While China’s critics denigrated the Two Sessions debates, the annual political event in Beijing made an impressive mark and served China’s vital interests. The annual plenary consultations of the National People’s Congress (NPC) and the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) are held in March, which over time has become the “key political season” of China.
The two sessions, commonly referred to as “Lianghui”, are attended by more than 5,000 delegates in which the NPC is represented by provinces and regions, while the CPPCC includes prominent figures from Chinese civil society, from elders to retirement, business leaders, scholars, scholars and luminaries from across China.
From China’s point of view, the two sessions are a perfect mix to assess what has been and what has not been achieved in the immediate past and to set short and medium-term objectives. for the future.
The concept of two sessions, which was institutionalized in 1978, evolved on the same model as any parliament of a functioning democracy, but with a rather different selection or election mechanism. The CPPCC, like an upper house, has an advisory function for the government and discusses a host of issues ranging from economy, religion, sports and health to foreign policy and prepares proposals for consideration by the government . The NPC resembles a lower house in any democracy and has members not only from provinces and autonomous regions, but some of them are also chosen on the basis of their professional credentials.
There was growing global interest in the proceedings of the two sessions, as the world was eager to see the outcome of the event and wanted to know where China is heading and what is in it for global good. China in 2020 was the only major economy that not only effectively mitigated the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, but also recorded positive growth towards the end of last year and crossed the 15 trillion threshold. dollars of GDP.
Because of its remarkable achievements, the world looks to China for a meaningful role in global good. The world has watched key legislative and political advisory bodies to come up with plans to deal with the challenges the world is currently facing.
Both sessions primarily review and discuss issues related to China’s national plans and its regional and global policies. At the national level, there are areas that China would like to address as a priority such as law-based governance, social security, rural revitalization, anti-corruption, environment, financial risk prevention, education system, housing, digital lifestyle and social governance. Globally, dealing with the ever-evolving pandemic and its devastating fallout and international economic cooperation are important areas where the world has placed hopes and expects China to reach out and play a role. positive.
During the two 2021 sessions, the 14th five-year plan (2021-2025) as well as the 15-year development plan were adopted, emphasizing high-quality development, GDP expansion, social development, reform and innovation efforts, resource efficiency, scientific and technological progress, education, and improving the quality of life. China is also betting, as part of its new economic strategy, on technological self-sufficiency and the expansion of domestic demand.
Boastful enough for both sessions would be that China has taken a huge leap from being an impoverished country to becoming the world’s second largest economy in just seven decades. A happy moment for both sessions would also be for China at home to focus on modernizing the economy based on emerging technologies and expanding domestic markets.
Still, a proud moment would be to see China’s growing global influence. It is a huge success of the Chinese system of which the Two Sessions are an important component. In global watershed moments, China appears to be well positioned to pursue what both sessions believe China must do, with all the resources at its disposal.
The author is director of the Center for Sino-Pakistani Studies at the Institute for Strategic Studies, Islamabad and is the author of “Creating Shared Futures, Pakistan-China: A Journey of Trust and Friendship”.