China to expand 'socialist democracy': Wen

Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao said Wednesday his government was ready to expand "socialist democracy" throughout China, but under the leadership of the ruling Communist Party.

China to expand 'socialist democracy': Wen
In an address to the opening of China's annual parliamentary session, Wen also said the government would be streamlined and made more efficient.

"We will deepen reform of political institutions and advance socialist political standards," Wen told the National People's Congress.

"We will expand people's democracy, improve democratic institutions, diversify its forms and expand its channels and we will carry out democratic elections, decision-making, administration and oversight."

Wen said democracy would come "under the guiding principles set by the 17th Communist Party Congress," which has set out a blue print for incremental democratic and administrative reforms to be implemented through to 2020.

Such reforms also include strengthening administrative oversight, fighting corruption and making a more efficient government that is ruled by law, he said.

"Decisions must be made scientifically and democratically, the government must be run in accordance with the law and administrative oversight needs to be strengthened," Wen said.

In regards to efficiency of government, Wen announced plans to study ways to consolidate various departments and ministries.

"The plan explores ways to establish larger departments that organically integrate the functions of smaller departments," he said, confirming months ofspeculation the government may create "super ministries".

There are currently 28 full-blown ministries, and dozens of others of nearly equal weight in the Chinese government apparatus.

China's ruling Communist Party has held a stranglehold over the nation's politics and government since 1949 and has shown few signs of undertaking any reforms that would fundamentally erode its power.

Agencies

Last Mod: 05 Mart 2008, 13:17
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