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'Two sessions' 2014: What's new this year?

The second annual session of China's 12th NPC closed in Beijing Thursday morning.
The second annual session of China's 12th NPC closed in Beijing Thursday morning.
(Zhenyu Li/People's Daily Online)

BEIJING, China — The National People's Congress (NPC) and Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), known as the "two sessions", two of China's most important annual political conventions, conclude Thursday in Beijing, with deepening reforms high on the agenda.

More than 5,000 national lawmakers and political advisors gathered in the capital of China for the yearly 10-day event in an effort to discuss policies and come up with proposals for steering the world's second-largest economy forward.

There have been various topics coming out of this year's two sessions, but the main theme has been deepening reforms. The government work report by Premier Li Keqiang referred to "reforms" 77 times, indicating China's resolve to reform.

"I think the government work report is quite impressive," Ian Fok Chun-wan, a Hong Kong deputy of the 12th NPC and chief executive officer of the Fok Ying Tung Group, told this journalist during the two sessions at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.

"The central government under the new leadership has done very well, especially I think not so much for short-term interventions and so on, but more about long-term economic reforms, you know, allowing the market to play a decisive role in the economy. And I think it's very positive."

Other hotly-discussed topics during the two sessions were environmental issues, social security, income distribution, the fight against corruption, property issues, medical reform, inflation and commodity prices, food and drug safety, etc.

(This is a reprint from the People's Daily Online of the March 14, 2014 edition.)