Beijing in full swing for safe, green two sessions
Published: Feb 25, 2021 09:58 PM

Beijing transportation authorities check vehicles serving the upcoming two sessions at an inspection workshop in Daxing district, Beijing on February 21. Photo: VCG

Strict inspections of vehicle fleets, flight bans on drones and "low, slow and small" aircraft heightened security checks for packages… Beijing is in full swing for China's most important annual political events as the two sessions period begins next week.

As a window to observe China's development and embodiment of Chinese democracy, the two sessions cover the country's essential economic and social development plans, drawing worldwide attention annually. This year's meetings have grabbed special attention as 2021 marks the beginning of the country's new 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-25) period and the 100th anniversary of the Communist Party of China.

As China vows to reach peak emissions before 2030 and carbon neutrality by 2060, a report from the Internationale Nederlanden Group said the two sessions will set out actionable steps to achieve the policies of the new five-year plan including decarbonization of the economy.

Compared with last year's two sessions, which were delayed to May due to the outbreak of COVID-19, this year's two sessions will take similar but looser anti-epidemic measures as China has basically controlled the virus' spread, but still takes a cautious attitude toward a possible resurgence. 

Similarly, deputies to National People's Congress (NPC) and members of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference are required to take nucleic acid tests before arriving in Beijing but they do not need to be quarantined collectively for a week, the Global Times learned.

Deputies and members will only be allowed to move between meeting venues and their designated hotels, but whether they will need to get a second nucleic acid test remains unknown. 

Last year, all of them took nucleic acid tests twice - one at the place of their departure and another in Beijing. Zhu Lieyu, an NPC deputy who is a lawyer from the Guoding Law Firm in Guangzhou, Guangdong Province, believed that they will take a second one as they did last year. 

Zhu said they have received notices from local organizing committees on getting COVID-19 vaccines, but this is not compulsory.

Most deputies and members from the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region have already received COVID-19 vaccines, getting well prepared for their trips to Beijing, according to two NPC deputies from the city who were reached by the Global Times.  

The 26th session of the Standing Committee of the 13th NPC will be held in Beijing on Saturday and Sunday, with the task of preparing for the Fourth Session of the 13th NPC. The session will review the Fourth Session's draft agenda, draft list of the presidium and secretary-general and draft attendees' list. The session will also review the Bill of Stamp Act and the decision on banning illegal wildlife trade.

State-owned BAIC, the vehicle fleet provider for the Beijing delegation, made sure that all its drivers have been vaccinated against COVID-19 and all the vehicles used for the meetings have been fully inspected, Beijing Daily News reported on Thursday.

More attention has been paid this year to vehicles serving the two sessions in terms of low-carbon standards and environmental protection, and the proportion of electric vehicles (EVs) has increased to about 10 percent of all vehicles used. The vehicles to be used by the Beijing delegation are all pure EVs.

To ensure absolute safety, all units, organizations and individuals are prohibited from flying drones and other "low, slow and small" aircraft in the Chinese capital from March 1 to March 12.

Security precautions have also been strengthened by courier channels, with all packages entering Beijing being checked twice before delivery.