BEIJING, Aug. 19 (Xinhua) -- China will seriously
penalize people using the appealing to authorities for help, as a way of making
financial gain, damaging social order or creating mass incidents.
The Political and Legislative Affairs Committee
(PLAC) of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee said Tuesday
evening the government since 2004 had received an increasing number of
complaints about lawsuits and greater efforts had been needed to deal with them.
In China, certain departmental officials of central
and local governments receive members of the public and letters of petition and
The central level department dealing with public
complaints is the State Bureau for Letters and Calls. Local governments also
have corresponding departments.
The Supreme People's Court and Supreme People's
Procuratorate, as well as various central departments such as the ministries of
education, public security and health, also have offices to deal with the public
appeals and complaints.
The PLAC said "safeguarding people's rights and
interests should be in line with maintaining social stability and judicial
Officials in charge of legislative affairs at various
levels of government should set aside a day a week to receive members of the
public who want to file complaints, the committee said.
Officials should also thoroughly investigate and deal
with problems raised by the public, the PLAC said. In areas where facilities are
available public complaints could be heard via the Internet.
Problems raised should be investigated immediately
and dealt with within 60 days, and the people involved must be informed of the
"Mediation should also be extensively used in dealing
with complaints from the public," the PLAC said.
Also, "police authorities should generally mediate to
handle cases such as disputes between neighbors, traffic accidents and
compensation for damage."
Zhou Benshun, secretary general of the PLAC of the
CPC Central Committee, said earlier this month that government officials should
handle public complaints carefully and in accordance with the law in order to
maintain social harmony and stability ahead of the National Day celebration in
October, which this year marks the60th anniversary of the founding of new China.
Zhou said government officials should try to address
and resolve public complaints and disputes at village and county levels.
"Problems can be solved without coming to Beijing,"