From Government Budget to Public Budget: Participatory Budgeting Practices in Wenling City

  • Xueming Zhang
Part of the Research Series on the Chinese Dream and China’s Development Path book series (RSCDCDP)


A public budget is a government plan presenting the government’s proposed revenues and spending for a financial year that is passed by the legislature; it is the national budget in the market economy system adapted to public finances. Budgeting is an important means for a government to manage social and economic affairs and achieve macro-control. That the people’s congress and its standing committee should examine and approve the budget of the people’s government at the corresponding level and supervise its implementation is an important constitutional power and function of the people’s congress and its standing committee and is also a concrete channel through which the people exercise power in administering state affairs. For a long time, citizens were unable to participate in budget preparation and supervision due to the lack of some institutions. The people’s congress was unable to properly conduct examination and supervision of the government budget in accordance with the law due to the limited time for deliberation. As a result, the “public budget” was turned into a “government budget.” On the question of budgeting, Mao Zedong once said: “Budgeting is an important issue for the state and is a mirror of state policies, because it determines the scope and direction of government activities.” Today, this problem of budgeting constitutes one of the core problems for Chinese governments, especially at the grassroots level. People have many questions and opinions about where the revenues come from, where the money will be spent, and whether it is used in a reasonable and fair way. Therefore, public budgeting reform constitutes an important part of the development of democratic politics in China; strengthening public budget supervision is one of the main ways to realize social justice.


Government Budget Public Budget Standing Committee Party Committee Town Level 
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Copyright information

© Social Sciences Academic Press (China) and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Xueming Zhang
    • 1
  1. 1.Wenling People’s Congress Standing CommitteeWenlingChina

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