China’s top political advisory body started its annual session Friday in Beijing, raising the curtain of a key season in the country’s political calendar
China’s top leaders come together for condensed version of annual meeting after two-month delay because of the Covid-19 pandemic. President Xi Jinping and other Chinese leaders attended the opening meeting at the Great Hall of the People. So called “two sessions” – PRC’s main legislative and politcal advisory bodies assembly – is one of the key events in China due to provide an opportunity to get close to the Asian giant next policies.
Premier Li Keqiang, delivered annual work report to political advisors at the session. As Li reported “”We have not set a specific target for economic growth this year because our country will face some factors that are difficult to predict in its development due to the great uncertainty regarding the COVID-19 pandemic”. For first time in decades, China abandons economic growth target. “China will prioritize stabilizing employment and ensuring people’s livelihood this year, aiming to create more than 9 million new urban jobs”, said Premier Li.
Thus, China set a priority on stabilizing employment and supporting small and medium-sized enterprises. Due to achieve its goals, Beijing foresees its 2020 budget deficit rising to more than 3.6% of gross domestic product, up from 2.8% last year, moreover, People’s Bank of China (PBOC) plan to issue up to $668.17 billion in bonds to respond to the coronavirus pandemic and sustain economic development and social stability. “Large commercial banks should increase inclusive finance lending to micro and small businesses by more than 40%,” added Li, while the country’s monetary policy will be carried out in a “more flexible and appropriate way”, as report said.
Special local government bonds for project development will also increase by 1.6 trillion yuan over last year, for a total issuance of 3.75 trillion yuan, Li said.
China will step up construction of new types of infrastructure that will help expand the reach of 5G and electric car charging facilities, Li said. The country will also boost efforts for water conservancy, and increase national railway development capital by 100 billion yuan.
China’s national legislature introduced a draft national security bill on Hong Kong. The proposed Chinese law is seen as a replacement of the Article 23 – bypassing Hong Kong’s Basic Law – which prohibits acts of “treason, secession, sedition, or subversion.” Li vowed “full and accurate” implementation of “One Country, Two Systems” in the Hong Kong and Macao special administrative regions (SARs), and highlighted the necessity of establishing sound legal systems to defend national security there, Xinhua said.
Explaining the draft to the gathering on Friday, Wang Chen, vice chairman of the NPC Standing Committee, said that the legislation is necessary due to growing national security risks in Hong Kong. Hours after the vice chairman’s speech, Hong Kong’s Chief Executive, Carrie Lam, issued a statement saying that the SAR government will “fully co-operate with the Standing Committee of the NPC to complete the legislation as soon as possible”, plus, the NPC “will not affect the independent judicial power, including that of final adjudication, exercised by the Judiciary in Hong Kong.”
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