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Reporters happy to see more talkative ministers this year

Updated: Mar 14,2016 10:44 AM     Xinhua

Commerce Minister Gao Hucheng receives an interview before the third plenary meeting of the fourth session of China’s 12th National People’s Congress at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, capital of China, March 13, 2016.[Photo/Xinhua]

Wang Jun, head of the State Administration of Taxation, receives an interview before the third plenary meeting of the fourth session of China’s 12th National People’s Congress at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, capital of China, March 13, 2016. [Photo/Xinhua]

China’s Industry and Information Technology Minister Miao Wei receives an interview before the third plenary meeting of the fourth session of China’s 12th National People’s Congress at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, capital of China, March 13, 2016.[Photo/Xinhua]

Xiao Yaqing, head of the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission of the State Council, receives an interview before the third plenary meeting of the fourth session of China’s 12th National People’s Congress at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, capital of China, March 13, 2016.[Photo/Xinhua]

Shen Changyu, commissioner of China’s State Intellectual Property Office, receives an interview before the third plenary meeting of the fourth session of China’s 12th National People’s Congress at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, capital of China, March 13, 2016.[Photo/Xinhua]

Xu Shaoshi, minister in charge of the National Development and Reform Commission, receives an interview before the third plenary meeting of the fourth session of China’s 12th National People’s Congress at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, capital of China, March 13, 2016.[Photo/Xinhua]

Qiu Yuanping, head of China’s Overseas Chinese Affairs Office of the State Council, receives an interview before the third plenary meeting of the fourth session of China’s 12th National People’s Congress at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, capital of China, March 13, 2016.[Photo/Xinhua]

China’s Minister of Culture Luo Shugang receives an interview before the third plenary meeting of the fourth session of China’s 12th National People’s Congress at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, capital of China, March 13, 2016.[Photo/Xinhua]

Shen Changyu, commissioner of China’s State Intellectual Property Office, receives an interview before the third plenary meeting of the fourth session of China’s 12th National People’s Congress at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, capital of China, March 13, 2016.[Photo/Xinhua]

China’s Industry and Information Technology Minister Miao Wei receives an interview before the third plenary meeting of the fourth session of China’s 12th National People’s Congress at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, capital of China, March 13, 2016.[Photo/Xinhua]

Photo taken by a panoramic camera shows journalists waiting for ministers at the Great Hall of the People before the third plenary meeting of the fourth session of the 12th National People’s Congress in Beijing, capital of China, March 13, 2016. [Photo/Xinhua]

At the northern part of the Great Hall of the People lies a passage dubbed “minister passage”. During the two sessions – the annual sessions of the National People’s Congress (NPC) and the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) National Committee – the corridor is usually crowded with reporters trying to stop the passing ministers and trying to glean some information from their quick words.

On March 13, the third plenary meeting of the fourth session of the 12th NPC was held at the Great Hall of the People. The famous “minister passage” saw lively interaction between several minister-level officials and reporters from home and abroad.

Different from previous years’ shunning and short responses, ministers this year had more active interactions with reporters waiting along the passage, showing a more open and confident China.

“The form and content of this year’s minister passage interviews changed a lot as ministers’ answers are frank and honest, sometimes humorous, with direct responses to sensitive issues and no forbidden zones for questions,” China Daily reporter Du Juan said.

On the “minister passage”, 11 minister-level leaders responded to a variety of social issues on March 13. For example, Luo Shugang, minister of culture, talked about poverty alleviation through cultural support; Miao Wei, minister of industry and information technology, commented on the development bottleneck of new energy vehicles, and Xu Shaoshi, minister in charge of the National Development and Reform Commission, discussed supply side reform.

Zou Dezhi, a journalist from China Education Television, said that this year saw many more honest responses from ministers.

“I’ve been reporting on the two sessions since 2008, but this year I got much more valuable information than in previous years,” said Chen Lin, a reporter from Phoenix Satellite Television.

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