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China’s annual National People’s Congress ends today


China’s annual National People’s Congress ends today

China CNN
Photo: CNN

The 13th National People’s Congress (NPC), China’s legislature and highest organ of state power, ends its third meeting today.

This year’s NPC has attempted to project political stability and control while remaining cautious in economic projections. Historically, the NPC has set the tone and agenda regarding domestic planning and foreign relations for the upcoming year.

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang has announced that the NPC will not set a GDP target for 2020 as China’s economy attempts to recover from the fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic. Furthermore, China will raise its deficit from 2.6% to more than 3.6% of the GDP. This cautious forecast has been mirrored by spending cuts in general public services, foreign affairs, education and STEM funding, as well as an increase in defence spending. In response to continued dissent within Hong Kong, the NPC has voted to draft national security legislation to inject into Hong Kong’s Basic Law.

Significantly affected by the current economic downturn, China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) will now face major delays in current projects and may halt future projects in the face of new economic hardship. BRI nations within the EU are also facing increased pressure to distance themselves from China, which will threaten future participation in the program.

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