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Reforms, foreign policy on agenda of China’s “twin sessions” this week
March 3, 2015, 5:41 am

China's fiscal and monetary policies in 2015 amid slowing growth will be discussed by the country’s lawmakers this week [Xinhua]

China’s fiscal and monetary policies in 2015 amid slowing growth will be discussed by the country’s lawmakers this week [Xinhua]

The third session of the 12th National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference or CPPCC will begin on Tuesday in Beijing.

The CPPCC is China’s top political advisory body.

The chairman of the CPPCC National Committee, Yu Zhengsheng, will deliver a work report during the session.

Meanwhile, the National People’s Congress (NPC), China’s top legislature, will convene in Beijing on March 5. The Congress’s 175-member standing committee in Beijing is in charge of legislative issues. More than 3000 representatives will be attending these sessions.

The two political annual sessions is known as lianghui, or “two meetings.” The sessions will hear reports on the socio-economic conditions of China, chart its agenda for 2015 and outline foreign policies.

China’s fiscal and monetary policies in 2015 amid slowing growth will be discussed by the country’s lawmakers this week.

The official economic growth target for 2015 will also be announced during the session when Chinese Premier Li Keqiang delivers the government work report. It is the subject of much anticipation in China and abroad. Most Chinese provinces lowered their GDP targets for 2015 at previous local legislative sessions.

The government is likely to set a growth target of 7 per cent for 2015, with President Xi Jinping already stating that a growth rate around this figure would still make the country a top performer.

Chinese leaders have encouraged development of a more consumption-driven economy and are trying to break up state enterprise monopolies and wean them off cheap credit.

China’s National People’s Congress approve laws, the budget, and key personnel decisions.

China will unveil its defense budget for 2015 during these sessions. Last year, China’s defense budget was over $130 billion, second only to the United States.

Chinese state-run news agency Xinhua said the top focus during this year’s NPC sessions would be on new reforms, corruption, break-up of monopolies and further easing of market access in many industries, cutting red tape, job creation forecasts, military budget and anti-pollution measures.

The Hong Kong protests that rocked the Asian financial center for 11 weeks last year will also be discussed during the parliament sessions.

Amid growing tensions with the US over trade frictions, cyber-security and Washington’s Asia Pivot, this week’s parliament session will also reveal Beijing’s US policy for 2015.

China become the world’s second-largest economy after the United States, contributing more to global growth than any other nation, but, like other emerging economies including BRICS, is struggling with a widening chasm between its rich and poor.

 

 TBP and Agencies

 

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