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What's to watch at this year's NPC session?
Posted: March-4-2014Adjust font size:

    The second session of the 12th National People's Congress (NPC), the national legislature of China, will open in Beijing on Wednesday.

    The meeting, which will gather some 3,000 legislators from across the country, is the highest-level forum where the Chinese people can exercise their State power.

    Here is a look at what will happen during the annual meeting.

    --What's on the agenda of this year's NPC session?

    No new laws or major law amendments are expected to be put before the legislators this year, and there will be no outstanding personnel changes for voting.

    Lawmakers will, both in plenary meetings and gathering within their own delegations, review six reports on the work of the government, of the NPC Standing Committee, of the judicial and prosecution authorities, and on the government's budget and the country's economic and social development plan.

    --Does this make this year's NPC session any less important?

    No. The NPC session, the first after Xi Jinping was elected as Chinese President and a new cabinet was formed in 2013 with Li Keqiang as Premier, still draws massive interest from both home and broad.

    At the annual session's opening meeting, Premier Li Keqiang will deliver his first government work report, a blueprint for the development of the world's second largest economy this year.

    With markets watching closely at China's intended shift from investment- and export-fuelled expansion towards more balanced and sustained growth, the government work report will set the target of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth in 2014, and will feature economic figures including the Consumer Price Index (CPI), employment, among others.

    In addition, measures on how to implement the reform plan that the Communist Party of China has mapped out since the third plenum of its 18th Central Committee are expected to be a hot topic among deputies.

    Analysts and observers believe that the future performance of China's economy is largely dependent on whether the dividends of reform can ease the transition pains.

    Several high-profile press conferences, including one by Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, and another by Premier Li Keqiang at the end of the session, will be held on the sidelines of the session.

    --What are the subjects of major public interests among the Chinese?

    Environment is perhaps the top concern for the Chinese public during the NPC session, which comes just days after residents in northern and eastern China were choked by heavy smog for a whole week before long-awaited showers and wind swept it away.

    The prolonged smog once again highlighted the urgency of tackling environmental pollution, after decades of rapid economic growth.

    Meanwhile, social security and the country's anti-corruption drive topped a list of social and political issues in an online poll prior to the session.

    Social security topped the list in the poll conducted by the People's Daily, the flagship newspaper of the Communist Party of China (CPC), with some 85 percent of the polled supporting the abolition of China's current multi-track pension system.

    The country's fresh anti-corruption campaign came in second in the poll, with project bidding, official selection and land projects regarded as sectors prone to corruption, according to the survey.

    Other top concerns mentioned include food safety, income distribution, housing, ecosystem and education.

Source: Xinhua 2014-3-4Editor: tracyliu
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