Wang Hongwei, a veteran lawyer who volunteers at a local legislative work office set up by the Legislative Affairs Commission of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress, attends the assembly of residents’ representatives in Renmin Guangchang Subdistrict in Dalian province almost every month Liaoning, part.
When the office needs to get opinions from residents on any law or regulation, he explains the basic information, especially as it pertains to their vital interests, and encourages them to speak up.
“In the beginning, they were reluctant to voice their opinion, saying, ‘We have special forces that do legislative work in our office.
“But when they see their words being heard, acted upon, and feedback given, they become more motivated to participate,” he said.
Wang said he loves participating in this work.
“As a lawyer, I use the law passively. Now I can participate in legislation to help serve people better and solve practical problems,” Wang said.
Local legislative advice centers have been described as direct links to national legislation for the public. They have emerged as important platforms for the democratic expression of public opinion, demonstrating a unique role in developing people’s democracy of the whole process and strengthening governance in China.
Since the outreach office in Guangchang Renmin Subdistrict opened on September 27, 2022, it has linked the country’s highest state power and people’s body at the primary level.
During deliberations on the draft of the revised Law of the People’s Republic of China on the Protection of Women’s Rights and Interests and other laws and regulations, subdistrict office staff and volunteers like Wang meet face-to-face with local residents.
“Through the office, the opinions of ordinary people are respected and even accepted. I am honored to be part of the legislature,” said Jiang Baocheng, 67, a resident of Jiusan Township.
“Actually, they not only listen to our opinions, but also spread laws and regulations, provide legal advice and help us solve problems,” he said.
The report presented at the 20th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party said, “We will improve working mechanisms to draw on public opinion and pool people’s wisdom, and ensure that local legislative offices are well managed.”
As of September, the Legislative Affairs Commission of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress has set up 32 law-enforcement contact offices, covering all provincial-level regions in mainland China.
The Guangchang Renmin Subdistrict Advisory Bureau has solicited opinions on 30 draft laws from the national and regional people’s congresses. They have submitted nearly 500 proposals for revision, 27 of which have been approved by provincial and municipal people’s congresses, according to Xu Zhuxian, an official with the Guangchang Renmin Subdistrict Office.
“Through the bureau, the views of local residents were collected and sent directly to the top legislature, achieving deeper, more proactive and broader democratic legislation,” he said.