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.
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

Video Iran Nuclear Deal Becomes US Campaign Issue

Voters in three crucial battleground states - Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania - overwhelmingly oppose nuclear deal with Iran More

With IS in Coalition Cross-Hairs, al-Qaida's Syria Affiliate Reemerges

Jabhat al-Nusra has rebounded, increasingly casting itself as a critical player in battle for Syria’s future More

Lessons Learned From Katrina, 10 Years Later

FEMA chief Craig Fugate says key changes include better preparation, improved coordination among state, federal assistance agencies 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.
Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalatesi
X
August 27, 2015 2:08 AM
Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Is China's Economic Data Accurate?

Some investors say China's wild stock market gyrations have been made worse by worries about the reliability of that nation's economic data. And some critics say the reports can mislead investors by painting an unrealistically-strong picture of the economy. A key China scholar says Beijing is not fudging ((manipulating)) the numbers, but that the economy is evolving quickly from smoke-stack industries to services, and the ways of tracking new economic activity are falling behind the change. V
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Shipping Containers Provide Experimental Housing

Housing prices around the San Francisco Bay area are out of reach for many people, so some young entrepreneurs, artists and tech industry workers are creating their own houses using converted shipping containers. But as VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Oakland, the effort requires ingenuity and dealing with restrictive local laws.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video Technique May Eliminate Drill-and-Fill Dental Care

Many people dread visiting dentists because they're afraid of drills. Now, however, a technology developed by a British firm promises to eliminate the need for mechanical cleaning of dental cavities by speeding a natural process of tooth repair. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.
Video

Video French Experiment in Integrating Roma Under Threat

Plans to destroy France’s oldest slum have sparked an outcry on the part of its Roma residents. As Lisa Bryant reports from the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, rights groups argue the community is a fledgling experiment on integrating Roma who are often outcasts in many parts of Europe.
Video

Video Kenyans Turn to Agriculture for Business

Each year Kenyan universities continue to churn out graduates for the job market despite the already existing high rate of unemployment among youth in the country. Some of these young men and women have realized that agriculture can be as rewarding as any other business or job, and they are resorting to agribusiness in large numbers as a way of tackling unemployment. Rael Ombuor reports for VOA.
Video

Video First Women Graduate Elite Army Ranger School

Two women are making history for the U.S. Army by proving they are among the toughest of the tough. VOA's Carla Babb reports from Fort Benning, Georgia as 94 men and those two women rise as graduates of the difficult Ranger school.

VOA Blogs