China / Government

Major challenges in store as key meetings approach

By ZHAO YINAN (China Daily) Updated: 2015-02-26 08:30

Issues to be discussed at the annual sessions of the national legislature and top political advisory body are the most complicated and challenging in more than a decade, according to observers.

National People's Congress lawmakers and members of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference National Committee will attend the meetings in Beijing starting on Tuesday.

Policy watchers said they expect China's leaders to come up with more clear-cut strategies to guarantee economic growth, provide more opportunities for society, and to facilitate reform.

Wang Ruifang, an economist at Nanjing University, said the nation will abandon the blind pursuit of GDP growth, but will adopt a serious approach to achieving a planned minimum level of GDP expansion.

Although this growth will not be as rapid as in the early stages of the country's development, maintaining a certain speed will still require some effort, Wang said.

Zhao Zhenhua, an economist at the Party School of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, said that to achieve required growth, the country will continue to look to government-led investment projects, will help small companies with tax incentives, and support industrial innovation.

Liu Ligang, chief China economist at Australia and New Zealand Banking Group, is expecting an interest-rate cut in March, following the central bank's decision to lower banks' reserve requirement ratio in February.

Du Yang, a demography researcher at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said China must continue to raise industry's competitiveness to create up to 10 million new urban jobs annually.

Many researchers argued that legal and institutional changes will have to be made.

China International Capital Corp, a Chinese investment bank, said in a recent report that it expects the top legislature to make major revisions to the Securities Law, the Commercial Banks Law and the Law Against Unfair Competition, to further regulate government power and reduce business costs in China.

Quick look at Two Sessions

What are the "two sessions"?

"Two sessions" is shorthand for the annual sessions of the National People's Congress and National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference.

On the schedule

March 2: The CPPCC is to hold a news conference, with a spokesperson answering questions from domestic and overseas media.

March 3: Session of the CPPCC opens. Members of the body's National Committee will attend the opening ceremony.

March 4: The NPC will hold a news conference in which a spokesperson will answer questions from domestic and overseas media.

March 5: Session of the NPC opens. The Premier Li Keqiang will deliver the annual Government Work Report, and NPC deputies will review it. Deputies to the NPC and members of the CPPCC National Committee will attend the opening ceremony and hear the report.

On the agenda

The NPC agenda also includes work reports by the NPC

Standing Committee, the Supreme People's Court and the Supreme People's Procuratorate; a review of the implementation of the 2014 annual plan for economic and social development; review of a draft plan for national economic and social development this year; a review of central and local budgets from last year; and reviews of draft central and local budgets for this year.

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