CPC Values Opinions from Non-Communist Parties
2011-06-24 23:22

BEIJING, June 24 (Xinhua) -- When Dr. Wan Gang retired from his 10-year job as an engineer at Audi AG in Germany and returned to China in 2001, he made a proposal to the government to develop cleaner, more energy efficient automobiles.

Wan's idea soon attracted the government's attention.

"After just one week, senior officials with eight ministries, including the ministries of Science and Technology, Education, as well as the Machinery and Electronic Industry (defunct now), came to listen to my proposal," Dr. Wan, now minister of Science and Technology, recalled in an exclusive interview with Xinhua.

After making the proposal, Wan was hired as chief scientist for the government's "863 Program" -- the country's ambitious high-tech development plan.

"I think that the Communist Party of China (CPC) has always valued opinions and suggestions from non-Communist parties and people without party affiliations," Dr. Wan said.

In April 2007, Dr. Wan, who was then deputy chairman of the central committee of the Zhi Gong (Public Interest) Party, one of the non-Communist parties in China, was appointed Minister of Science and Technology, becoming the country's first non-Communist minister in almost 30 years.

Wan now splits his time between working in the ministry and putting in hours as the chairman of the Zhi Gong Party Central Committee.

Thanks to his double identity, Wan has a unique understanding of China's party system. He said that the relationship between the country's political parties underlines the CPC's leadership and, at the same time, non-Communist parties' participation and supervision.

In recent years, the CPC has paid more attention to the role that non-Communist parties can play in adding a democratic trait to the central government's system of decision-making, Dr. Wan said.

"The CPC's leaders have more than 10 annual meetings with non-Communist parties' chairpersons to listen to their opinions and suggestions," Dr. Wan said.

The Zhi Gong Party's proposals to develop the country's marine industry, promote economic development in central regions and construct economic regions near the Bohai Rim, for instance, have all been accepted, according to Wan.

"We have also encouraged people of Chinese origin residing overseas to contribute to China's development," he said.

Founded in San Francisco in 1925, the China Zhi Gong Party is largely made up of overseas Chinese who have returned home. Nearly 90 percent of its 30,000-plus members are Chinese who have worked or studied overseas, returning home with their newly-acquired knowledge and experience.

Wan said that the CPC's leaders have given him the encouragement and confidence to establish a democratic and scientific process of decision-making in his ministry.

There are just two non-Communist ministers out of all of the ministers working for the State Council, or China's Cabinet. Apart from Wan, the other one is incumbent Health Minister Chen Zhu, who is not a member of any political party. There are also 33 other non-Communist personages serving as provincial government department leaders across the country.

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