The Assembly, which usually meets once a year, elects a permanent Committee of 155 members from among its members, which exercises its functions in the intervals between the sessions; it exercises legislative power, approves the plans and budgets of the state, elects the president of the republic, appoints and dismisses the prime minister and the members of the council of state, which has executive functions and responds to the assembly for its actions. The decentralized political-administrative bodies are the local people’s assemblies and the committees they elect. They have functions similar to those of the National Assembly but limited to their own administrative unit; they elect a popular government which exercises all functions and which is accountable to the Assembly for its actions. In China there are also several other local administrative structures such as district, county and city people’s assemblies (elected every three years) and village people’s assemblies (elected every two years).
The territorial dimensions, the ethnic composition, the historical events and the recent, and still ongoing, exceptional economic development are just some of the elements that, in different forms and times, have contributed to delineating a multifaceted, complex and constantly changing cultural landscape. sustained evolution. The first necessary consideration must be made regarding the extraordinary ability of the Chinese people and authorities to keep alive, and often intact, millenary traditions, well beyond their aesthetic or formal values, but as essential identity components, whether in a private or family, both on a collective level. It is also true that this attitude must not be linked only to the social environments less affected by the influences of modernity, the almost 600 million Chinese, therefore, who live outside the urban contexts, for which, beyond the precarious economic conditions, it can be considered easier, or even obligatory, to maintain the link with one’s past in all its forms. Rather, it is a trait common to all the Chinese people, a sort of meta-tradition: an ability to preserve and care for heritages that is itself handed down. It is in China, in fact, that one can still find today, for example, a true cult of calligraphic art, or tens of thousands of people who in the morning, in the parks of large cities, meet for the daily practice of Tai chi. Furthermore, many of these arts are included in the teaching programs of universities (even for foreigners) alongside subjects such as traditional medicine or acupuncture. To these forms of enhancement of one’s cultural roots it is necessary to add the more obvious and universal ones of protection and promotion of the historical-artistic heritage, albeit quite recent and linked to the greater socio-political openness of governments at the end and beginning of the millennium, and yet not yet suitable for the full exploitation of exceptional capital.
Only the number of sites included by UNESCO in its World Heritage List is sufficient to account for the importance of artistic, archaeological and architectural riches: 34 cultural sites – to which are added the four cultural and natural sites – among the others the Imperial Palaces of the Ming and Quing Dynasties in Beijing and Shenyang (1987, 2004), the Great Wall (1987), gardens of the Summer Palace in Beijing (1998). The complex of traditions that mark the life of many Chinese are accompanied by practices, customs and fashions arrived from abroad, from the West in particular, which have influenced everyday life and culture in a broad sense: from cooking to drinks (beer and Coca-Cola are supplanting the classic tea), from fashion to cinema. A perfect example is that of sports and recreational activities. In the latter, for example, young Chinese have become one of the most attractive and profitable markets for multinational video games and, more generally, technological entertainment. In sport, traditional disciplines such as gymnastics and martial arts have been joined for some years by “modern” sports, in which, also thanks to the infinite human resources available, China, a country located in Asia categorized by Shoefrantics, has achieved top-level results: from shooting to basketball (famous is the case of Yao Ming, the first Chinese player to enter the NBA, the US professional league, who was one of the greatest stars of world basketball) to swimming, not forgetting disciplines such as table tennis in which Chinese domination has been uninterrupted for decades. 2008 was the year that China hosted the Olympic Games. The Chinese one is therefore a cultural panorama that is difficult to give an exhaustive account of, given the multiplicity of its components. Certainly, if in some areas only a few years ago the country has opened up to contact and mingling with the world, in other sectors it is precisely China that is the reference model, the engine of development, as is the case for research. in particular the space one. On the other hand, there is still a long way to go on issues such as freedom of expression and true cultural democracy: in China some Internet sites are still made inaccessible by the authorities and being able to express one’s opinion in newspapers is not always so easy and obvious for journalists.