by Xinhua writer Fang Ning, Xu Xiaoqing
SHANGHAI, Jan. 26 (Xinhua) -- Political representatives and delegates attending China's provincial sessions have keenly felt a surging sense of public scrutiny, as the grassroots finds conditions are ripe for concerted efforts with the Chinese leadership to check corruption.
Prior to the annual sessions of China's national legislature and political advisory body in March, provincial political events are being intensively held in January.
Dubbed the "two sessions," legislative and political consultation conference meetings were once obscure. However, under the central leadership's intensified calls for transparency of political affairs, more of the provincial meetings are broadcast live on government web portals or even on Twitter-like websites such as Sina Weibo.
China boasts 564 million Internet subscribers. They have turned sharp eyes on how political representatives and delegates perform their duties at the meetings.
Over the past week, they have raised doubts on celebrities' qualifications to be given membership of local political advisory bodies; they have captured images of those who got drowsy or play with cell phones while the meetings are held; they have posted messages when local authorities ignored the central government's frugality call.
Under the public pressure, the government of Wenzhou City, in east China's Zhejiang Province, accepted criticism over a road closure that the authority used to make things convenient for conference vehicles during the local annual legislative session.
The Guangzhou provincial Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) announced it would reconsider a draft resolution concerning residential housing construction for civil servants through fund raising methods, after netizens denounced it as suggesting that government staff have "privilege" above the general public.
The grassroots' confidence in overseeing the local legislative and CPPCC sessions was boosted by intensified calls from Chinese leader Xi Jinping for a crackdown on corruption.
Xi has targeted checking the work style of members of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and government officials since the 18th CPC National Congress in November last year, calling for banning tedious official speeches and red carpets at government receptions, among others.
In his recent speech when meeting the Communist Party of China's Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, Xi urged the commission to "constantly eradicate the soil which breeds corruption, so as to earn people's trust with actual results," promising harsher approaches to "tigers" -- meaning high-level officials and big corruption cases -- as well as "flies" -- lower-level bureaucrats and smaller cases.
The "top-level design," as the CPC policy guidelines are called, has been echoed by growing grassroots power to check corruption, which has incurred changes in the provincial "two sessions," and is expected to lead to new breakthroughes in spearing the country's arduous political reform.
It has also helped create a democratic atmosphere in the political sessions.
As the saying goes, pressure is impetus. Double pressures from the central leadership and the grassroots are conducive to raising political representatives' sense of responsibility, and forcing local legislatures and political bodies to be more interactive with the general public in formulating proposals.