Economic Development at the “Two Sessions”

First session of 13th NPC and the 13th National Committee of the CPPCC are convening separate sessions to provide guidance and a framework for China’s economic development in the years ahead.

By Sajjad Malik

China has achieved considerable progress over the last four decades since it embarked on a journey of economic transformation and opening up through a series of reforms, radically transforming the landscape of the country in the process.

Now, the 13th National People’s Congress (NPC) and the 13th National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) are convening separate sessions to provide guidance and a framework for economic development in the years ahead.

Known together as the “two sessions,” the pair of annual meetings are different in their composition and roles. The NPC is the  highest legislative arm of the state like the parliaments elsewhere, while the CPPCC is essentially a political advisory body. Their mission is one and same: to promote national interest and expedite development to make the country more strong and prosperous.

The sessions are taking place just two years ahead of the government’s 2020 deadline to achieve a “moderately prosperous country.” The goal is ostensibly intended to banish chronic poverty and create a society where no one is without food, shelter or other basic necessities.

President Xi Jinping has been personally monitoring the implementation of policies to speed up social and economic uplift of the masses. As part of his keen interest in the projects of public welfare, Xi for the last many years has been undertaking extensive tours of backward regions just ahead of the start of New Year, so that he could see the progress on ground.

It is essential that the two sessions help to translate Xi’s social and economic idea into reality.

The 13th CPPCC National Committee started its session on Saturday, with the president and top leaders joining more than 2,100 CPPCC members in attendance.

Yu Zhengsheng, chairman of the 13th CPPCC National Committee, delivered a work report, saying, “We will focus our advice and efforts on the main issues in securing a decisive victory in building a moderately prosperous society in all respects and embarking on a journey to fully build a modern socialist China.”

The key part of the report is about efforts to eliminate poverty. Yu said that multiple institutions are working in unison to address the issue. There was acknowledgment of the problems linked with penury and more of a focus on policies to deal with it.

The meeting is set to continue for two weeks. CPPCC members are expected to discuss major political, economic and social issues faced by China and come up with policy prescriptions to address them.

With about 3,000 members participating, the NPC on Monday also started its own session, which will conclude on the morning of March 20.

Zhang Yesui, spokesperson for the first session of the 13th National People’s Congress, told media ahead of the meeting that the assembly would deliberate on a draft revision to China’s Constitution, as well as a draft supervision law and a reform plan for State Council institutions.

Officials claim that these decisions will play a role in keeping the country united and stable while furthering economic development.


Sajjad Malik is a columnist with

Opinion articles reflect the views of their authors, not necessarily those of China Focus