News / Asia

China's Top Legislative Body Aims to Push Reform

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang arrives at the opening session of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, March 3, 2014.
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang arrives at the opening session of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, March 3, 2014.
William Ide
— China's top legislative body begins its annual meetings Wednesday in Beijing, where the promotion of a broad and ambitious reform agenda launched by President Xi Jinping late last year, will be a top priority. The meeting will mark one year since Xi became China’s top leader and comes amid a rapidly expanding corruption crackdown as the pace of the world’s second largest economy slows.
 
China’s National People’s Congress is the world’s largest parliament with some 3,000 delegates.
 
At the opening ceremony Wednesday, Premier Li Keqiang will deliver a speech called the government work report - a lengthy address that is typically packed not only with Communist Party slogans, but clues regarding the country’s policy direction.
 
Li will also announce the government’s annual target for economic growth, which is widely expected to remain at 7.5 percent.
 
However, with China’s economy continuing to slow and growing concerns about massive local debt, some say China’s leaders could lower it to seven percent.
 
China’s economy has slowed dramatically in recent years from double-digit growth. The public has also become more vocal about environmental concerns and the country’s policy of growth at any cost.
 
Over the next eight and half days delegates at the meeting will be discussing some 68 bills, 11 of them focusing on the environment. Skies were clear Tuesday, but just recently Beijing’s air pollution was hovering around severe levels for days.
 
National People’s Congress spokeswoman Fu Ying says environmental legislation will be a top issue during this year’s meetings.
 
Fu Ying said the problem of smog has become a symbolic and difficult issue in many cities in China and increasingly more are being affected.  But it is not just air pollution, she says. The problem of water and soil pollution is even more serious.
 
Last fall, China’s president Xi Jinping unveiled a package of reforms aimed at overhauling the economy and promoting more competition between private enterprises and state-owned monopolies, which dominate China's economy. The reforms also seek to promote rule of law and abolish long-standing policies that hinder the equal distribution of wealth in the country of 1.35 billion people.

Fu Ying said it is the NPC's role to provide a legal backbone to massive reform project, Xi has initiated.
 
She said that when it comes to major reforms of public concern, delegates should draft, revise or abolish laws as needed to ensure that major reforms are carried out in accordance with the law.

Huang Jing, professor of public policy at the National University of Singapore, said for now, it is up to China's parliament to approve the reform plan. “This could be especially interesting and even more difficult than the previous years because the reforms policies cut deep into the current political and economic structure, which means there will be a massive re-distribution of power, privilege and interests,” Huang stated.

President Xi’s reforms deliberately aim to break monopolies of what Huang calls “the iron triangle:" state owned enterprises, the financial sector and local governments.
 
Xi has also taken steps, analysts say, to centralize his power. The president now heads three special committees: one on economic reform, another on security and a third focusing on the internet.
 
China’s president has also been aggressively promoting a crackdown on corruption in the country, which analysts say can also help remove obstacles to reform.

You May Like

Lebanese Media Unite to Support Palestinians in Gaza

Joint newscast billed as Arab world’s first unified news bulletin in support of Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip More

Photogallery Australian PM Alleges ‘Coverup’ at MH17 Crash Site

Meanwhile, Russia's ambassador to Malaysia denies plane's black boxes were opened before they were handed over to Malaysian officials More

Despite Advances in AIDS Treatment, Stigma Lingers

Leading immunologist tells VOA that stigma is often what prevents those infected with disease from seeking treatment More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Formi
X
July 22, 2014 10:26 AM
Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Chicago’s Argonne Lab Developing Battery of the Future

In 2012, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science awarded a $120 million grant to a new technology center focused on battery development - headquartered at Argonne National Laboratory in suburban Chicago, Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there scientists are making the next technological breakthroughs in energy storage.
Video

Video In NW Pakistan, Army Offensive Causes Massive Number of Displaced

Pakistan’s army offensive in North Waziristan has resulted in the large-scale displacement of the local population. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from northwest Pakistan where authorities say around 80 percent of the estimated 1 million internally displaced persons [IDPs] have settled in Bannu district, while much of the remaining 20 percent are scattered in nearby cities.
Video

Video Kurdish Peshmerga Force Secures Kirkuk, Its Oil

The Kurdistan regional government has sent its Peshmerga troops into the adjacent province of Kirkuk to drive out insurgents, and to secure the area's rich oil fields. By doing this, the regional government has added a fourth province to the three it officially controls. The oil also provides revenue that could make an independent Kurdistan economically strong. VOA’s Jeffrey Young went out with the Peshmerga and filed this report.
Video

Video Malaysia Reeling: Second Air Disaster in Four Months

Malaysia is reeling from the second air disaster in four months involving the country’s flag carrier. Flight 340 vanished in March and despite an extensive search, no debris has been found. And on Thursday, Flight 17, likely hit by a surface-to-air missile, came apart over eastern Ukraine. The two incidents together have left more than 500 people dead. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Kuala Lumpur.

AppleAndroid