The Henan Provincial Party Committee and Government jointly issued a circular on April 26, 2006 that calls on provincial authorities to strengthen their controls over society and address a range of social problems during the period 2006 to 2010 as a means towards conducting "peaceful construction," establishing a "harmonious society," "improv[ing] the Party's ruling capacity," and "solidif[ying] the Party's position in power." Specific goals listed in the circular overlap with in the Opinion on Promoting the Construction of a New Socialist Countryside, issued by the Communist Party Central Committee (CPCC) and the State Council (SC) on December 31, 2005, and an earlier opinion issued by the general offices of the CPCC and the SC.
The Henan circular calls for:
Focusing on Social Stability
The circular calls for township Party and government to make upholding social order one of their most important objectives. It directs local officials to deepen the work of building local Party committees and expanding the results of the Party's advanced education campaign. It instructs authorities to prevent mass incidents and reduce the number of collective citizen petitions and citizen petitions to higher levels of government. The circular charges local Party committee and governments in locations where mass incidents occur with handling them, and calls on officials to improve systems for sharing information on mass incidents and preventing them. The circular also calls on authorities to implement responsibility systems for responding to citizen petitions.
Strengthening Dispute Resolution Systems
The circular calls for authorities to strengthen local
systems of dispute resolution, including mediation procedures administered by
courts and the Ministry of Justice, with the aim of resolving disputes at the
lowest level of government possible. The
circular also calls for the strengthening of local courts and for addressing
the problem of inadequate execution of court decisions. It sets the goal of raising the rate of
executed decisions for 2006 to 80 percent.
Improving Labor Conditions
The circular calls for authorities to improve labor and
safety conditions for Chinese workers. The circular sets a 2010 target of
reducing the rate of deaths per hundred million yuan of GDP by 35 percent
compared with the 2005 rate. It calls on
officials to reduce the ratio of worker deaths per million tons of coal to 1.15
or less by 2010, and to reduce the number of number of deaths in industry and
mining by 20% compared with 2005.
"Striking Hard" Against Crime
The circular calls for authorities to continue their
efforts to "strike hard" against crime.
In the past, "Strike Hard" campaigns have involved intense national crackdowns of fixed duration. These crackdowns resulted in unusually harsh law enforcement tactics, quick trials, and violations of criminal procedure. Additional information on "Strike Hard" is available in Section III(b), Rights of Criminal Suspects and Defendants, of the Congressional-Executive Commission on China's 2005 Annual Report.
Suppressing Illegal Religious and Spiritual Groups
The circular calls for authorities to "strike hard" against Falun Gong and other "cult" organizations, strengthen mangement over religious affairs, and to resist "efforts by foreign [forces] to use religion to infiltrate" China. It instructs authorities to "establish 'anti-cult communities'" and to "unflaggingly conduct reeducation activities to lead those obsessed with Falun Gong to re-enter normal society."
Improving Management of Migrants
The circular calls for authorities to establish a comprehensive network to manage, monitor, and serve migrants. It instructs authorities to implement an "owner responsibility system" requiring registration of rental housing and renters.
Strengthening Management of Foreign NGOs
The circular calls for authorities to "strengthen the management of activities of foreign non-governmental organizations.
Chinese authorities are currently considering revisions to the regulations governing the registration and management of civil society organizations. The revised regulations may include specific provisions governing the registration of foreign NGOs.
Imposing Tighter Controls on the Media
The circular calls for authorities to "strengthen guidance of public opinion" and impose tighter controls on the media. It instructs propaganda, culture, and news publication bureaus to "strengthen the management of the news media, publishers, internet websites, institutes of higher education, and social science research institutes." It directs authorities to strengthen the "Sweep Away Pornography and Strike Down Illegal Publications" campaign work. It calls for authorities to pay particular attention to preventing "illegal foreign political publications from entering the province." It also directs authorities to "strictly manage the reporting activities of foreign media" and to "bar any illegal interviewing activities."