China´s cabinet ends irregular decision-making meetings 03-07-2004 14:45

China's cabinet, the State Council, has ended the practice of holding irregular decision-making meetings of the premier, vice-premiers and related ministers so as to ensure its policy-making to be consistent with processes defined in the law.

Such meetings will be replaced by executive or plenary meetings of the State Council presided over by the premier.

Under the law, the executive meeting of the State Council is composed of the premier, vice-premiers, state councilors and secretary-general, while the plenary meeting includes all members of the cabinet, including all ministers.

"The cancellation of the irregular meetings attended by the a few government officials is intended to strengthen the function of executive meetings of the State Council, which is also a reflection of the reinforcement of rule of law in the executive body," said Mao Shoulong, dean of the Political Management Department of the People's University.

Under the constitution, the premier convenes and presides over executive and plenary meetings to discuss major issues of state. The irregular meetings with the premier are set in accordance with the necessities of work, which played an important role in the past.

"The work meeting with the premier was originally set to better communicate with the premier, and does not function as a policy-making meeting," said Professor Wang Yukai of the State Administrative College. "However, it has evolved to become a policy-making meeting."

Statistics show that the State Council convened 37 meetings from last March to January, an average of three to four a month, which is sufficient to discuss major state issues.

"In his long speech at the State Administrative College last year, Premier Wen Jiabao said he would further improve the work procedure of the State Council and make it more scientific, democratic and juridical," said Wang. "The cancellation of the irregular work meeting with premier is another step in improving the work of the State Council."


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