China's Parliament--the Fifth National People's Congress--is expected to approve sweeping changes to the country's local government and legal systems.
China's Parliament--the Fifth National People's Congress--is expected to approve sweeping changes to the country's local government and legal systems. In a two-week session, which opened in Peaking on Monday(18 June), the Congress will consider bills which will lead to the Chinese people eventually having free, direct elections by secret ballot, and greater independence for the judiciary.
SYNOPSIS: More than three thousand deputies were at the Great Hall of the People for the opening speech by Standing Committee Chairman Ye Yianying (Yeh Chien-Ying). He called on delegates to reflect fully the opinions of the workers, peasants, people's liberation army and all patriots in giving criticisms and suggestions on the work of the Government.
Mr. Ye said the guarantee of good government and promotion of China's socialist modernisation lay in "giving full scope to democracy and pooling correct ideas from the masses". After his talk Premier Hua Guofeng (Hua Kuo-Feng) gave a report on the government's work and conceded that China had fallen short of economic targets announced last year.
However Premier Hua quoted figures to show that the economy had grown, and said China would be fighting its first major battle for modernisation during a three-year period of economic re-adjustment starting this year. Changes that will permit the Chinese electorate direct, rather than indirect, power to select deputies to the Congress mean non-Communists will eventually be eligible to run for national and provincial offices.