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China Focus: Topics to watch for during China's "Two Sessions"
Posted: March-6-2016Adjust font size:

BEIJING, March 4 (Xinhua) -- Considered as China's important political events, the annual sessions of top legislature and national advisory body, known as the "Two Sessions", are closely watched by domestic and foreign media.

At this year's "Two Sessions," which will last until mid-March, there are several key topics to keep an eye on.

-- Growth target

China's growth target for 2016, already being widely discussed, will be unveiled in this year's government work report to be delivered by Premier Li Keqiang on Saturday.

Despite a lower growth rate of 6.9 percent last year, China is still an international driving force as the world's second largest economy undergoes a transformation from an investment-led model to a more balanced and sustainable one.

Consumption, services and innovation are considered new forces for China's economy as the country is committed to painful but necessary reforms.

-- Defense budget

China's military spending is budgeted to grow by around 7 percent to 8 percent in 2016, the slowest in six years, said Fu Ying, spokesperson for the National People's Congress (NPC) annual session on Friday.

The exact figure will be released in a budget report to lawmakers on Saturday. Last year, China boosted its military budget by 10.1 percent.

-- Supply-side reform

"Supply-side structural reform" was proposed by China's policymakers in November 2015 as the latest remedy for economic ills caused by speedy growth.

It quickly became a buzzword among economists and will likely be a highlight of the upcoming legislative session to convene on March 5.

Analysts expect the reform will be prioritized in this year's government work report and further elaborated in the 13th five-year plan.

-- 13th five-year plan

The draft 13th five-year plan, a roadmap for the nation's development from 2016 to 2020, will be submitted to lawmakers for review and approval.

The year 2016 is the start of an economic and social development plan for the next five years, during which the Chinese leadership vowed to complete the building of a moderately prosperous society in all respects.

-- Foreign policy

China's foreign policy is also in the limelight as the country's lawmakers examine the 13th five-year plan. Foreign Minister Wang Yi will likely hold a press conference on the sidelines of the "Two Sessions" as done in the past.

China will host the G20 summit in September, a big occasion for Chinese leaders to further explain the diplomatic plan.

-- Anti-corruption

The role of regulations in the sweeping anti-corruption drive has been highlighted in the past year. More than 54,000 officials were investigated by prosecutors for bribery, dereliction of duty and other duty-related crimes in 2015.

Inspection work will be deepened with the aim of covering all central Communist Party and government organs and high pressure on corruption will continue with its intensity and pace unchanged in 2016.

-- Four consciousnesses

The Party's leadership has played a significant role in leading various development strategies for China. The "consciousnesses of the ideology, the whole, the core and the line" must be promoted.

-- Poverty alleviation

China plans to take another 70 million people out of poverty in the next five years. The leaders have pledged "not to leave a single family" in the uphill battle against poverty.

With legislators from across China sitting together in the Great Hall of the People, the "Two Sessions" will exhibit China's devotion to bridging the wealth gap.

-- Pollution control

After experiencing frequent bouts of smog, the Chinese have become increasingly sensitive to the hazards of pollution. Lawmakers are expected to discuss measures concerning environmental protection during the sessions.

-- Innovation

Innovation is ranked as the first among China's five development concepts, followed by coordination, green development, opening up and sharing. An innovation-driven development strategy for China's economy has been repeatedly stressed by Chinese officials.

-- Charity law

The draft of charity law will be read for the third time by the legislators at the annual sessions. The bill has already gone through two readings at the NPC Standing Committee's bi-monthly sessions. Lawmakers have stressed transparency as the underlying factor for the vitality and credibility of charities.

Source: xinhua 2016-03-05Editor: tracyliu
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