said.

Commercial-sector lawmaker Martin Liao Cheung-kong, a newcomer who won the highest 1,403 votes, said he planned to improve the nation's rule of law and judicial system.

He said the mainland should make sure the judicial staff and public officers abide by the law, so as to set a good example.

Liao also said despite the economic growth, there were many other problems on the mainland - such as poor quality of publicly funded infrastructure projects - which should be addressed in a timely manner.

Among the 36 winners, Federation of Trade Unions chairman Ng Chau-pei is the youngest at 42, while the oldest are National People's Congress Standing Committee member Rita Fan Hsu Lai-tai, Lau Pui-king and Sophie Leung Lau Yau-fun, all 67.

In the previous 2008 poll, the oldest were Ng Ching-fai and Raymond Ho Chung-tai, both 69 at that time, while the youngest was Bernard Chan, then 43.

Many of the delegates have a professional background, including Ambrose Lee.

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