Deputies to the 11th National People's Congress (NPC) gathered Tuesday morning to elect a presidium and set the agenda for the landmark legislative session to begin on Wednesday.
It was the first time the NPC deputies of a new term, who were elected earlier this year, gathered at the Great Hall of the People for the first annual full session of the national legislature.
A 181-member presidium and secretary-general were elected to take charge of the procedures of the two-week session, including the election of state leaders, who will head China's development in the coming five years.
Wu Bangguo, chairman of the 10th NPC Standing Committee, called on the 11th NPC deputies to earnestly fulfill their constitutional and legal obligations during the session and effectuate a new leadership of the country in a highly responsible manner.
The presidium is composed of senior officials of the Communist Party of China (CPC), non-Communist parties, All-China Federation of Industry and Commerce, personages without party affiliation, people of government agencies and people's organizations, leading members of all the 35 delegations to the NPC session including those from Hong Kong and Macao and the Chinese People's Liberation Army.
Wang Zhaoguo was elected secretary-general of the NPC session which is scheduled to last 13 days and a half.
According to the agenda, the session will elect the chairman and vice chairpersons of the 11th NPC Standing Committee, and elect the country's president and vice president. It will also decide on the premier, vice premiers, state councilors and ministers of the government.
The session will elect the chairman of the Central Military Commission of the People's Republic of China, and heads of the Supreme People's Court and the Supreme People's Procuratorate.
The agenda also includes the NPC deputies' examination of the government work report, report on national economic and social development, report on the central and local budgets, and reports of the NPC Standing Committee, the Supreme People's Court and the Supreme People's Procuratorate, as well as a State Council plan on institutional reform.
(Xinhua News Agency March 4, 2008)