In the first days of March, China will see the opening of one of its most important annual political events, known as the “two sessions”－the plenary meetings of the National People’s Congress, the top legislature, and the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference National Committee, the top political advisory body.
About 3,000 national legislators representing all regions and sectors, as well as more than 2,200 advisory members from all walks of life, will gather in Beijing to discuss major State issues and make suggestions on political, economic and social development.
The upcoming sessions, from early to mid-March, come at a crucial time for China, as the country gets closer to achieving its goals through major reforms.
It also comes ahead of a key political meeting－the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, in the second half of 2017.
Economic development and military and foreign policies will be among the topics covered at the two sessions.
Implementation of major reforms, the ongoing “building of a moderately prosperous society” by 2020, the development of the Belt and Road Initiative, and implementation of the country’s 13th Five-Year Plan (2016-20) will be discussed.
Premier Li Keqiang will deliver the Government Work Report to the NPC, summarizing the government’s work last year and outlining tasks for this year.
The report usually sets the GDP growth rate target, as well as other key indices including the consumer price index and employment goals.
The public’s well-being will figure heavily throughout the two sessions, especially poverty relief.
Although China has experienced almost four decades of breakneck economic growth, over 40 million people remain under the poverty line. Improving their lives, which is key to building a moderately prosperous society, has been identified as a priority by Chinese leaders.
This year’s NPC session will also review the draft of the general provisions of civil law－an important step in formulating a unified Civil Code.
“The draft will become the law’s first chapter if it is approved in the session,” said Sun Xianzhong, a civil law researcher with the Institute of Law under the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.
Citizens’ rights and their properties will be better safeguarded under the Civil Code, Sun said, adding that such legislation is a must to improve the national legal construction as well as an effective way to protect economic development.