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CPPCC National Committee opens annual session

The Fourth Session of the Tenth National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) opens at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing March 3, 2006. (Xinhua photo)

Jia Qinglin, chairman of the Tenth National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), delivers a report on the work of the CPPCC National Committee's Standing Committee over the past year, at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing March 3, 2006. (Xinhua photo)

Wang Zhongyu, vice-chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), presides over the Fourth Session of the Tenth National Committee of the CPPCC, at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing March 3, 2006. (Xinhua photo)

The Tenth National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), China's top advisory body, convened its fourth annual full session here Friday, stressing its resolute stand against "Taiwan independence" and sincere pursuit for peaceful development of the cross-Strait relations.

     "We will never tolerate 'Taiwan independence', and shall oppose and curb 'Taiwan independence' secessionist forces and activities," said Jia Qinglin, chairman of the CPPCC National Committee, while delivering a keynote report on what the advisory body did last year and what it should do in 2006.

     "We will adhere to the fundamental principles of peaceful reunification and 'one country, two systems,' and maintain and promote a peaceful and stable development of the cross-Strait relations with our utmost sincerity and greatest endeavors to strive for a prospect of peaceful reunification," Jia said.

     "We shall stick to the policies of 'Hong Kong people governing Hong Kong,' 'Macao people governing Macao' and a high degree of autonomy," said Jia, calling CPPCC members from Hong Kong and Macao to work harder to promote long-term prosperity, stability and development of the regions.

     The chairman also stressed the significance of cooperation with returned and overseas Chinese compatriots in an effort to realize China's reunification and the revival of the Chinese nationality.

     Top leaders of the ruling Communist Party of China (CPC) and the state, including President Hu Jintao, top lawmaker Wu Bangguo and Premier Wen Jiabao, and Zeng Qinghong, Wu Guanzheng, Li Changchun and Luo Gan were seated on the central rostrum when the session opened in the Great Hall of the People in downtown Beijing at 3 p.m. (Beijing time).

     Of all the 2,280 registered CPPCC members for the annual meeting, 2,154 were present at the opening sessi on Friday.

     They are also listening to a report by Vice-Chairman of the CPPCC National Committee Luo Haocai on how their proposals and suggestions regarding China's reforms and development had been handled since last session in March 2005.

     The top political consultants will also be present at the upcoming fourth annual session of the 10th National People's Congress (NPC) -- China's top legislature, hearing and discussing the report on the government work delivered by Premier Wen Jiabao,and discussing the draft guidelines of the 11th Five-Year (2006-2010) Development Program for National Economic and Social Development.

     The session is expected to last about ten days and conclude on the morning of March 13.

     Founded in 1949, the CPPCC consists of elite members of the Chinese society who are willing to serve as the think tank for the government and for the country's legislative and judicial organs.

     As an open forum where the ruling Communist Party, the non-Communist parties of China and people with no party affiliations discuss state affairs freely and on an equal footing, the CPPCC National Committee has been the manifestation of China's socialist democracy.