A survey launched by China's largest news website, www.xinhuanet.com, operated by Xinhua News Agency, on "what issues in the upcoming NPC and CPPCC sessions attract you most" revealed a long list, including anti-corruption, regional unbalanced economy, income gap, increasing farmers' income, educational charges, legal rights of migrant farmer workers, emergency response system for public health, and the so-called March 20 Taiwan referendum.
Anti-corruption is the top concern for some 83 percent of netizens who took part in the survey. Netizens say that the central government's determination to fight against corruption can be seen in punishing at least 13 ministerial-level officials for corruption, including former vice-governor of Anhui Province Wang Huaizhong and former Minister of Land and Resources Tian Fengshan, in the past year.
"We still need a lot of improvements in the emergency response system for public health, though we have such a system after the outbreak of the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) in 2003,"said Zhang Baolan, director of the Medical Department of the Central Hospital under the Headquarters of General Staff of the People's Liberation Army (PLA).
During the annual sessions, NPC deputies and CPPCC members are expected to hear the government work report, a report on the plans for economic and social development and budget report, work reports of the NPC Standing Committee, the Supreme People's Court and the Supreme People's Procuratorate.
These reports will review the past year's work of the central government and also will deploy the work for the new year, which will cover hot issues concerning the public's interests.
Professor Wu Jiang from the National School of Administration said that the central authorities have done "efficient and effective" work in the past year, like fighting against SARS, making efforts to curb unemployment, increasing farmers' income, and realizing an annual economic growth rate of 9.1 percent.
"More importantly, the new central government has adopted a down-to-earth attitude and formed a work style of seeking truth in their leadership," said Wu. "All this may let the public believe that the reports made by the government are not only a summary of the past year's work, but also will exert far-reaching influence on the future life of the Chinese public."
(Xinhua News Agency February 24, 2004)