China’s legislators and political advisors are scheduled to start their annual sessions in early March, during which a wide range of issues will be discussed under the backdrop of complicated circumstances both at home and abroad.
This year’s sessions of the top legislature, the National People’s Congress (NPC), and the advisory body, the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, are of particular significance to China, as they will be held just ahead of the 18th National Congress of the ruling Communist Party of China (CPC). The CPC congress, slated for the second half of this year, will bring with it a power transition for the country’s new generation of leaders.
Stability will be prioritized in this crucial year for China. Yet China still pins a great deal of its hope to economic growth to further its development across the board.
China overtook Japan in 2011 to become the world’s second-largest economy after the United States, with a brisk annual growth of 9.2 percent.
However, uncertainty has continued to linger over China’s economy, with growth slowing down and inflation increasing.
China aims to sustain the country’s economic expansion without spoiling its efforts to control inflation. The central bank has recently announced a cut for banks’ reserve requirements to fuel lending and bolster economic growth amid weak external demand.
The bank has warned that it will maintain a prudent monetary policy, as the country faces pressure in supporting growth and containing inflation.
Meanwhile, a series of other old and new problems, in short-term or in long-term, have compounded the difficulties that China is facing.
China is battered by a slumping overseas demand mainly thanks to the European sovereign debt crisis. Also, a slowdown of investment in the fixed assets amid real estate woes will step on the brakes of one of China’s growth engines.
Moreover, the widening gap between the rich and the poor, along with urban-rural and regional discrepancies, is resulting in more social tensions.
“China is facing a tough situation, much more complicated than in 2008, when the world was hit by the financial crisis,” said Zhang Liqun, a research fellow at the Development Research Center of the State Council, or China’s cabinet.
Positive signals are expected from the annual session to boost confidence in China, as the world is still mired in the economic downturn, which has cast a shadow over China’s own performance.
In spite of difficulties, China is still endowed with good opportunities to further its development.
The global financial crisis has, in turn, helped spur demand in the nation for innovation and for transformation of economic growth mode that used to rely heavily on investment and export.
And China’s widening urbanization and deepening agricultural modernization are creating new growth areas.
Most importantly, China’s reforms and opening-up have gained wide support among its people, laying a solid foundation for continued social and political stability and economic prosperity.
China is seeking to deepen its reforms not only in the economic arena, but also in fields that are closely related to the welfare of the population.
The “two sessions,” where proposals from people of all walks of life will be collected, will once again demonstrate the wisdom of China’s people.