eg Chinese Voices
No. 64 | 16.10.2022
Before the 20th National Congress, the seventh plenary session of the 19th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China is held in Beijing from October 9th to 12th, 2022. [Xinhua News Agency]
The Process of Preparing the Report at the National Congress of the Communist Party of China
Chén Wéishān (陈惟杉)
Chen Weishan is a journalist with China Economic Weekly.

Context:

The report at the Communist Party of China’s (CPC) National Congress (NC) is a key component in guiding the twice-a-decade Congress, and summarizes past achievements, elaborates a series of major theoretical and practical issues on adhering to and developing socialism with Chinese characteristics, and deploys future undertakings of the Party and the State. The CPC's Central Committee (CC) attaches great importance to the drafting of the report, demanding thorough investigation and research throughout the drafting process, and utilizing all the tools of a people’s democracy, including broad-based consultations, to finally condense into one report representing the Party's internal and external wisdom.

Key points:

The drafting time for the report of the NC is usually about one year

  • Drafting work is usually initiated at the beginning of the year of the NC, or the end of the previous year. A document drafting group is established, which includes a group leader, deputy leaders, and other responsible comrades of the CC, relevant departments of the State Council, and some provinces and regions.
  • Usually, during the drafting process, more than 100 meetings are held to discuss and revise the draft report, with dozens of formal revised versions.

An important feature of the drafting work for the NC report is investigation and research throughout the whole process

  • Before the formal kick-off, the CC first determines the major topics, and organizes the corresponding departments and units to break down the major topics into specific subjects for subsequent thematic research.
  • At the initial stage, the drafting group is divided into several research groups, which prepare research outlines on different topics to the provinces, autonomous regions, and municipalities. The in-depth field research then begins at the grassroots level, involving various types of symposiums at all levels and visits to communities, industrial and service enterprises, agricultural and animal husbandry areas, and other societal organizations.The extensive investigation and research work develops into new initiatives, experiences, and policy practices based on input from the majority of CPC members and millions of people.

Drafting the NC report activates people’s democracy, expands mass participation, gathers wisdom, and builds consensus

  • Before the drafting work begins, the CC widely consults with Party and non-Party members on the topics, an innovative approach initiated during the 17th NC, to expand Party democracy and to pool wisdom from inside and outside the Party.
  • In the two to three months prior to the NC, the CC will hold several conferences to solicit the opinions and suggestions on the draft report from principal Party, military, and government leaders, as well as from the leaders of the Central Committee of the Democratic Party, the All-China Federation of Industry and Commerce, non-partisan individuals, and some retired veteran cadres.
  • In the two weeks following the input gathering, the document drafting team will add, rewrite, streamline, and make other modifications according to the opinions and suggestions from the various parties.
  • On the eve of the NC, the last plenary session of the previous CC is usually held to discuss the latest draft report in groups. After the final vote is taken to approve the revised draft report, this version will be formally submitted to NC for consideration.
  • Based on the delegates’ comments and suggestions during the NC, the drafting team will also incorporate many suggestions into the final version of the report. The report is a work in progress until its release.
The Story Behind the Report on the 16th National Congress
Wáng Mèng Kuí (王梦奎)
Wang Meng Kui was born in Henan in April 1938. In 1958, he entered Peking University, majoring in political economics. He joined the CPC in June 1956. Wang served as director of the Development Research Center of the State Council from 1998 to 2007. He was an alternate member of the 14th CPC Central Committee and a member of the 15th CPC Central Committee. He is currently the chairman of the China Development Research Foundation, vice chairman of the China Society of Urban Economy, and an advisor to the China Institute of CPC Literature Research.

Context:

Wang Meng Kui participated in the whole process of drafting the Report at the 16th CPC NC, from project studies, local research, revision, Congress convening to follow-up publicity. The Standing Committee of the Politburo of the CPC met four times, and the Politburo met twice to review the draft report and solicit wide opinions. The report at the 16th CPC NC is the collective wisdom, summarizing lessons and practices of the past decades.

Key points:

Preliminary Preparation

  • On August 30, 2001, Hu Jintao presided over the meeting of the second round of Party building research. Several studies were also set for the 16th NC report. The author led the social economy research. The project research was completed in December, with one general report and 14 subject reports covering China's social and economic development.

Field Survey

  • In September 2001, the Sixth Plenary Session of the 15th CPC Central Committee decided to convene the 16th NC in the second half of 2002. On October 25th, the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau set up the drafting group of the 16th NC report. Hu Jintao – who became the CPC General Secretary at the 16th NC – headed the drafting group and chaired its first meeting, highlighting the significance of the 16th NC and the elements of a good report. The outline included economic development and economic system reform, democratic political construction and political system reform, cultural construction, and Party leadership improvement.
  • In the next month, eight central research teams conducted comprehensive research in 16 places, mainly listening to local opinions in the form of symposiums, and carried out by the Development Research Center of the State Council.

Report Drafting

  • In January 2002, the report outline was submitted to the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau for discussion and approval. The drafting group consisted of six groups: overall discourse, economy, politics, culture, national unification, and international affairs (including military construction), and Party construction.
  • The first draft was written in early April 2002. On May 31, outgoing General Secretary Jiang Zemin delivered a speech at the Central Party School on the major issues in the NC report. The draft report was later sent to 178 units nationwide, and 3,100 people participated in the discussion, with a total of 2,936 amendments, forming a broad consensus. The report was approved in the Seventh Plenary Session of the 15th Central Committee in November.

After the Congress

  • The cadres at the ministerial level who reached the age of 64 before June 30, 2002, were no longer nominated in the CC. Wang Meng Kui voluntarily withdrew from the election of alternate members of the CC, giving the opportunities to young comrades who are the future of the Party. However, as a veteran Party member and senior cadre, Wang continued to fulfill his duties, answering the call of the CC to tell the story and spirit of the 16th NC to more people.

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