How Popular Views in Jiangmen Help Shape National Laws

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When China’s highest legislature released draft amendments to garner public opinion on the Scientific and Technological Advancement Act, Philip Lee was eager to come up with ideas.

Lee runs a business in Jiangmen that supplies specialty plastics. Resins are an essential raw material for almost everything in everyday life, from small household appliances to electric car parts.

“Being in the high-tech manufacturing industry, it’s very exciting to have been invited to participate in the review of the law. I remember staying awake until 11 pm one night chatting with my research and development team, ”said Lee, president of the Guangdong Dosn Science and Technology Society.

“We hope the law will provide stronger protection for our research, more resources for the industry, as well as better rewards and recognition for our high tech talent.”

Lee started his first business in Hong Kong 16 years ago, but saw great potential in Jiangmen’s manufacturing supply chain and government incentives. “Jiangmen has a strong industrial base and diverse culture with influences from Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao (in southern China), as well as a vibrant workforce of people from northern China. China.

He believes the city’s ties to the Chinese diaspora abroad make it a great place not only for business, but where authorities can tap into a reservoir of legislative ideas.

“It’s a good window to share ideas and correct misunderstandings. For example, we’ve raised awareness here about the National Security Act and the Anti-Secession Act,” said Lee, who is also vice president of Jiangmen Federation of Chinese Overseas Enterprises.

“We have also discussed this with our friends and relevant groups in Hong Kong about the meaning of these laws. We hope they can see that freedom is in the stability that allows us to grow our businesses and live happily.”

Residents of Jianghai District in Jiangmen give their opinion on the new regulations on November 1, 2021. Huang Yi / CGTN

Residents of Jianghai District in Jiangmen give their opinion on the new regulations on November 1, 2021. Huang Yi / CGTN

Every voice counts

One in five residents of Hong Kong and Macao has roots in Jiangmen, according to a district People’s Congress official.

The city of 4 million people plays a major role in the implementation of China’s “global democracy”, a concept introduced by Chinese President Xi Jinping and emphasizing listening to the voices of all. governance levels.

The community of Jiangcui in a sub-district of Jiangmen has been one of those voices since 2015, when the city first established contact stations at the local level.

The community of 8,000 has hosted numerous discussions on new or revised laws covering a wide range of topics, from national security to domestic violence and the protection of minors. In recent weeks, they have offered recommendations on regulations to prevent food waste.

Li Yanhua is one of the 63 district opinion poll coordinators.

“We often go door-to-door so that people can participate in the making of laws without even leaving their homes. We record these opinions without adding legal jargon to reflect their most sincere opinions,” Li said. , chief coordinator of the Jianghai District Local Contact Station.

Jianghai residents have contributed to 32 laws and regulations just one year after their district became a national point of contact.

“Unlike the West, we don’t have universal suffrage or the drama that comes with ‘one man, one vote.’ But we elect deputies to district people’s assemblies. They represent our needs and present them to the most. senior lawmakers, ”Li explained.

Jianghai is one of 22 nationwide local contact stations across China and the first in Guangdong Province. Li expects more to be rolled out nationwide, forming a network of diverse communities that will help shape the country’s future.

“Global democracy means that people can directly and continuously participate in the governance of our country. The grassroots contact stations are proof that the Chinese democratic system is becoming more inclusive,” Li said.

(Cover: Business owner Philip Lee chats with CGTN reporter. / CGTN)

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