BEIJING, Oct. 9 (Xinhua) -- More efforts are needed in answering petitions in order to provide a good social environment ahead of the upcoming Party congress, senior Chinese leader Zhou Yongkang said Tuesday.
Zhou, a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, said petition handling should be improved to safeguard legitimate rights and interests of people, and promote social harmony.
Petitioning, known as letters and calls, is an administrative system designed to hear complaints and grievances from the public.
Authorities should guarantee people's petition rights while maintaining social order by handling illegal activities in accordance with the law, said Zhou, who is also the secretary of the Political Science and Law Committee of the CPC Central Committee.
The government should conduct social stability risk assessments when making major policies and actively respond to public concerns to avoid conflicts, said Zhou.
He also summarized the progress of petition handling work since the last Party congress in 2007. He concluded that it required better inter-ministry coordination as well as innovative mechanism improvements to promote the work.
In a meeting on Sept. 28, the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee proposed convening the 18th CPC National Congress on Nov. 8 in Beijing.
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