What One Can Read From China’s Two Sessions This Year?

Friday, March 23, 2018

The annual Chinese political season ‘Two Sessions’ has just concluded in Beijing. As this year’s “Two Sessions”, the first sessions of the 13th National People’s Congress and the 13th National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference endorse a new five-year term for all the major state organs of China, they are all the more significant and attract more attention worldwide. Then what one can read from the “Two Sessions” this year?

Over the past five years, China has made historic achievements.The size of the economy expands to more than 82 trillion yuan ($12.9 trillion) from 54 trillion yuan($8 trillion), growing by 7.1 percent a year on average. Consumption becomes a major growth driver, contributing to 58.8 percent of economic growth. The share of the service sector has climbed to 51.6 percent. Chinese people live a more comfortable life. More than 68 million people are lifted out of poverty over past five years. More than 66 million new urban jobs have been created.Personal income increased by 7.4 percent annually on average, overtaking the speed of economic growth. China now boasts the largest middle income group in the world. The urbanization rate has increased to 58.5%. Life expectancy reaches 76.7 years. The near universal coverage of social pension and basic medical insurances weave the world’s largest social security net. The operating mileage of high-speed railways has increased from more than 9,000 kilometers to 25,000 kilometers, accounting for two-thirds of the world’s total.The environment is improving as strict rules on water, soil and air pollution control have been enforced. In the five years, more than 1,500 reform measures areimplemented, affecting economic, political, social, cultural and environmental fields, national defense and Party-building. China continues to progress in a comprehensive and remarkable way.

China sets out on a long march in the new era towards national rejuvenation. A new state leadership is elected by China’s national legislature. Xi Jinping is re-elected Chinese president by a unanimous vote. ‘Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era’ and the leadership of the Communist Party of China (CPC) as the defining feature of socialism with Chinese characteristicsare enshrined in the amended Constitution.China’s national legislature also adopts a massive cabinet restructuring plan to stamp out bureaucracy and improve governance efficiency, adopts the Supervision Law to toughen fight against corruption. While the cabinet reform strengthens the government’s functions on economic and social management, the adoption of the Supervision Law paves the way to build a more sophisticated and efficient national anti-corruption system. Under the new state leadership, these critical reforms will help China to achieve moderately prosperous society in all aspects by 2020,overall socialist modernization by 2035, and a great modern socialist country by mid 21stcentury, major goals set by the 19th National Congress of CPC last October.

China’s development is a blessing for the world. Over the years, China has remained the main engine of the world economy, contributing to more than 30% of world economic growth. China will open its door even wider to the world. It is estimated that in the next five years, China will import more than $10 trillion worth of goods and services, China’s foreign direct investment will exceed $750 billion, and outbound tourists exceeding 500 million, which will bring tremendous business opportunities to the world. The development of China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative will see more infrastructure connectivity to accelerate cross-border exchanges on more fronts, consolidating a new platform for fresh sources of global economic growth and shared prosperity for other countries. The country’s burgeoning middle-income population, at around 400 million now, offers a growing consumer market for overseas firms. China has decided to completely open up its general manufacturing sector to overseas investors this year, while market access to sectors like telecommunications, medical services, education, elderly care and new energy vehicles will also be expanded. The country’s success story offers other countries and regions new inspirations for growth and governance.

China commits to building a new type of international relations and a global community with a shared future.Codified into the amended Constitution are China’s foreign policy commitments to building a community with a shared future for mankind and adhering to the peaceful development path and the mutually beneficial strategy of opening-up. China would focus on forging a new type of international relations that feature mutual respect, fairness, justice and win-win cooperation and building an open, inclusive, clean and beautiful world that enjoys lasting peace, universal security and common prosperity.No matter what stage of development it reaches, China will stand for the equality of all countries, large or small, and will respect different civilizations and systems. China will stand up for small and weak countries, and help the least developed countries achieve better growth.China will be more active in helping to reform and improve the global governance system, engage in more constructive ways to settle regional and international issues by political means, and forge more effective partnerships to address various global challenges.

China-Africa friendshipwill remain unbreakable. China will remain true to its promise of sincerity, real results, friendship and good faith. As Africa’s brother and partner, China always attachesgreat importance to the needs and interests of African countries.Africa faces the twin challenges of maintaining peace and security and of promoting development and revitalization. In response to its needs, China will step up mediation in regional flashpoints. China will also enhance cooperation with African countries on unconventional security threats such as terrorism, piracy and natural disaster, and help with capacity building for ensuring peace and security. China welcomes African brothers and sisters to continue ride on China’s fast train of development. At a recent press conference held during the ‘Two Sessions’, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said,‘the FOCAC summit scheduled for September will bring together Chinese and African leaders again, 12 years after their last gathering in Beijing. They will discuss China-Africa cooperation in the new era and focus on jointly advancing the Belt and Road Initiative and turning China and Africa into a community with a shared future. By aligning the Belt and Road Initiative with the UN’s 2030 Agenda, the AU’s Agenda 2063 and the development strategies of individual African countries, we will give wings to China-Africa cooperation to help it soar to greater heights.’

(by H. E. Mr. ZHANG Jiming, Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to The Gambia)

Source: Picture: H.E. Mr. ZHANG Jiming