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China’s annual parliament session to convene on 5 March
December 28, 2014, 8:14 am

Deputies sing the national anthem during the opening meeting of the first session of the 12th National People's Congress (NPC) at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, capital of China, March 5, 2013 [Xinhua]

Deputies sing the national anthem during the opening meeting of the first session of the 12th National People’s Congress (NPC) at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, capital of China, March 5, 2013 [Xinhua]

The 3rd Session of the 12th National People’s Congress (NPC), China’s top legislature, will convene in Beijing on March 5 next year. The Congress’s 175-member standing committee in Beijing is in charge of legislative issues.

The announcement was made on Sunday after a weeklong bi-monthly session of the NPC Standing Committee in Beijing.

Some 3,000 delegates come from across China to meet during the annual National People’s Congress usually held in March.

The official economic growth target for 2015 will be announced during the session.

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.

While the Congress will run from March 5, the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), China’s top political advisory body, will open its session on March 3.  The two political annual sessions is known as lianghui, or “two meetings.”

China is likely to set a growth target of 7 per cent for the next year.

The government last cut its annual growth target in 2012, to 7.5 per cent from eight percent that it had kept for eight years.

Chinese President Xi Jinping has already said a growth rate around 7 per cent would still make the country a top performer.

The Chinese President has asserted the nation needs to adapt to a “new normal” in the pace of economic growth and remain “cool-minded” amid a slowdown from double-digit growth.

China’s growth rate decelerated to 7.7 per cent in 2012 and 2013, and in the first three quarters of 2014, the figure further declined to 7.4 per cent.

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.

Chinese economists Li Yining and Wu Jinglian say the pattern of “high speed with huge investment” should be abandoned.

“China should bid farewell to excessively fast expansion with annual growth around 10 per cent,” Li said.

Wu said the stimulus package of 4 trillion yuan and 10 trillion yuan loans in 2009 only triggered a three quarters of growth over 10 per cent, and is not a sustainable plan.

“Economic declines are inevitable,” he stressed, “the medium-speed economic ‘new normal’ is more efficient than any previous policy stimulus.”

 

TBP and Agencies 

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