Political advisors gathering in Beijing with proposals focusing on major concerns of public
Suggestions try to address issues on education, medical system and birth rate
Published: Feb 27, 2023 09:55 PM
The 13th Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) National Committee kicks off its annual meeting on Sunday at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, marking the start of this 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

Photo of an annual meeting of the 13th Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) National Committee. Photo: VCG

With the annual two sessions approaching, members of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) National Committee, the country's top political consultative body, have swarmed into Beijing, bringing with them proposals largely focused on improving all walks of people's lives, especially education, the medical system, environmental protection and birth rate.

Newly selected CPPCC National Committee representatives from cities such as Shanghai and Guangzhou began arriving in Beijing in the past two days to participate in the upcoming two sessions. They will have a two-day training session if it is their first time to attend the meetings.

The first session of the 14th China's National People's Congress is scheduled to open on March 5, and the first session of the 14th CPPCC National Committee is set to begin on March 4. 

This year's two sessions will still adopt closed-loop management. A representative from Shanghai surnamed Li told the Global Times that she is required to do nucleic acid tests twice in 48 hours before entering the closed loop, and is not allowed to go outside during the meetings.

This year, proposals from representatives largely focused on improving education, the medical system and boosting the birth rate and other issues.

The model of cooperation and coordination of hospitals at all levels, which was used in combating COVID-19, should be carried through in the future, said Zhang Weibin, a doctor from Ruijin Hospital from Shanghai Jiaotong University School of Medicine, who is also a CPPCC National Committee representative. Zhang's proposal this year is to strengthen the building of triage treatment system, so that big hospitals won't be overwhelmed. 

The China Association for Promoting Democracy proposed to speed up expanding the scope of the carbon emissions trading market and improve the calculation system of carbon emissions, so as to hasten the country's pace toward having CO2 emissions peak before 2030 and achieving carbon neutrality before 2060, read the proposal sent by the association to the Global Times on Monday.

It also suggested that the government should speed up its legislation to cope with climate change and reach the goal of carbon neutrality, as a legal basis for society. 

Boosting birth rate also became a hot topic for this year's two sessions. Yang Xiaoqin, a member from Southwest China's Sichuan Province, proposed to exempt all medical fees related to childbirth and slash mortgage rates for families with three children.

Her view echoed that of Zhu Lieyu, deputy to the NPC and a Guangzhou-based lawyer, who advocates granting rights and treatment for unmarried women to have children that are equal to those of married women, and to scrap birth plan completely to boost the country's fertility rate.

A proposal by Jiang Shengnan, a CPPCC National Committee, attracted wide attention on social media. Jiang suggested supervising the adoption of an eight-hour working standard, as the brutal "996" work culture has become normal in China. She believed it is important to protect workers' right to rest, especially during the post-pandemic era. 

The 14th CPPCC National Committee consists of 2,172 members, of whom 39.2 percent are Party members. Those members are from all of China's 56 ethnic groups, according to media reports.
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on February 22 heard a report on the handling of suggestions from deputies to the NPC and proposals from members of the National Committee of the CPPCC over the past years.

While chairing a State Council executive meeting, Li also made arrangements for work on hearing suggestions and proposals from NPC deputies and CPPCC National Committee members during this year's two sessions, according to a statement released after the meeting. It also called for efforts to enhance communication with NPC deputies and CPPCC National Committee members, and improving the effectiveness of handling suggestions and proposals to better turn them into practical measures.

In 2022, offices and departments under the State Council handled 8,721 motions from NPC deputies and 5,865 proposals submitted by CPPCC National Committee members, accounting for 94.8 percent and 95 percent of the total number of motions and proposals, respectively.