Two sessions opportunity for China to gather national strength

By Fan Peng Source:Global Times Published: 2020/5/19 21:43:46

Flags displayed at Tian'anmen Square and atop the Great Hall of the People in downtown Beijing. Photo: VCG

The third annual session of the 13th National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), China's top political advisory body begins on May 21 in Beijing. And the next day on May 22, the third annual session of the 13th National People's Congress (NPC), China's top legislature, will commence.

In the context of China's epidemic prevention and control measures, the upcoming two sessions have historic significance.

First, the opening of the two sessions shows that China is confident that its domestic COVID-19 epidemic is under general control with gradual improvements, with daily life and economics normalizing. 

The upcoming two sessions not only confirm this situation, they also consolidate the will of the Chinese people. They provide Chinese society with greater confidence for development, and display it to the world to share.

Second, China's development tasks this year are still heavy. The year 2020 is a key period for China's goal of building a moderately prosperous society in all respects and to alleviate poverty. It is also an essential year for drafting China's 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-2025). Thus, the two sessions provide an important opportunity for China to gather national strength to formulate mid-and long-term plans.

Third, through centralized and national-level deployments, the two sessions will turn China's political will and strategy into concrete policies and laws. This will help China to truly turn this crisis into an opportunity. After the two sessions, the Chinese economy may make a breakthrough in the second half of 2020. 

During a meeting of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) in April, China proposed to ensure stable performance in six key areas - employment, people's livelihood, market entities, food and energy security, stability of supply chain, and community work. This is China's sober judgment about the grim overall situation. We have to admit that the COVID-19 epidemic has hit the Chinese economy, and we have absorbed its blow.  

Moreover, the global recession, rising trends of conservatism, the intensifying China-US confrontation, and the complicated public opinion environment have all affected China to varying degrees.

But judged from the overall situation of China's development, the country will achieve a steady rebound after the two sessions. The Chinese economy will improve in terms of both motivation and structure. China's development will also extend to some new areas. For example, China is launching new infrastructure projects, and these require legislative protections and some macro-policy designs. The two sessions provides such an opportunity.

After the SARS outbreak in 2003, the internet economy thrived in China. And after the COVID-19 epidemic, China may witness even larger transformations since the coronavirus did not destroy the basic conditions of China's development. Our transportation remains stable, supplies are sufficient, and our social order has been, and is, well guaranteed. After the two sessions, China will step up to promote steady economic development.

China's institutional reform will be accelerated as well. For example, Chinese President Xi Jinping has stressed the need to close the loopholes exposed by the COVID-19 epidemic. Thus, we will improve our ability in epidemic prevention and governance - this will be a very important topic during the two sessions. We can also expect China to make in-depth adjustments in public health and medical assistance, and this is also essential for China's long-term development and its steady economic recovery.

This year's special two sessions also reflect China's institutional advantage. Indeed, different countries have different ideas in dealing with major public crises. For example, the US does not have the political psychology to concentrate national efforts to fight the epidemic. But overall social security and public welfare should be basic values of modern countries. And in this regard, the Chinese system undoubtedly has advantages. During China's COVID-19 fight, the central government had an undeniable role in formulating a nationwide strategy to prevent the society from running out of control. The Chinese system has withstood huge pressures, ensuring that the country will follow its previously-set goals and guidelines.

China's performance with its COVID-19 fight shows that our people are masters of the country and rule of law. The two sessions embody people's democracy, and it will turn political ideas into law. The opening of the upcoming two sessions and the CPC's leadership during the COVID-19 fight are inseparable, and so are China's institutional advantages in the political field and in the rule of law. This comprehensively demonstrates the advantage of the Chinese system.

The author is a research fellow at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences' Institute of Political Sciences.


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