National People's Congress (NPC)
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Delegates chosen for eighth NPC

A TOTAL of 2,977 delegates have been chosen to take part in the eighth National People's Congress to be held in Beijing next month.

The seventh NPC Standing Committee yesterday formally endorsed the membership of the new delegates and according to the New China News Agency (NCNA), 68 per cent of the delegates were Chinese Communist Party members.

Intellectuals represented about 22 per cent of the delegates while the largest grouping belonged to government and party cadres who accounted for 28 per cent.

NPC officials yesterday stressed that the elections were ''legal'' and qualifications of the delegates were ''confirmed'' in spite of a number of the party's endorsed candidates being voted down in the elections.

Vice-chairman of the Credentials Committee of the Standing Committee, Mr Meng Liankun, said: ''The fact that they are elected . . . has great significance in enabling the NPC to keep closer links with the people.'' It was reported that deputies in a number of provinces had taken the unprecedented step of putting forward their own candidates during voting.