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NPC & CPPCC Sessions Wrap-Up
Cover Stories Series 2012> NPC & CPPCC Sessions Wrap-Up
UPDATED: March 12, 2012 NO.11 MARCH 15, 2012
Focusing on Quality Growth

The National People's Congress (NPC) and the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) held in March are the biggest annual events on China's political calendar. Nearly 3,000 NPC deputies and more than 2,000 CPPCC National Committee members gather in Beijing, hearing and deliberating on the government work report delivered by Premier Wen Jiabao and discussing other issues on social and economic development.

This year marks the second year of China's 12th Five-Year Plan (2011-15) and also the last year of the current government. The NPC and CPPCC sessions are an important event before the convening of the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China. Given the unclear global economic prospects and increasing difficulties in its own economic transition, it is crucial for China to make the right decisions on its future economic and political development.

The NPC and the CPPCC are also a window for people to observe China's political and economic development. Before the opening of this year's NPC and CPPCC, People.com.cn, one of China's major websites, held an online survey on the issues most important to Chinese people today. Around 1.55 million netizens responded. The survey shows that social security, income distribution, medical reform, social management, education equality, issues concerning agriculture, the countryside and farmers, anti-corruption work, commodity prices, food safety and housing prices are the hottest issues.

Premier Wen responded to these issues one by one in his report on March 5. He said the top task of the government this year is to promote steady and robust economic growth, with a target economic growth rate of 7.5 percent, the first time that China has lowered its expectation on economic growth to below 8 percent in eight years. It implies that China has put more emphasis on the quality of its economic growth, instead of the speed.

Apart from the adjustment of the economic structure, the lowered target also means the Central Government is resolved to make economic growth benefit more people and ensure people's incomes keep up with the country's economic growth pace.

PM2.5, which stands for fine particulate matter in the air, has been a buzz word in China since last year. Some cities, including Beijing, have included the concentration of PM 2.5 in the air into their daily air quality forecast. This year, the problem about PM2.5 was mentioned on the government work report.

The Central Government has also decided to allocate 4 percent of the country's GDP to education. The increased proportion of education spending will help to increase the capital input to the central and western regions, the rural areas and other less developed areas.

The word "reform" appeared nearly 70 times in Premier Wen's report this year, and it was always strengthened by phrases like "to be pushed forward with greater decision." All this implies this term of government's resolute attitude toward reform in its last year in office.

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