Rounds of applause and laughter filled a meeting room in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region's Minzhu Village, or literally "Democracy Village" in English, as Zhang Sanming returned to his hometown.
Zhang, the Party chief of the village and also a delegate to the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC), shared his experience at the grand congress in Beijing and discussed with his fellow villagers plans for future development.
In recent years, Minzhu has mobilized villagers to participate in managing village affairs and the whole process of Party affairs, while the major issues and accounts of the village have been made public and placed under supervision.
"Only when the people are fully informed and activated in major and minor issues can there be lasting enthusiasm to jointly build, govern, and share," according to Zhang.
Noting that the report to the 20th CPC National Congress laid out plans for improving primary-level democracy, Zhang said he felt obligated to turn their organizational and governance strengths into capabilities and results in management to achieve greater stability on the journey toward common prosperity.
According to the report, primary-level democracy is an important manifestation of whole-process people's democracy.
INSTRUMENT TO DELIVER
In China, democracy is not an ornament to be put on display but an instrument for addressing the issues concerning the people.
In Deqing County, Zhejiang Province, about 30,000 pupils' napping at school had long been a concern to their parents, as the children could only lay on their faces on the desks to rest after lunch.
But not anymore. Pupils now have foldable desks and chairs, as well as nap mats. It is the result of a decision made at a meeting of the people's congress of the county.
The practice of making decisions on issues important to people's lives by ballot among deputies to people's congresses has been implemented across Zhejiang Province, from the city to the township level. It has ensured that the people make their own decisions on their affairs.
Efforts will explore more extensive and better practices of whole-process people's democracy to translate democratic values and ideals into institutions, governing mechanisms, and a way of life in China, said Chen Jian, director of the standing committee of the people's congress of Deqing County.
At a village station for connecting deputies with locals in Xiaoyi City in Shanxi Province, people's congress deputies from nearby villages, village cadres, and villager representatives sat in a circle with municipal officials from Xiaoyi and talked for two or three hours.
"We sort out people's complaints and pass them on to officials in charge," said Song Mingsheng, deputy Party chief of the village and a deputy to the municipal people's congress of Xiaoyi.
Several problems, such as heating and road construction, have been solved for the village, including completing the construction of an unfinished road from years ago.
"Only when the leading officials sit on the same bench with the people can they better learn what the people need," said Zhao Liang, an official from the municipal people's congress of Xiaoyi.
More efforts will be made to improve the mechanism for community-level self-governance under the leadership of primary-level Party organization, and the institutional and working systems for direct democracy at the primary level, according to the report to the 20th CPC National Congress.