Two Sessions set course for new journey

By George N. Tzogopoulos
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail, March 7, 2021
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Containers pile up at the Ningbo Zhoushan Port in Ningbo, east China's Zhejiang province, on March 3, 2021. [Photo/Xinhua]

One year ago, the world faced the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. China, where the virus was first detected, had already applied unprecedented lockdown measures to curb it and could see the first positive signs. 

Under the circumstances it was, of course, impossible for the 2020 sessions of the National People's Congress (NPC), China's top legislature, and the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), the country's top political advisory body, to normally take place in March. They were postponed to May. Their belayed organization outlined the country's return to quasi-normalcy during the pandemic. 

This year, the situation looks much better and therefore has allowed regular scheduling for the two big political events. China has placed the virus under control and is reporting a low number of new cases per day. At the same time, the vaccination process has started and is expected to intensify in the coming months. 

The objective of the Chinese government is to accelerate the pace of inoculation to protect the public's health as soon as possible. The gathering of the NPC deputies and CPPCC members this year will provide a good opportunity to set the way forward that will ensure the country's fight against the virus more effective. 

The beginning of the Biden presidency in Washington has also spurred limited hopes for international cooperation against COVID-19. Disease experts Zhong Nanshan and Anthony Fauci spoke in a good environment recently. 

China is in the process of making decisions that will determine the course of its economic and social development in the next five years, and beyond. The country has already started to place more attention on quality rather than on quantity. 

The so-called "new normal" is an ongoing process. China is currently fostering a new development paradigm where domestic and foreign markets can boost each other, with the domestic market as the mainstay.

Innovation is the key to success. In 2019, China became the top source of international patent applications filed with the World International Property Organization (WIPO), surpassing the U.S. 

The trend was reinforced in 2020. China remained the leader and submitted 68,720 applications, a 16.1% year-on-year growth, followed by America's 59,230 applications, a 3% year-on-year increase. 

The Chinese government is continuously investing in research and development in order to unleash the potential of innovation. Its relevant spending, the Ministry of Science and Technology has announced, significantly rose during the 13th Five-Year Plan period (2016-2020), and total expenditure was projected to have reached approximately $372 billion in 2020. 

While the opening-up and reform policy continues, it is gradually acquiring a more selective character that serves the priority of the Chinese government. Sustainable development can be safeguarded via modern technologies which propel digital economy and facilitate green transition. 

China will thus be able to better address domestic imbalances and act responsibly at the international level. The evolution of the green finance market, for example, will possibly bring China and other economies such as the EU closer in the search of investments of common purpose. 

One hundred years after the formation of the Communist Party of China, China has laid the foundation for the accomplishment of the second centennial goal of creating a modern and prosperous society. The declaration of victory against absolute poverty exhibits that hard work, insightful preparation and long-term vision do yield results. China stands on its own feet and steadily progresses with a different governance model. 

The world is no safer from what it used to be. But China is emerging stronger and better engaged within it. Its words are heard and its actions matter in a new global order. Its development is an irreversible trend shaped by domestic decisions which are then reflected in the international arena. 

George N. Tzogopoulos is a columnist with For more information please visit:

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