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National People’s Congress

A Reading Round-up

The annual gathering of the National People’s Political Consultative Conference (NPPCC) and the National People’s Congress (NPC) concluded in Beijing last week. The NPPCC is an advisory body made up of delegates from various sectors of society who gather to praise the work of the Party and government, and offer suggestions for future legislation (most of which rarely go anywhere). The National People’s Congress is often referred to as China’s parliament. On paper (the Constitution) it is the supreme lawmaking body; in reality, it meets for only two weeks per year to approve the government work reports and approve decisions that have already been made by the Communist Party.

As I wrote in a post in 2016, I once had a professor explain to me the relationship between the Party, the NPC, and the NPPCC by means of a ditty that described what each does with their hands:

共产党动手  The Communist Party extends its hands (does the work).

人大举手      The Congress raises its hands (approves the work).

政协拍手      The Consultative Conference claps its hands (praises the work).

On March 4, Premier Li Keqiang delivered the government work report to the NPC. Some of the highlights (which can be found in a summation here) include: a 2019 GDP growth target at 6-6.5%; new measures to attract foreign investment; more investment in controlling air pollution, increased infrastructure investment, 11 million new urban jobs; and reducing the number of people affected by rural poverty by 10 million.

Here is a round-up of some of the reporting and analysis of the meetings:

What You Need to Know from the National People’s Congress (Bloomberg)
Bloomberg correspondent Tom Mackenzie reports on some of the major decisions taken by the Congress.

Amid skepticism, China fast-tracks foreign investment law to show goodwill to Washington (Washington Post)
​The Congress passed a law designed to strengthen trade secret protection and protect the rights of foreign businesses. The Post takes a deeper look at the law, and why many are skeptical.

Six key takeaways from China Premier Li Keqiang’s annual policy blueprint (South China Morning Post)
Just what are the goals of the government for the coming year?

The Straits Times (Singapore) published a collection of photos of the NPC meetings.

And finally, Chinese state media, one of the world’s true masters of political propaganda once again released a rap video, hoping, one supposes, to reach the hearts and minds of China’s youth.

I can’t wait to see what next year’s video will be. (Not true!)

Image credit: Joann Pittman.
Joann Pittman

Joann Pittman

Joann Pittman is Vice President of Partnership and China Engagement and editor of ZGBriefs. Prior to joining ChinaSource, Joann spent 28 years working in China, as an English teacher, language student, program director, and cross-cultural trainer for organizations and businesses engaged in China. She has also taught Chinese at the University …View Full Bio

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