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Political System
         The People's Congress System
          All power in the People's Republic of China belongs to the people.
          The organs through which the people exercise state power are the
          National People's Congress and the local people's congresses.
          Therefore, the people's congress system is China's fundamental
          political system.
          Deputies to the people's congresses at various levels are elected
          and are responsible to and accept supervision by the people. The
          deputies are broadly representative; they include people from all
          nationalities, all walks of life, all regions, classes and strata,
          As they come from the people, they maintain close ties with their
          respective constituencies and the people and earnestly listen to
          their views and demands. When the congresses meet to discuss issues
          of major policies and principles they can air their views fully and
          carry out the decisions after they have been made. Hence, the
          people's views can be collected and the people can exercise the
          right to manage their state, economic and social affairs through the
          people's congresses.
          Composition of the Deputies to the Eighth National People's
          Congress: Of the 2,978 deputies to the Eighth National People's
          Congress elected to serve from 1993 to 1998, 332 are workers, or
          11.15 percent of the total; 280 are farmers, or 9.4 percent; 649 are
          intellectuals, or 21.79 percent; 842 are cadres, or 28.27 percent;
          572 are representatives of the various democratic parties and those
          with no party affiliation, or 19.21 percent; 267 are from the
          People's Liberation Army, or 8.97 percent; and 36 are returned
          overseas Chinese, or 1.21 percent.
          Among these deputies 626, or 21.02 percent of the total, are women.
          Representing all the 55 national minorities are 439 deputies, making
          up 14.74 percent of the whole assembly.
         The Multi-Party Cooperation and Political Consultation System
          China is a multi-national and multi-party country. Before the state
          adopts important measures or makes decisions on major issues having
          bearing on the national economy and the people's livelihood, the
          Communist Party of China, as the party in power, consults with all
          ethnic groups, all political parties, all circles and nonparty
          democrats in order to reach a common understanding. This system,
          called multi-party cooperation and political consultation system led
          by the CPC, is also a basic political system of China.
          The multi-party cooperation and political consultation system adopts
          two main forms. One is the Chinese People's Political Consultative
          Conference (CPPCC) and the other is the consultative meetings and
          forums of democratic parties and nonparty personages held by the CPC
          Central Committee or local Party committees at different levels.
          The CPPCC has a national committee and local committees at the
          provincial (autonomous regional or municipal) level and at the
          county (city) level, which consists of representatives from the CPC,
          democratic parties, nonparty democrats, people's organizations,
          national minorities and all walks of life, compatriots from Taiwan,
          Hong Kong and Macao, returned overseas Chinese and specially invited
          individuals. The present chairman of the CPPCC National Committee is
          Li Ruihuan. The committees at various levels hold a plenary session
          once a year and, when the committee is not in session, organize the
          committee members to conduct special activities, go on inspection
          tours to various localities, hold consultations on major issues
          relating to major state policies, important local affairs, people's
          lives and the united front work and exercise democratic supervision
          over the work of state organs and the implementation of the state
          constitution and laws by offering opinions, proposals and
          criticisms. The consultative meetings participated in by leaders of
          democratic parties and representatives of nonparty democrats at the
          invitation of leaders of the CPC Central Committee are held once a
          year and the forums are held once every other month, the former
          mainly to discuss major state policies along the democratic line and
          the latter mainly to exchange information, hear proposals on policy
          or discuss certain subjects.
          The National Flag, National Emblem and National Anthem
          The national flag of the People's Republic of China is red in
          colour, rectangular in shape, with five stars. The proportion
          between the length and height of the flag is three to two. The five
          five-pointed yellow stars are located in the upper left corner. One
          of them, which is bigger, appears on the left, while the other four
          hem it in on the right.
          The red colour of the flag symbolizes revolution; the stars take on
          the yellow colour in order to bring out their brightness on the red
          ground. The larger star represents the CPC, while the four smaller
          ones, the Chinese people. The relationship between the stars means
          the great unity of the Chinese people under the leadership of the
           The national emblem of the People's Republic of China is Tiananmen
          in the centre illuminated by five stars and encircled by ears of
          grain and a cogwheel. The ears of grain, stars, Tiananmen and
          cogwheel are painted golden, and the inner part of the circle and
          hanging ribbons are painted red because these two colours are
          traditional Chinese colours representing auspiciousness and
          Tiananmen symbolizes the unyielding national spirit of the Chinese
          people in their fight against imperialism and feudalism; the ears of
          grain and cogwheel represent the working class and the peasantry;
          and the five stars stand for the great unity of the Chinese people
          under the leadership of the CPC.
          The national anthem was created in 1935, the lyrics by Tian Han, a
          famous poet, and the music by Nie Er, a famous composer. The lyrics
          are as follows:
Arise, ye who refuse to be slaves;
With our very flesh and blood
Let us build our new Great Wall!
The peoples of China are in the most critical time,
Everybody must roar his defiance.
Arise! Arise! Arise!
Millions of hearts with one mind,
Brave the enemy's gunfire,
March on!
Brave the enemy's gunfire,
March on! March on! March on, on!
          This song, originally named March of the Volunteers, is the theme
          song of the film, Young Heroes and Heroines in Stormy Years. The
          film describes the people who went to the front to fight against the
          invaders in the 1930's when Japan invaded northeast China and the
          fate of the Chinese nation was hanging in the balance.
          March of the Volunteers, inspiring and forceful, expresses the
          determination of the Chinese people to sacrifice themselves for
          national liberation, and their fine tradition of bravery, firmness
          and unity in their fight against aggression. It was for this reason
          that the CPPCC on September 27, 1949 decided to adopt the song as
          the national anthem of the People's Republic of China.

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