Outgoing Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao addresses the annual meeting of the National People’s Congress (NPC). Image credit: Xinhua.
The annual Two Sessions (lianghui) summit of the National People’s Congress (NPC) and the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) is currently taking place in Beijing. Here is a brief summary of what has happened so far according to Xinhua (spoiler: not much).
“Highlights of work report of China’s top political advisory body“:
Democratic rights of the democratic parties and persons without party affiliation in the CPPCC were respected and ensured.
Political advisors offered advice on setting a binding target for reducing total energy consumption during the 12th Five-Year Plan period.
It participated in the production of excellent movies and TV programs including “The Founding of a Republic” and “The Revolution of 1911.”
“Xi urges innovation-driven growth”
Xi said implementing a strategy of innovation-driven development will be fundamental in accelerating the transformation of China’s growth pattern, solving deep-rooted problems concerning economic development and enhancing economic vitality.
Xi said Chinese people should strengthen confidence in innovation and reform the ways in which research and development systems are managed.
“Zhang Dejiang elected executive chairman of NPC session presidium”
Zhang Dejiang and five other deputies were elected executive chairpersons of the presidium for the annual session of China’s national legislature here Monday.
Newsworthiness: 3/10. Also appointed to office during lianghui was disgraced politician and former leadership contender Ling Jihua.
“Highlights: Premier Wen’s government work report”
MAJOR TARGETS FOR 2013
— Gross domestic product (GDP) grows about 7.5 percent.
— Consumer Price Index (CPI) increase will be kept around 3.5 percent.
— A deficit of 1.2 trillion yuan (190.48 billion U.S. dollars) is projected, 400 billion more than the budgeted figure last year and accounting for 2 percent of GDP.
— Add more than 9 million urban jobs.
— Keep the registered urban unemployment rate at or below 4.6 percent.
PROGRESS IN PAST FIVE YEARS
— China’s GDP increased from 26.6 trillion yuan to 51.9 trillion yuan, now the world’ s second most, by an average annual growth of 9.3 percent.
— Government revenue went up from 5.1 trillion yuan to 11.7 trillion yuan.
— The per capita disposable income of urban residents rose by 8.8 percent annually, and the per capita net income of rural residents rose by 9.9 percent.
“China’s parliament convenes as new leadership expected”
Premier Wen Jiabao delivered a government work report at the opening meeting, chaired by Zhang Dejiang, executive chairperson of the session’s presidium.
It was the last time that Wen delivered the government work report as the premier.
“Under the leadership of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping as General Secretary, let us unite as one and work hard to finish building a moderately prosperous society in all respects and achieve the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation,” said Wen.
He suggested that the country should expand domestic demand as a long-term strategy for economic development.
“To expand individual consumption, we should enhance peoples’ ability to consume, keep their consumption expectations stable, boost their desire to consume, improve the consumption environment and make economic growth more consumption-driven,” he said.
The premier also proposed to reduce the share of government investment in the country’s total investment and ease the control over market access for private capital.
Wen encouraged the next government to deepen reform and opening up with “greater political courage and vision.”
Newsworthiness: 5/10. We will miss smiley Papa Wen when he’s gone, he displayed a remarkable amount of personality for a cohort of Hu Jintao, even if his critics say his ‘man of the people’ schtick was just an act.
“China lowers 2013 inflation target to 3.5 percent”
China aims to hold this year’s consumer price growth to around 3.5 percent, 0.5 percentage point lower than the inflation target set for 2012, Premier Wen Jiabao said in a government work report Tuesday.
“China is still under considerable inflationary pressure this year, and maintaining basic stability of overall prices has always been an important macro-control target,” Wen said at the opening of the First Session of the 12th National People’s Congress (NPC), the country’s top legislature.
There is upward pressure on the prices of land, labor, agricultural products and services. Meanwhile, “China is facing imported inflationary pressure resulting from easy monetary policies in major developed countries,” the premier said.