From Village Party Chief to National Lawmaker

March 11, 2016
Editor: Kate Wu
From Village Party Chief to National Lawmaker

Wang Haiyan, National People's Congress (NPC) deputy and Party chief of Fozhen village in southwest China's Chongqing Municipality [Chongqing Evening News]

It is early spring, but there is still a chill in the air as Wang Haiyan, wrapped up in a black overcoat, walks up the steps of the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.

National People's Congress (NPC) deputy Wang, 40, is from a remote village in southwest China's Chongqing Municipality. Back home she is the secretary of the village branch of the Communist Party of China (CPC).

Wang joined the CPC in 2006. "I have wanted to be a Party member since I was a child. I have always looked up to soldiers and Party members," she said.

In the same year, she quit her city job in downtown Chongqing and returned to her home village of Fozhen to raise chickens.

In 2010, she bought 5,000 German-breed chickens, which had a much higher added value than the traditional breeds. It was a rewarding experience for Wang and her success story is well known among the villagers.

At the end of the year, she joined the village Party chief election, because she "wanted to do something for others."

At the community level, CPC leaders are selected by public nominations and direct elections. Candidates must first secure a recommendation from CPC members, the public and CPC organizations, and then the public vote. The CPC branch secretary, vice secretary and members of village CPC committees are all elected in this way.

"I was the only female candidate. They were the current village director, an home appliance seller and a migrant worker," she said.

In her campaign speech, she promised to help her fellow villagers get rich. She won the election by an unanimous majority.

Since then, under the leadership of Wang and the other village officials, the villagers began to raise the German-breed chickens and grow high value-added vegetables and herbs, transforming the economic landscape from the traditional cultivation of wheat, corn, and rice to a higher value-added agricultural model.

"Usually, I wouldn't have the chance to wear beautiful clothes like this. I just wear cotton or rubber shoes and old clothes, because I am out in the field working alongside the farmers," she said, "I was harvesting herbs the day before I came to Beijing."

At the beginning of 2013, Wang was elected as a NPC deputy. The NPC legislates, oversees the government and elects major State officials.

There are around 2.7 million deputies across all levels, elected either directly, by the public, or indirectly, by NPC deputies. Wang was elected indirectly as a national lawmaker.

In 2013, Wang was re-elected to village Party chief.

Among the nearly 3,000 deputies to the NPC, there are many Party officials like Wang as well as non-CPC representatives. They are from all walks of life, representing the will of the over 1.3 billion Chinese people.

The people's congress system links the Party to the people, as masters of the country, under the country's law-based governance.

The deputies maintain a close relationship with the general public. Wang said that as a village Party chief, she must strive to help develop the village. While as a national lawmaker, she must relay the experiences and desires of the people in her area to the NPC, and to turn the will of the public into national policies.

In her spare time, she travels around to see, firsthand, how people live. During the NPC's annual sessions over the past few years, she called for improvements to the rural environment, construction of rural medical facilities, and preferential policies for new businesses.

Her suggestions have been reflected in policies.

"It proves that the Party is always thinking of the people when it makes policies, and our deputies have to represent the interests of the public," she said.

Last year, the CPC Central Committee's Proposal on Formulating the Thirteenth Five-Year Plan (2016-2020) on National Economic and Social Development was adopted at the Fifth Plenum of the 18th CPC Central Committee.

The proposal embodies the wisdom of over 87 million Party members, including Wang Haiyan.

The State Council drafted the outline of the plan on the basis of the Party's proposal and the draft was submitted to the NPC during the on-going two session.

Next week, Wang, alongside the other deputies will vote on the draft. If endorsed, the plan will become a state will and come into effect upon legal basis.

Every year after the two sessions, Wang would go back to hometown to gather with all the villagers and discuss development path of the village.

Wang said, "What I am considering now is how to develop tourism in our village. We have peach blossom and Osmanthus trees , but we are a little far away from the county, which is a barrier for tourism development."

"The most urgent thing for me to consider for the moment is how to make our village a preferred tourist destination," she said.

(Source: Xinhua)

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