The Common Program of the People's Republic of China 1949-1954

Article 13 of the Common Program

Before the universal suffrage for the National People's Congress (NPC) is held, the plenary session of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) shall perform the functions and powers of the National People's Congress. According to the Organic Law of the CPPCC, the CPPCC is divided into three levels: the plenary session, the National Committee and the Standing Committee. "Although the plenary session of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference can perform the functions and powers of the National People's Congress, it is not the highest organ of state power itself. After the Central People's Government Committee is elected, it will no longer exercise this power." After the closing of the first CPPCC plenary session, no CPPCC plenary session was held until the 2nd CPPCC in 1954. The characteristics of the members of the CPPCC are already been discussed in Part 4 and Part 6.

In the period from 1950 until 1954 the CPPCC National Committee convened in June 1950, October 1951, and February 1953. Its functions and powers are describes in article 13 of  the organic law of the CPPCC. During the June 1950 meeting, the draft of the Land Reform law is passed and is decided to designate the week of July 1-7 as "Peace Signature Movement Week".(See Article 54)
At the October 1951 meeting, 18 additional members from the later "liberated" areas are elected by the First National Committee with two seats being kept open for Taiwan.
At the meeting of February 1953, Mao Zedong emphasized the need to intensify the struggle in Korea (See Article 54 ), to intensify learning from the SU, and to combat bureaucratism in the leadership organs at all levels and among all leading cadres. (See Article 18 )

United Front Work Conferences are held in March 1950, January 1951, June 1952, June 1953 and March 1954. Li Weihan , the political leader of the United Front Work Department of the CCP Central Committee, repeatedly explained the United Front's role in the consolidation of CCP rule: it would assist in eliminating enemies, help revive and develop a new economy and culture and help establish the conditions needed to enter the socialist stage.
Frequently, political leaders emphasize the United Front policy. In his speech of March 26, 1951, Deng Xiaoping reflects on the importance of United Front policy. "The Central Committee of the Party and Chairman Mao have pointed out time and again and made it very clear that united front work should be improved. Our victory in the revolution is inseparable from the united front work we did. Without the united front we could not have fought battles so successfully; even though we may be victorious, we still cannot do our work well without it. The entire party should attach more importance to united front work." (See Part 1)

After the establishment of the NPC in September 1954, the role of the CPPCC changes. The CPPCC could be considered as the constituent assembly, secondly as the national legislator, and thirdly as the institutional structure of the United Front policy. The first 2 tasks disappear after the founding of the NPC. The third part will still be important. In December 1954, the first session of the 2nd CPPCC was held. After the election of the NPC, the political role of the CPPCC is more or less finished.
On December 25, 1954, the second CPPCC formulates its new tasks:
"I) to solve, in co-operation with the Government, social problems arising from the inter-relationships between different classes;
2) to keep in close touch with the people and bring their opinions and suggestions to the attention of the governmental bodies;
3) to solve, by way of consultation, problems affecting co-operation within the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference and between any of the different parties, groups and organizations affiliated to it;
4) to exchange views on the nomination of candidates to the National People's Congress and local people's congresses, and the Political Consultative Conferences at all levels;
5) to make arrangements for members to study Marxism-Leninism and remould their way of thinking; and
6) to exchange views on international affairs."

Chapter 2 of Common Program