China’s upcoming NPC session likely to be held via video conference: observer

By Liu Xin Source:Global Times Published: 2020/4/23 0:02:57

The 13th Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) National Committee kicks off its annual meeting in 2019 at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, marking the start of last year's two sessions - the annual meetings of the CPPCC and the National People's Congress, China's top legislature - the most important annual political event in China. Photo: VCG

An announcement on the National People's Congress (NPC) WeChat account on Wednesday said that the 16th session of the Standing Committee of the 13th NPC, China's top legislature, was held in a way for the first time in history in which deputies in Beijing held a video conference with non-Beijing deputies. Observers said the upcoming 17th session may be held in a similar way and China's current technology can assure a smooth process and the security of such conferences.

The 17th session of the Standing Committee of the 13th NPC is expected to be held from April 26 to 29 in Beijing and will implement the requirement on normalizing the prevention work for the novel coronavirus and ensure the effective operation of the top legislature, Yue Zhongming, spokesperson for the Legislative Affairs Commission of the NPC Standing Committee, was cited as saying by the NPC WeChat account. 

Yue noted that deputies in Beijing attended the 16th session of the Standing Committee of the 13th NPC and held a video conference with deputies from outside Beijing. This was the first time for the NPC Standing Committee to hold the meeting in this way. It was an innovative practice under the special circumstance, which ensured the effective work of the top legislature as well as implemented the requirements for prevention of the virus. 

The practice was practical and highly efficient, and complied with the principle and spirit of the Constitution and laws, Yue said.  

China's current technologies can guarantee a successful video conference among several thousand people. The current encryption measures would also make it difficult for hackers, Li Xiaodong, founder of Beijing-based Fuxi Institution, which is dedicated to advancing internet services and research on critical internet infrastructure, and former head of the China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC), told the Global Times. 

Aside from concerns over technology, more details on how to carry forward the process of the video conference more smoothly should be discussed in advance among working staff of the NPC Standing Committee in and outside Beijing, Li said. 

Some experts said that the 17th session of the Standing Committee of the 13th NPC, which is the first step in the national two sessions, might indicate how the two sessions will be held. 

The openings of the annual sessions of the NPC and the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), China's top political advisory body, are usually held on March 5 and March 3, respectively. The postponement of the key events in the country's political calendar this year is widely seen as part of the efforts of top authorities to prioritize the prevention and control work against COVID-19. 

Li said that it has become a trend to have video conferences in China amid the COVID-19 pandemic and this format can also save time. 


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