​'Two Sessions' set the stage for China's future

By Rabi Sankar Bosu
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail China.org.cn, March 4, 2018
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Photo taken on Feb. 27, 2018 shows the Telecom & Network Service Room of the press center for the first session of the 13th National People's Congress (NPC) and the first session of the 13th National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), in Beijing, capital of China. The press center opened for work on Tuesday. The first annual session of the 13th NPC, the country's top legislature, will open on March 5 in Beijing. The first session of the 13th National Committee of the CPPCC, the top political advisory body, will open on March 3. (Xinhua/Li Xin) 

This weekend, China will begin its 2018 political season with the first plenary session of the 13th National People's Congress (NPC), China's top legislature, and the first session of the 13th National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, the country's advisory body, opening on March 5 and 3 respectively.

The meetings together are called "Liang Hui," or the "Two Sessions," and will be the first national assemblies following the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China in October last year, at which the country's new official political doctrine, known as "Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era," was enshrined in the CPC Constitution. China watchers will once again be focused on these political conclaves to scrutinize the speeches, press conferences and personnel positionings as well as the policy announcements in Premier Li Keqiang's annual "Report on the Work of the Government."

The more than 5,000 Chinese lawmakers and political advisors, assembling in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, are expected to unveil policies on the country's economic development, environment, risk prevention, employment, rural vitalization and the continuing anti-corruption campaign.

According to China's official news agency Xinhua, a total of 2,980 deputies will elect the 13th NPC Standing Committee. Both President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang will finish their first terms in March.

The 13th NPC and its Standing Committee are expected to implement the president's political doctrine. As such, it is expected that the leadership will unveil some action plans to advance their stated goal of building a "great modern socialist country" by 2020.

Indeed, the "Two Sessions" may still be a chance for China to further the remarkable economic strides it has made over the past 15 years, with more than 600 million people in the country lifting themselves out of poverty. In 2017, China witnessed a GDP growth of 6.9 percent, ranking among the top in the world. According to data from the World Bank, China contributed 34 percent to world economic growth from 2012 to 2016, more than that of the United States, the European Union and Japan combined. Despite some progress, there remains a lot to be accomplished in the country's poor, rural areas.

In his New Year's address, the president stressed that reform and opening up is the only path to fulfilling the so-called "Chinese Dream" of national rejuvenation.

The Two Sessions are an opportunity for the world to see if China will further open up and push globalization or – like so many other countries across the world. – retreat into protectionism, isolation and autocracy.

Rabi Sankar Bosu, Secretary of New Horizon Radio Listeners' Club, West Bengal, India

Opinion articles reflect the views of their authors only, not necessarily those of China.org.cn.

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