(File photo: VCG)
Local governments in China are to hold the annual “two sessions” - the people’s congresses as well as political consultative conferences - considered significant events on the Chinese political calendar, as the country has brought the coronavirus largely under control.
Wenzhou in East China’s Zhejiang Province announced it would hold its local “two sessions” on April 21 and 22.
Wenzhou was one of the cities once hardest hit by the deadly virus, with a total of 504 confirmed infections, according to media reports.
Hangzhou city, capital of Zhejiang Province, also announced it would hold its local two sessions in late April.
As the country has achieved decisive victory in containing the novel coronavirus, local “two sessions” will commence in the short term, Xu Hongcai, an economist at the China Center for International Economic Exchanges, told the Global Times on Tuesday.
The two sessions are usually held in early March to allow China’s National People’s Congress (NPC) to review the government’s work of the previous year and hear its economic and social development plans for the current year.
They were postponed due to the sudden outbreak of the COVID19 in January.
It would be reasonable for cities where there have been 15 days of no new reported infections, and all confirmed COVID-19 patients have recovered and been discharged from hospitals, to hold local “two sessions,” Luo Yameng, a Beijing-based urban planning and management expert, told the Global Times on Tuesday.
Though local two sessions are major political events in provinces and municipalities that pave the way for the national two sessions, analysts and some NPC deputies and CPPCC members contacted by the Global Times said they had not been notified on a new date for China's biggest political gathering.
"Currently, Beijing faces mounting pressure in preventing imported infections and a possible second wave of infections, and lacks the conditions to hold such an event," Wang Hongwei, a professor at the Renmin University's School of Public Administration and Policy, told the Global Times on Tuesday.
Bai Ming, deputy director of the Ministry of Commerce's International Market Research Institute, said that though it will still take some time until the national two sessions are held, this year’s focus will be the pandemic’s influence on China in the new year, and in the next five years.
He said China may set its GDP growth rate between 3 percent and 5 percent: “We should safeguard three and fight for five.”