VII. We fully enhanced self-improvement of the Standing Committee in a continued effort to raise our capacity and standards for law-based duty performance.
The Standing Committee stepped up efforts to improve its political and theoretical competence, with a focus on increasing awareness and understanding of the importance of upholding the unity between the leadership of the Party, the position of the people as masters of the country, and law-based governance. Meanwhile, we also strengthened efforts to improve our systems, capacity, and conduct, thereby significantly boosting our sense of duty and ability to perform our duties.
We improved our systems with a focus on applying procedural rules. We acted in strict compliance with legally prescribed procedures for the convening of Standing Committee meetings, invited guests to attend these meetings on the basis of necessity, arranged group and panel deliberations in a reasonable manner, and covered all items set on the agenda at every Standing Committee meeting. We standardized systems for the submission and deliberation of proposals, and defined explicit means through which people's congresses and their standing committees exert their guiding roles in legislative work. We strictly applied the system through which work reports are heard and deliberated at Standing Committee meetings. We improved the work procedure covering the entire process of law enforcement inspections, which includes topic selection, organization, reporting, deliberation, rectification, and feedback. We worked to make special inquiries more standardized and systematic in terms of their participants, forms, content, procedures, and responses, and rendered follow-up oversight more effective.
We improved our capacity so that we became more adept at learning, and focused on comprehensively enhancing our theoretical and practical knowledge related to economics, politics, culture, society, ecological advancement, and Party building. Continuing to implement democratic centralism in a more purposeful manner, we not only guaranteed the democratic rights of Standing Committee members, but also offered guidance on the lawful exercise of these rights, in an effort to truly safeguard the fundamental, long-term, and overall interests of the country and the people.
We improved our conduct by fully implementing the central Party leadership's eight-point decision on conduct and the rules for its implementation. Considering research to be a basic skill for the performance of our duties, the Standing Committee and special committees carried out more than 260 research projects to make NPC work better conform to practical developments and public demands. We took public complaints lodged either by mail or in person seriously, and made relevant work more systematic and standardized. We put great effort into improving the organization of meetings by imposing strict discipline within meetings and enforcing rigid procedures for requesting leaves of absence, thus keeping the attendance rate of Standing Committee meetings above 98 percent. We improved our work on media and public communications, laying emphasis on publicizing the implementation of the Constitution and the course of development of the people's congress system over the past 40 years of reform and opening-up.
We enhanced the work and development of special committees by convening meetings of their leading officials. The special committees fulfilled their duties and exhibited their qualities and strengths as they performed a great amount of effective work related to legislation, oversight, deputies, and international exchanges. We intensified the development of each of the Standing Committee's working bodies to give full play to their role in offering services, coordinating initiatives, and providing guarantees.
We strengthened contacts with local people's congresses, worked in closer coordination with them, and made the work of people's congresses more substantive on the whole, in a joint effort to raise the bar for the work of people's congresses.
In our work over the past year, we have come to understand that for the work of people's congresses to be carried out effectively in the new era, it is essential that we follow the guidance of Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, resolutely uphold General Secretary Xi Jinping's core position on the Party Central Committee and in the Party as a whole, resolutely uphold the Party Central Committee's authority and its centralized, unified leadership, maintain the unity between the leadership of the Party, the position of the people as masters of the country, and law-based governance, and ensure that the Party leads the people in effectively governing the country.
– We must always uphold the overall leadership of the Party. The leadership of the Party is the defining feature of the people's congress system. It has been proven through practice that the better the leadership of the Party is upheld, the more fully the position of the people as masters of the country will be realized, the more smoothly law-based governance will develop, and the more evident the superiority of the people's congress system will be. Therefore, no matter the time or circumstances, our commitment to upholding the leadership of the Party must not waver. The NPC should lawfully exercise its functions and powers under the leadership of the Party, using legally prescribed procedures to turn the propositions of the Party into the will of the state and the common will of the Chinese people.
– We must always uphold a people-centered approach and safeguard the position of the people as masters of the country. We must respect the principal position of the people, and offer support and guarantees for their exercise of state power through people's congresses. We must make safeguarding the fundamental interests of the overwhelming majority of the people the starting point and ultimate goal of the work of people's congresses. We must listen to the people, pool their wisdom, respond to their expectations, and turn people's congresses and their standing committees into representative bodies that maintain close links with the public. By doing so, we will guarantee that the position of the people as masters of the country is concretely and practically demonstrated in China's political and social activities.
– We must always focus on the big picture as we make plans for the advancement of our work. The work of people's congresses is an important component of the work of the Party and the state. We should maintain keen focus on fulfilling the objectives set out at the 19th National Congress of the CPC, conform to the new requirements of the new era, follow the new plans of the Central Committee closely, and satisfy the new demands of the people. We must take on the obligations entrusted to us in the Constitution and the law to better promote reform, opening-up, and socialist modernization in the new era, and provide a strong legal guarantee for advancing our great struggle, great project, great cause, and great dream.
– We must always perform our legally prescribed duties, and act in strict accordance with the law. We need to exert the role of people's congresses in comprehensively advancing the rule of law, resolutely adhere to the path of socialist rule of law with Chinese characteristics, constantly improve the Chinese socialist system of laws centered on the Constitution, and promote the formation of a well-equipped system of legal standards, an effective system for implementing the rule of law, a rigorous system for overseeing the rule of law, and a strong system for guaranteeing the rule of law. While performing the obligations entrusted to us in the Constitution and the law, we must act within legally prescribed limits and abide by statutory procedures, thereby ensuring that the power given to us by the Party and the people is truly used in the service of the people.
– We must always uphold democratic centralism as our organizational principle and code of conduct. People's democracy is the lifeblood and most important aspect of socialism. The people's congress system entails carrying forward democracy, and people's congresses are the primary platforms for realizing people's democracy. We must exercise our powers in accordance with procedure and the law, make decisions on issues through collective discussion, guarantee the democratic rights of deputies to people's congresses and members of standing committees, and properly exercise centralism on the basis of fully promoting democracy. By doing so, we will be able to ensure that all initiatives of people's congresses embody the propositions of the Party, abide by the spirit of the Constitution, and reflect the will of the people.