TAIYUAN, Feb. 1 (Xinhua) -- Su Hongping, a four-term deputy to a local legislature of north China's Shanxi province, is quite proud of what she's accomplished in her political career thus far.
"Four out of the five farmer-oriented tasks outlined in this year's government work report were featured in proposals I submitted over the last two years. How can I not be thrilled?" she said.
The four tasks include renovating dilapidated rural homes, lighting streets in incorporated villages, expanding and reconstructing village kindergartens and cleaning up rural areas.
Born into a poor farmer's family, the 49-year-old woman said she feels honored and fortunate to be able to contribute to improving local people's lives.
Su said all of her proposals come from thorough field studies.
"I have seen that some houses in the countryside are in such poor condition that they can barely keep the rain and wind out. Farmers cannot afford to repair the houses by themselves with their limited income," she said.
"Some villages have no garbage dump, so I've called on the government to pay attention to sanitation problems in rural areas," she said.
In China's electoral system, deputies to the people's congress at and below the county level are elected directly by their constituencies, while deputies at the higher levels, such as the National People's Congress (NPC) and the provincial people's congress, are elected by the people's congress at the next lower level.
The people's congress system is the fundamental political system in China, which has more than 2.7 million lawmakers at various levels.
Being a lawmaker is a part-time job in China. Apart from participating in the political process, the lawmakers, who come from all walks of life, still have other obligations to fulfill.
Su, for instance, runs a garment company with 400 workers in addition to being a deputy to provincial, city and county legislatures in Shanxi. She said her job as a lawmaker has always been her top priority, although she also admitted that her dual roles sometimes stress her out.
Adding to her stress, Su is also a mother of twelve. She has adopted 11 children in addition to her own daughter.
In the eyes of other lawmakers, Su's willingness to speak out has made her an impressive legislator. During one legislative session held in the city of Jincheng, Su told the city's mayor directly that it is unfair for the government to treat state-owned enterprises and private firms differently under a market economy.
"Some private companies don't have the ability to meet with government officials in person. How can they obtain investment and preferential policies from the government?" she questioned.
Although some lawmakers worried that Su's line of questioning was too sharp, she said she does not want to be a "dummy lawmaker."
"I just want to speak for the grassroots people. I don't think it is necessary to worry about whether the officials are happy with my language," she said.
"I have no ambition to gain power or money and I don't say anything illegal. What should I be afraid of?" she said.
Over the course of her career, Su has submitted more than 100 proposals that have addressed a wide range of social problems.
"It is understandable that some of my suggestions cannot be put into reality, since the government has limited financial resources and energy, but I will persevere in my work," she said.
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