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China’s top legislative body to open today


China’s top legislative body to open today

China’s top legislative body to open today

China’s National People’s Conference (NPC) will open in Beijing today.

The 3,000-member NPC is China’s legislative body, which meets for two weeks once every year to vote on legislative measures and introduce policy guidance. The NPC is held concurrently with the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC)—an advisory body to the NPC—which opened yesterday. Together, the NPC and CPPCC are referred to as the “two sessions.”

During today’s opening session of the NPC, Premier Li Qiang will deliver the government’s work report. The report will introduce the country’s policy direction for this year, which will likely focus on economic growth. Li is also expected to introduce key targets for the year, including for GDP growth, the fiscal deficit and defense spending.

Given that this year’s NPC also marks the 75th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China (PRC), expect the CCP to project confidence that the country is close to achieving Chinese President Xi Jinping’s often touted “great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation” by the PRC’s centenary in 2049.

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Given China’s sluggish economic recovery, the government will have to introduce additional stimulus measures. This will likely be achieved by a renewed focus on economic growth, with particular emphasis given to the development of “new productive forces,” which refers to emerging technologies and industries, such as AI and semiconductors.

The two sessions usually close with a press conference by the Premier, during which domestic and foreign media have the rare chance to ask questions. However, this three-decades-old tradition will be scrapped from this year, pointing to further consolidation of power by Xi, as well as the CCP’s increasing reluctance to be held accountable by the press.

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