The annual meetings of China's top legislature and political advisory body, known as the two sessions, will open in Beijing this week after being postponed by more than two months amid the coronavirus outbreak. Facing the global health crisis, China’s most important political event will cover not only the achievements and problems of the past year, but also the unprecedented tasks of dealing with the post-COVID-19 period, both politically and economically.
The sessions will be shorter than usual. The annual session of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) will open on May 21, and the plenary session of the National People's Congress (NPC) will open the next day. What should we look forward to during China’s upcoming annual grand political meetings?
The two sessions will focus on epidemic-related proposals. The newly launched special column on the website of the CPPCC National Committee started seeking opinions and suggestions from netizens on May 8, and has received nearly 300 proposals related to pandemic response from political advisers as of Wednesday.
Apart from COVID-19, fighting corruption, social security and the civil code are the top three topics that netizens are concerned about the most, according to the latest survey conducted by the People’s Daily Online. The issues of people's livelihood and law-based governance in China are still the two most important.
As China charts the course for a crucial year to build a moderately prosperous society in all respects, it is committed to bringing all rural people out of poverty. Regular epidemic control, economic growth targets, employment policy and the civil code could also be on the agenda this year.
At present, the epidemic is still sweeping across the world and the impact on the world economy is evolving. China's economic development is also facing unprecedented difficulties and challenges. China's GDP declined by 6.8 percent year-on-year in the first quarter. The main indicators for the January-April period were in negative territory.
China is bouncing back in a pace faster than expected but still faces uncertainties ahead. Continuing risks from the epidemic outbreak in domestic and overseas markets will have an unpredictable impact. Facing the current serious world health crisis, the country has established a combination of fiscal, monetary, social insurance and employment policies to ensure “six priorities and stability in six areas,” according to a meeting chaired by Premier Li Keqiang.
China will step up its macro-regulations to keep the “six priorities.” They are: employment; people's livelihood; the development of market entities; food and energy security; stable operation of the industrial and supply chains; and smooth functioning at the community level. With the six priorities being addressed, the country can better ensure stability in economic fundamentals for long-term growth.
In addition, the NPC Standing Committee also approved a decision last year on submitting the draft civil code to the upcoming annual session of the NPC for deliberation. A total of 13,718 people have submitted 114,574 opinions on the draft civil code to China's national legislature from December 28, 2019 to January 26, 2020 through the NPC website or by mail. The draft consists of general provisions and six sections on property, contracts, personality rights, marriage and family, inheritance, and torts.