Tue, 18 May 2021

© Provided by Xinhua

BEIJING, March 5 (Xinhua) -- China's national legislature opened its annual session Friday morning in Beijing.

Xi Jinping and other Chinese leaders -- Li Keqiang, Wang Yang, Wang Huning, Zhao Leji, Han Zheng and Wang Qishan -- attended the opening meeting of the fourth session of the 13th National People's Congress (NPC), held at the Great Hall of the People.

Li Zhanshu, executive chairperson of the presidium for the session, presided over the meeting.

Premier Li Keqiang delivered a government work report on behalf of the State Council to the legislature for deliberation.

In his report, the premier reviewed the work of 2020 and the achievements made during the 13th Five-Year Plan (2016-2020) period. He also introduced primary goals for the 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-2025) period and major tasks for 2021.

The past year was an extraordinary one for China. Under the strong leadership of the Communist Party of China Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at the core, China has achieved progress that is satisfactory to the people and has attracted global attention, the premier said.

He noted that the State Council has drawn up a draft outline specifying the main goals and tasks for the 14th Five-Year Plan period, which has been submitted to the session for review.

The document -- the draft outline of the 14th Five-Year Plan for national economic and social development and the long-range objectives through the year 2035 -- focuses on improving the quality and efficiency of development to maintain the economy's sustained and healthy growth, he said.

A raft of goals was set for the country for 2021 in the government work report, including a GDP growth of over 6 percent, an increase of more than 11 million new urban jobs and a consumer inflation target of around 3 percent.

The report also listed eight tasks for 2021, including keeping major economic indicators within an appropriate range, advancing reforms in key areas and further energizing market entities.

In addition to the draft outline, NPC deputies will also review the report on the implementation of the 2020 plan and on the 2021 draft plan for national economic and social development, the draft plan for national economic and social development in 2021, the report on the execution of the central and local budgets for 2020 and on the draft central and local budgets for 2021, and the draft central and local budgets for 2021.

Wang Chen, vice chairman of the NPC Standing Committee, explained the draft amendments to the NPC organic law and procedural rules that have been submitted to national lawmakers for deliberation.

Amending the NPC organic law will further improve the organizational and work systems of the NPC and its standing committee, while amending the NPC procedural rules offers an institutional guarantee for upholding whole-process democracy and safeguarding and developing the role of the people as masters of the country, Wang said when reading an explanatory document of the drafts.

Wang also delivered an explanatory speech on a draft decision on improving the electoral system of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR).

The rioting and turbulence that occurred in the Hong Kong society reveals that the existing electoral system in the HKSAR has clear loopholes and deficiencies, Wang said, adding that necessary measures must be taken to improve the system to ensure the administration of Hong Kong by Hong Kong people with patriots as the main body.

Explaining the overarching approach for improving the electoral system, Wang said the overall design of the system will be centered around the reformation and greater empowerment of the Election Committee of the HKSAR. This design is aimed to form a new democratic electoral system suited to Hong Kong's realities and with Hong Kong characteristics, he added.

A two-step approach, namely, "decision plus amendment," will be adopted, Wang said, adding that the NPC will make a decision on improving the system in the first step, while in the second step, the NPC Standing Committee will amend Annex I and Annex II to the HKSAR Basic Law. The amended Annex I and Annex II will contain specific and express provisions on the new democratic electoral system of the HKSAR, he said.

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