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Reporting made easy for NPC, CPPCC meetings
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The number is likely to rise because press registration will continue until Wednesday.

Foreign reporters ready to join the "war", take this as a consolation: This year, unprecedented access will be granted to Chinese and journalists reporters both.

But despite their reputed aggressiveness, most foreign reporters may find it hard to compete with their Chinese counterparts in reaching interviewees.

Now all they need to do is fill up the interview registration form on the NPC and CPPCC official website. And then with just a click of the mouse, they can leave the "exasperating" job of actually setting up the interview to a group of dedicated staff at the center who speak excellent English.

Setting up interviews online is not the only help foreign reporters will get from the organizers. Tian said foreign television and broadcasting press organizations will get free broadcasting images and signals, too.

And then there's the Xinhua News Agency, which will share its pictorial story about the event with foreign reporters - all pictures taken in and outside the meeting rooms can be used free of charge.

For NPC-CPPCC veterans, the memory of scurrying from one venue to another is probably still vivid in mind. The task of merely finding the right place in Beijing could be daunting for a foreign reporter. But don't worry. This year, buses will commute regularly between the media center and the various destinations, including the Great Hall of the People, where the most important NPC and CPPCC meetings will be held.

This maximum media access could be a test for the NPC deputies and CPPCC members. Statistics show about two-thirds NPC deputies and more than half the CPPCC members are first-timers. Most of these newcomers have no experience of being "bombarded" by a multinational reporting army.

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