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Agenda set for China’s legislative session

Updated: Mar 4,2016 2:32 PM     Xinhua

BEIJING — China’s national legislators on March 4 elected a presidium and set the agenda for the legislature’s annual session, which will open in Beijing on march 5.

A 170-member presidium was elected to take charge of the procedures of the Fourth Session of the 12th National People’s Congress (NPC), which is scheduled to conclude on March 16, said Fu Ying, spokeswoman for the session, at a press conference on March 4.

Li Jianguo was elected secretary-general of the session, she said.

One important event in this year’s schedule will be to review the draft 13th five-year national development plan. It will mark priorities of China’s economic and social development from 2016 to 2020, along with the country’s first centenary goal of building a moderately prosperous society in all respects.

Another arrangement will be examining the draft charity law, the first law to regulate charity activities in China. The bill has gone through two readings at the bi-monthly sessions of the NPC Standing Committee.

In addition, there will be six regular reports to be submitted to the legislators annually, including the reports on government work, national economic and social development plan, central and local budgets, as well as those from the NPC Standing Committee, Supreme People’s Court, and Supreme People’s Procuratorate.

This year’s session will take 11 and half days, a day longer than last year.

There will be 15 to 16 high-profile press conferences on the sidelines of the session, including the one given by Premier Li Keqiang at the end of the session and others by ministers, Fu said.

“The press conferences will cover a rich variety of topics that the public and international community are eager to know,” she said.

Some of panel discussions of NPC delegations will also be open to reporters.

Fu encouraged delegations and deputies to accept interviews from the media as many as possible but also called for the press to respect their will.

The presidium is composed of senior officials of the Communist Party of China (CPC), non-Communist parties, the All-China Federation of Industry and Commerce, personages without party affiliation, deputies from government agencies and people’s organizations, and leading members of all the 35 delegations to the NPC session, including those from Hong Kong and Macao and the People’s Liberation Army.

About 3,000 NPC deputies will attend the annual full session of the national legislature in Beijing.

The presidium held the first meeting after the preparatory meeting.