Two sessions set to chart out future devt plans for China at key juncture
Development blueprint set to inject much-needed confidence to both China and intl community
Published: Mar 04, 2024 09:47 PM
Members of the 14th National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), in colorful ethnic dress, pose for a group photo outside the Great Hall of the People after the opening meeting of the second session of the 14th CPPCC National Committee in Beijing on March 4, 2024. Photo: VCG
Members of the 14th National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), in colorful ethnic dress, pose for a group photo outside the Great Hall of the People after the opening meeting of the second session of the 14th CPPCC National Committee in Beijing on March 4, 2024. Photo: VCG
China's annual two sessions officially kicked off on Monday when the country's top political advisory body opened its annual session and the national legislature published agenda of its own annual session. 

Held at the crucial juncture when both China and the world are undergoing fundamental changes, this year's two sessions are set to inject much-needed confidence into the Chinese public, via charting out a blueprint for generating more social wealth, Chinese experts believe.

The two sessions also reiterate China's role as one of the world's biggest forces safeguarding peace and development, and as uncertainties are rising globally, China won't sit idle and swallow smears and crackdowns. It will continue taking forceful measures to guarantee a healthy international environment for the country's development. 

When China's top political advisory body, the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) National Committee, opened its annual session on Monday Xi Jinping and other Chinese leaders attended the opening meeting held at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.

At the meeting, the agenda for the session was reviewed and approved.

Also on Monday, the National People's Congress (NPC), China's national legislature, held a press conference on Monday, one day ahead of the opening of its annual session.

Lou Qinjian, spokesperson for the second session of the 14th NPC, briefed the press on the session scheduled to run from March 5 to 11. 

The NPC will hold three conferences regarding diplomacy, economy and people's livelihood during its session; moreover, it will also deliberate the report on the work of the government, review the report on the implementation of the 2023 plan for national economic and social development and on the 2024 draft plan, and the draft plan for national economic and social development in 2024, according to Lou.

Inject confidence

How to develop our current potential, drive economic development, create more employment opportunities, and generate greater social wealth is perhaps the most important and urgent tasks to be discussed at the current two sessions, Wang Sixin, a professor of law at the Communication University of China, told the Global Times on Monday. 

He noted that China is at a key juncture of development, thus it is important to address various problems it encounters during its development process. Unveiling the solution, as well as future development plan at the two sessions, can help further unite people to fight together to achieve the development goals, and inject much-needed confidence into the public. 

The NPC, China's top legislature, and its Standing Committee will provide legal safeguard for sound economic development, focusing on deepening reforms, realizing opening-up and high-quality development, and improving livelihoods, Lou said at the Monday conference. 

Overall, the favorable conditions for China's development outweigh the unfavorable factors. The basic trend of economic recovery and improvement remains unchanged in the long term. We have sufficient confidence and strength, according to Lou.

Deputies and political advisors also expect this year's Government Work Report to expound the country's plan to create "new productive forces" - a new concept proposed by Chinese top leader in September 2023 that has emerged as a buzzword of heated discussions, with broad ramification for the Chinese modernization in the years to come. 

Message to international community

The NPC's Monday conference also touched on topics regarding China's relationship with the outside world. 

When answering whether China is concerned about the impact of the upcoming US election on bilateral relations, Lou said that US presidential election is US' internal affair. 

"China does not hold a position on that. No matter who becomes the [US] president, we hope that the US can work in the same direction with China and work for a stable, healthy and sustainable China-US relationship," Lou stressed.

At the same time, he mentioned recent moves by members of the US Congress like putting out bills targeting China; using anti-China rhetoric to crack down on Chinese institutions, companies and nationals; interfering with the Taiwan question, China's internal affairs, underlying China's legitimate rights and interests; and disrupting normal exchanges and cooperation between the two countries.

In regards to concerns on whether the South China Sea is "the real flashpoint" now and on China's neighborhood diplomacy, Lou said that "China is opposed to bloc confrontation, and its cooperation with neighboring countries is open, inclusive and not exclusive."

China has given high priority to its neighboring countries in its overall diplomatic work, Lou said. We have worked together to promote the building a community of shared future, he said. 

The message the two sessions will deliver to the outside world is that China is firmly committed to the path of peaceful development, creating an environment of peace and development for the world; the country will not easily resort to the use of war, but will continue taking forceful measures to answer the crackdowns and bullies, said Wang. 

In recent years, to safeguard national sovereignty, security and development interests, to meet the needs of military transformation with Chinese characteristics, and to better fulfill China's international responsibilities and obligations as a major country, China has maintained reasonable and steady growth of its defense spending consistent with its constant and healthy economic and social development, in a move to promote synchronized growth of defense capability and economic strength, according to Lou. 

As countries continue to strengthen their economic and trade ties with China, the ongoing two sessions are poised to outline China's development road map and inspire deeper collaboration with China, according to Wang.

Some believe that China's economic development is currently encountering obstacles. However, the reality is that China is in the mid of a significant transition from traditional industries to cutting-edge technology sectors. The country's advancements in new-energy and electric vehicles, particularly in the Arab world, serve as a testament to China's promising economic future, Helena, a journalist from China Arab TV, told the Global Times on Monday. 

We must not judge China by the same standards that other nations are judged. Given its distinct history and exceptional pool of talent, China's trajectory is not one of decline, but rather of continued growth and innovation, said Helena. 

Chen Zishuai also contributed to the story