The 12th National People's Congress (NPC), China's top legislature, opened its second annual session at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on March 5. Nearly 3,000 elected deputies were in attendance at the session.
Beijing Review interviewed deputies to the 12th NPC. Excerpts follow:
Zong Qinghou, NPC deputy and CEO of Wahaha Group Co. Ltd.
"Genetically modified (GM) food is a controversial topic. According to the law in China, GM food needs to be identifiable and clearly labeled. Unfortunately, many products containing GM food have failed to do so. I think the public's right to know should be protected. They will buy clearly labeled GM products if they accept them."
Zhong Nanshan, NPC deputy and a renowned respirologist
"Expensive medical bills and poor access to quality medical services remain unsolved. Doctor-patient tension remains unchanged. The motivation of medical workers has not changed, as the current cost of medical services in China is low. These are core issues of the national medical reform."
Lei Jun, NPC deputy and founder of China's smartphone maker Xiaomi Corp.
"The usage of big data is the trend of the next online generation, but much attention should be paid to user privacy."
Wu Shimin, NPC deputy and Vice Director of the Ethnic Affairs Commission under the NPC
"Dealing with underground pollution is more difficult than dealing with smog. Underground pollution is easily to be neglected since we can't feel it. Cutting emissions and reducing driving days may work for controlling smog but fail to solve underground problems."
Huang Taiyan, NPC deputy and President of Liaoning University in northeast China's Liaoning Province
"The Chinese Government is trying to stimulate domestic consumption as consumers tend to shop abroad. The core of China's economic transformation is product quality, brands and credibility, which should be upgraded through innovative technology. The development of both the Chinese and American economy is mutually beneficial to one another. We will meet the U.S. consumers' need for quality products after China's economic transformation."
Zhang Mingmin, NPC deputy and a renowned singer from Hong Kong Special Administrative Region
"Friction occasionally happens between people from the Chinese mainland and Hong Kong, but more communication and better respect for each other's traditional customs and lifestyle will deepen our relationship."
Qian Zongfei, NPC deputy and Vice President of the Zhangjiakou Federation of Literature and Art Circles
"Zhangjiakou is being competitive in the joint bid [with Beijing] for the 2022 Winter Olympic Games. The city has high rate of green coverage and a ski resort. It will take only half an hour from the city to Beijing by high-speed train. The whole city has high expectations for the bid."