The press center is again bustle and hustle with activities as the Chinese National People's Congress (NPC), the top legislature, is about to start its annual session Friday.
"We have registered 2,900 news reporters from at home and abroad this year, nearly the same number as NPC deputies," said a woman clerk at the press center which also serves the annual session of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference starting Wednesday.
"We have been quite busy over the last few days," she said.
Even though, the staff of the center, sited closer to the venue that at previous sessions, felt more pressure from the journalists.
A reporter from Japanese Kyodo News Agency complained that he wanted more substantial materials about the bills deputies were going to table at the NPC session while a reporter from the Anadolu Agency of Turkey complained about difficulty in getting materials in English. Some other reporters complained that there were many unwanted materials and what they really want was lacking.
The press center has strived to satisfy the information-hungry reporters, especially those coming from other countries. People at the press center are trying to organize as many press conferences as possible and prepare as many background materials as possible. They have offered clues for interviews at more than 20 delegations and opened a website to provide information on-line.
These are but part of the efforts by the organizers to have the annual sessions as fully covered as possible.
In fact, China has already adopted a stance much opener than before. Many localities, including Beijing, have a government spokesman system in place and organize regular press briefings.
The recent evidence of China's open stance is the live broadcasting of the opening ceremony of the six-party talks on the nuclear issue of the Korean peninsula.
The full text of the draft amendment to the Constitution was also made public for discussion as early as in December last year.
It is expected that voting on the amendment to the Constitution by NPC deputies might be televised live on the closing day of this year's NPC session.
All these reflect the work style of China's central authorities that is widely regarded as down-to-earth, pragmatic, open and aboveboard.
While the NPC and CPPCC in session, the press center will organize a number of press conferences. Apart from those to be held by Premier Wen Jiabao and Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing, there will be press briefings devoted to China's unemployment problem, the drive to rejuvenate the old industrial bases in northeast China and the financial reform.
(Xinhua News Agency March 4, 2004)