China to kick off annual 'Two Sessions' legislative gathering on Mar. 4

The main theme for the annual meeting is the development of "new productive forces" in China.

Seri Mazliana | February 28, 2024, 05:14 PM



China will be holding its annual "Two Sessions" or lianghui gathering in Beijing starting from Mar. 4.

The political event brings together the top political bodies and legislature in China.

It is expected to last several weeks and be attended by thousands of politicians and lawmakers, including China President Xi Jinping.

The gathering is known as "Two Sessions" as there will be two major political meetings by the National People’s Congress (NPC) and the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC).

The "Two Sessions" meetings will provide an opportunity for announcements of China's policies involving the economy, military, trade, diplomacy, the environment and more.

What are the NPC and CPPCC?

The NPC and CPPCC will start their sessions on Mar. 4 and Mar. 5 respectively, according to Hong Kong–based English language news site Asia Times and China state media Xinhua.

The NPC is the main branch of state power in China and is composed of deputies elected from the provinces, autonomous regions, municipalities directly under the Central Government, special administrative regions, and elected deputies from the armed forces.

Qin Gang, the former Foreign Minister and NPC Deputy, is not expected to be in attendance following his resignation from the NPC on Feb. 27.

The CPPCC is a political advisory body, and its members are in charge of advising and putting proposals for political and social issues to government bodies.

Key topics in "Two Sessions" 2023

Significant government policies were announced in previous Two Sessions meetings, including 2023.

In the 2023 "Two Sessions", it was announced that China will increase its defence budget by 7.2 per cent for 2024.

China also announced its 5 per cent target for economic growth in 2023, following a decline due to Covid-19 restrictions.

Then-China premier, Li Keqiang, also promised a "peaceful reunification" with Taiwan and opposed Taiwan independence.

What to expect in 2024 sessions

According to Asia Times, one key topic that is expected to be raised during the meeting is the development of "new productive forces".

It refers to China’s plan to advance the country’s economic development through science and technological innovation and develop new industries as a result, reported Xinhua.

Xi previously addressed the topic at a session with the the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee on Feb. 1, 2024.

NPC's suggested agenda includes reviewing and discussing reports on government work and other national plans for economic and social development.

The NPC session will also address reports on the various central and local budgets for 2023 and 2024.

A draft revision to the Organic Law of the State Council will be deliberated and work reports from the NPC Standing Committee, the Supreme People's Court and the Supreme People's Procuratorate will be reviewed.

Other notable topics such as the gross domestic product (GDP) target for 2024 and plans to boost retail, tourism, new energy vehicle and elder-care sectors are also expected to be discussed during the Two Sessions.

Top photo via Wikimedia Images.