China's national legislature holds press conference ahead of annual session
  ·  2024-03-04  ·   Source: Xinhua News Agency


Lou Qinjian, spokesperson for the second session of the 14th National People's Congress (NPC), attends a press conference at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, capital of China, on March 4. The NPC, China's national legislature, held a press conference on March 4, one day ahead of the opening of its annual session (XINHUA)

The National People's Congress (NPC), China's national legislature, held a press conference on March 4, one day ahead of the opening of its annual session.

Lou Qinjian, spokesperson for the second session of the 14th NPC, briefed the press on the session scheduled to run from March 5 to 11.

All preparations have been completed for the session, which has seven items on its agenda, Lou said, adding that lawmakers will review six reports including a government work report, and deliberate a draft revision to the Organic Law of the State Council.

70th anniversary of NPC

Over the past 70 years, the system of the people's congresses has provided important institutional safeguards for China to create the "two miracles" of rapid economic development and long-term social stability, Lou said.

Fruitful 2023

In 2023, the 14th NPC and its standing committee achieved fruitful results in legislative work, ensuring a good start in its five-year term, Lou noted, highlighting the formulation of the food security law, the foreign relations law, and the revised company law.

Legislation for high-quality development

The NPC and its standing committee, through exercising the legislative power of the state, provide legal safeguards for the effective implementation of economic tasks and the promotion of high-quality development, Lou noted.

He said the NPC will focus its legislation on efforts to implement financial system reforms and promote the growth of private enterprises in order to institutionalize the outcomes of reforms through legislation and strengthen the internal forces driving economic growth.

The legislature will also formulate the tariff law, and enhance the foreign-related provisions in existing laws to continuously improve the business environment, he added.

Overall, the favorable conditions for China's development outweigh the unfavorable factors, Lou said, adding that the fundamental momentum of economic recovery and sound and sustained economic growth remains unchanged.

HKSAR basic law article 23 legislation

On the legislation of Article 23 of the Basic Law of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR), Lou said the NPC will continue to closely follow and fully support the legislative endeavors of the HKSAR government.

Completing the legislation for safeguarding national security as stipulated in the HKSAR Basic Law at the earliest opportunity is the constitutional duty of the special administrative region to safeguard national security, Lou noted.

He further emphasized that establishing a legal framework for safeguarding national security, including Article 23 legislation, is crucial for ensuring the lasting stability and security of the HKSAR.

Plans for media interactions

According to Lou, the press center for the session will host more press conferences and interviews of Chinese ministers. Ministers will take inquiries from domestic and foreign journalists on subjects including diplomacy, economy and people's livelihoods, offering authoritative interpretations of related policies and measures, the spokesperson said.

Furthermore, he said there will be open activities and interviews with NPC delegations and deputies.

The main concerns of society will be specifically addressed in the government work report, the report on the plan for national economic and social development and the budget report to be reviewed at the session, Lou said, adding that the three reports will be made public after being approved by the session.

"Based on the outlined plans, there won't be a press conference by the premier following the conclusion of the second session of the 14th NPC this year. Barring exceptional circumstances, premier press conferences will not be scheduled during subsequent years of the 14th NPC," said Lou.

Sci-tech cooperation

Regarding the competition in science and technology among countries, Lou said China has maintained that openness and cooperation is the right choice for exploring sci-tech frontiers and promoting sci-tech development, and related competition should follow the law of sci-tech development and comply with the rules of market economy.

"Decoupling, disruption of industrial and supply chains, and building 'a small yard with high fences' will only hinder global sci-tech progress, damage global industrial development, and widen global development gap," he said.

"By proposing the realization of great self-reliance and strength in science and technology, we are not aiming to carry out technological research and development behind closed doors, but are committed to promoting global sci-tech innovation collaboration," Lou noted.

Following up, the NPC and its standing committee will study and accelerate the legislation on sci-tech innovation, and constantly improve the country's sci-tech legal system, he added.

Defense expenditure 

A report on the draft central and local budgets, which includes the country's defense budget, will be reviewed during the session and made public afterward, according to Lou.

Lou said the country has maintained reasonable and stable growth in military spending on the whole, while promoting the sustained and healthy development of the economy and society.

China is committed to peaceful development, Lou said, adding that compared to major military powers like the United States, the percentages of China's military expenditure in GDP and government expenditure, as well as the defense expenditure in per capita and per-serviceperson terms, have been relatively low.

Supervision on additional government bonds

Lou noted that the NPC standing committee reviewed and approved in October last year an adjusted central budget plan, which proposed 1 trillion yuan (about $139 billion) in additional government bonds to support disaster relief and reconstruction in regions hit by heavy rains, floods, typhoons and other natural disasters in summer.

All the additional government bonds have been allocated to finance over 15,000 projects to safeguard and improve the livelihood of the people in the disaster-affected areas, Lou said, vowing to continue to supervise the management and use of additional government bonds.

Further opening-up

Commenting on the newly revised Counter-Espionage Law, Lou told the press conference that the revision has clarified what activities are lawful and what are unlawful, and enhanced the sense of certainty and security of foreign enterprises and individuals in China.

It does not target normal activities such as business operations, scientific cooperation and academic exchanges, Lou noted.

"We oppose the distortion of this law with the intention of smearing and undermining the business environment in China," he said.

Over the past few years, a number of laws have been adopted or revised to protect the legal rights and interests of foreigners and overseas enterprises and organizations in China. "China will keep its door wide open and not close it," Lou said.

Revision to organic law of the State Council

At the session, lawmakers will review a draft revision to the Organic Law of the State Council. Hailing the constructive role the law has played over the past more than 40 years, Lou said that the top legislature has solicited public opinion on the draft revision, and the revision will codify the guiding principles reflected in the reform of Party and state institutions.

Consistent stance on China-U.S. relations

Regarding China-U.S. relations, China has been holding the consistent stance that the two countries should promote the stable, healthy and sustainable development of their relations based on the principles of mutual respect, peaceful coexistence and win-win cooperation, Lou said.

The legislatures of the two countries have maintained contact via various channels despite multiple obstacles over the past few years, Lou said, urging the legislatures to play a constructive role in promoting the stable development of China-U.S. relations by conducting more interactions and dialogues.

Enhanced cooperation with neighbors

Noting that China's neighborhood occupies a top priority on its diplomatic agenda, Lou said China has been committed to the right path of long-term good-neighborliness and joint development and prosperity along with other countries within the region.

China has also worked with those countries in advancing the building of a community with a shared future for humanity, yielding fruitful results, said the spokesperson.

"China opposes bloc rivalry and exclusionary groups, and its cooperation with neighboring countries is open and inclusive, rather than exclusive," Lou said, adding that China will strive to allow more neighboring countries to benefit from Chinese modernization.

Improving work related to lawmakers

Commending the newly established committee on work related to NPC deputies under the NPC Standing Committee, Lou said work in the field will continue to improve this year to help lawmakers better perform duties.

China Focus
Special Reports
About Us
Contact Us
Advertise with Us
Partners:   |   China Today   |   China Hoy   |   China Pictorial   |   People's Daily Online   |   Women of China   |   Xinhua News Agency
China Daily   |   CGTN   |   China Tibet Online   |   China Radio International   |   Global Times   |   Qiushi Journal
Copyright Beijing Review All rights reserved 京ICP备08005356号 京公网安备110102005860