Mar 05, 2013 06:38 PM

Closer Look: NPC Meeting Could Yield More Full-time Delegates


(Beijing) – More full-time delegates might emerge from this year's National People's Congress (NPC).

The meeting, which opened on March 5, will elect more than 100 members to the legislative body's standing committee, and some of them will be appointed to work full-time for the congress.

The more than 10 full-time legislators of the last NPC are members of the current version, and they are likely to continue in that role. In addition, the report delivered by the Communist Party's 18th National Congress in November said that "the ratio of full-time congress members should be raised" to enhance the power of the NPC, indicating the group will further expand this year.

Increasing the number of full-timers to the nearly 3,000-member NPC is a reform measure aimed at improving the function of the congress, said Zhou Tianyong, a professor at the Central Party School.

The idea of full-time NPC delegates was first raised in the party's 16th National Congress in 2002 and the next year 10 congress delegates resigned from their regular jobs to work full time on legislative tasks and government oversight.

The group has expanded through the years to include leading experts from a variety of areas, such as Cai Fang, director of the Institute of Population and Labor Economics at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, and Pang Lijuan, professor of education at Beijing Normal University.

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