Two sessions ‘to guide China’s development’ with new thoughts, targets
Published: Mar 11, 2024 11:02 PM
Xi Jinping and other top Chinese leaders attend the closing meeting of the second session of the 14th National People's Congress on March 11, 2024 at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. Photo: Xinhua

Xi Jinping and other top Chinese leaders attend the closing meeting of the second session of the 14th National People's Congress on March 11, 2024 at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. Photo: Xinhua

The National People's Congress (NPC), China's national legislature, held the closing meeting of its annual session on Monday, during which lawmakers approved and passed a series of work reports and resolutions related to China's economic development plan, rule of law and central budget, marking the successful conclusion of the two sessions in 2024. 

Attendees of the two sessions this year and Chinese experts said that the key conferences have provided new ideas, new thoughts and new targets to guide China's development and opening-up and reform in a new stage. In this stage, the world is experiencing great turbulence and China also faces challenges and difficulties on different fronts that need to be handled and overcome, but there are also plenty of opportunities that need to be seized and turned into concrete outcomes, they noted.

The 14th NPC held the closing meeting of its second session on Monday. Xi Jinping and other Chinese leaders attended the meeting at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, the Xinhua News Agency reported.

The Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) National Committee, China's top political advisory body, concluded its annual session on Sunday, calling on political advisors to contribute to greater unity and solidarity and pool strength for advancing Chinese modernization.

At the closing meeting of the second session of the 14th NPC on Monday, Chinese national lawmakers approved the 2024 plan for national economic and social development, the central budget for 2024. The lawmakers passed resolutions on the Government Work Report and the work reports of the NPC Standing Committee, the Supreme People's Court and the Supreme People's Procuratorate, and also passed a revised Organic Law of the State Council.

Confidence and hope

The attendees of the two sessions reached by the Global Times expressed strong confidence in China's development while also acknowledging challenges. After the two sessions, they will focus on testing, implementing and realizing the new ideas and new thoughts that they learned and received from the key annual conferences. 

He Xiaopeng, chairman of Xpeng Motors and an NPC deputy, expressed his enthusiasm for this year's two sessions, calling them "inspiring." Despite facing obstacles, He emphasized delegates' unity and determination to overcome challenges. "We are united as one, which is the most encouraging for me," He told the Global Times on Monday. 

Bi Chunguang, an NPC deputy and chairman of a pharmaceutical company in Liaoning, told the Global Times on Monday that the most significant function of this year's two sessions is boosting society's confidence in the economy and the country's development. "For example, I am a head of a private company. The government signals that it will shore up support for the private sector, which really gave us a lot of confidence."

Some Western media outlets are trying to spread and exaggerate negativity over China's economy to undermine the world's confidence in China's development, and paint China's business environment as a treacherous one for private and foreign companies to survive and develop in. However, the proposals and suggestions of the two sessions attendees have given a completely different picture, and China will respond to them with concrete actions and notable achievements in 2024, experts said. 

China prospers through interaction with the world, and the world becomes better off when China does well. Spreading pessimistic views on China will end up harming oneself, and misjudging China will result in missed opportunities, Foreign Minister Wang Yi told a press conference on Thursday on the sidelines of the two sessions.

China will be more open, more confident, and more modernized to keep providing confidence and opportunities to the world when some other major powers add uncertainties to world peace and development, said Li Haidong, a professor at the China Foreign Affairs University.

Foreign journalists who covered the two sessions and foreign diplomats invited to attend the key conferences reached by the Global Times, especially those from the Global South, said this is a great and valuable opportunity for them to understand exactly how China's system of the whole-process people's democracy works, and they are also trying to learn China's experience of governance and development in different fields, as well as seek possibilities to further boost their cooperation with China.

Global South reporters tell stories of China very different from coverage of many Western media or stories heard from Western politicians.

Analysts said Western media and politicians always look at China out of the perspective of strategic competition and can never be objective, while the Global South come for communication and cooperation.

"If someone checks only Western media, the person is very likely to believe that China's future is full of uncertainties and challenge, or China is isolating itself from the world. But when you dive into the coverage by non-Western media, China performs quite well and outcompetes the US and its allies in many aspects. It is opening up wider with full confidence to seek more connections with its partners around the globe," said Li. 

It's very important to break the information cocoon built by some hegemonic forces, and bringing more voices, analyses and perspectives from the Global South to China's two sessions succeeds in doing this, experts noted. 

Zhang Yiwu, a professor at Peking University and a national political advisor who attended the just-concluded CPPCC National Committee annual session, told the Global Times on Monday that this year's two sessions put forward a huge plan to deal with the new situation, as the world is still experiencing great turbulence, and the emergence of new technologies brings both challenges and opportunities. 

"We can see from the two sessions that the plan is systematic and detailed," Zhang noted. The new ideas, new words and new thoughts such as "new quality productive forces," "high-quality development," "deepening reform," "high-standard opening-up," and "major-country diplomacy with Chinese characteristics," are farsighted and encouraging, and point the way for the whole nation on how to work and what to focus on in the next step, he noted. 

"Better developing our economy is a consensus shared by all. The country will focus on bringing development onto a new track and realize faster development with higher quality. This is the message that the two sessions 2024 have brought to us and the world," Zhang said.