China’s Two Sessions 2019

China’s Two Sessions 2019

China’s annual meeting of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) and the National People’s Congress (NPC), its political advisory and legislative bodies, is a key event in the

country’s political calendar.

China hopes this new law will keep foreign businesses happy
China approved its new foreign investment law on Friday, as Beijing sends friendly signals to global businesses amid the ongoing US-China trade war. The final draft of foreign investment law, approved by the rubber-stamp parliamentary body the National People’s Congress, will come into effect on January 1, 2020. Beijing has rushed to introduce the law in an effort to fend off complaints from the US and Europe about China’s discrimination against foreign businesses. The new law was first introduced as a draft in 2015, but its progress picked up markedly since the middle of last year, when Donald Trump started a trade war to address what he called unfair trade practices by Beijing. The law at
Open dissent is rising in China’s halls of power
It's not filibustering or parliamentary brawls, but there are signs of open dissent in the air at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. To many, Beijing’s annual meetings of its policymaking bodies – its rubber-stamp legislature the National People’s Congress (NPC) and advisory body the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) – are scripted, boring fare. But there appeared to be more dissenting voices – although still mild by nature – at this year’s parliamentary sessions, even though President Xi Jinping faces no real challenge to his power. Most of these voices are heard in relation to China’s foreign policy, with the country locked in a costly trade war with the Unit
Behind the scenes in Beijing
With China’s “Two Sessions” parliamentary meetings underway, the’s world photographers are in Bejiing. And it’s not all about halls full of delegates in dark suits. Here’s a selection of the most interesting behind-the-scenes snaps from the week. Interested in in-depth analysis and news from the Two Sessions annual legislative meetings? Check out the South China Morning Post’s detailed coverage.
A new Chinese law will put the focus back on the countryside
As manufacturing and exports turned China into an economic powerhouse in the last few decades, the country has urbanized at a pace and scale never before seen in history. But as the economy slows and the costs of urban migration become apparent, Beijing is trying to shift the focus back to the farmlands. Chinese lawmakers are drafting a law to underpin an ambitious campaign to revitalize China’s rural areas – part of President Xi Jinping’s plan to make China a strong modern country by 2050. The plan calls for rural areas to have prosperous industries and farmers with raised living standards, but not at the expense of the environment, within the next three decades. Speaking in Beijing on Sat
Reading China’s tea leaves
China's “Two Sessions” is a highly choreographed set of meetings, with delegates from across the country coming to Beijing mostly to rubber-stamp legislation.  Often it can be a snoozefest – but if you look closely, you might be able to find a few hints as what’s going on behind the scenes of the Communist Party’s pageantry. From tea cups to grey hair to sexual assault allegations, Adam White breaks down some of the signs behind this year's meeting.  
China’s state-run tech drive is a waste of cash, says outspoken official
Donald Trump has found a rare supporter within the Chinese administration – one who joins him in opposing Beijing's ambitious industrial upgrade plan. China’s former finance minister Lou Jiwei has called “Made in China 2025” a waste of taxpayers’ money, in a bold attack on the industrial program that has become a flashpoint in the US-China trade war. “[Made in China] 2025 has been a lot of talking but very little was done,” Lou Jiwei, who was finance minister from 2013 to 2016, said on Wednesday on the sidelines of Beijing’s annual “two sessions” parliamentary meetings. “There was no need to talk about the year 2025 in the first place,” Lou said. “[The government] wants industries to be at t
China is about to ban forced technology transfer
China might just have made a major concession in the US-China trade war – just as long as it keeps its word. The nation is expected to pass a new law next week to make forced technology transfer illegal while also lowering barriers for foreign firms to enter the domestic market, a senior economic planning official said on Wednesday. “China will roll out more opening-up measures in the agriculture, mining, manufacturing and service sectors, allowing wholly foreign-owned enterprises in more fields,” said Ning Jizhe, a vice-chairman of the National Development and Reform Commission, in Beijing on Wednesday during the National People’s Congress. In addition, China will set up a special task for
Inkstone answers: where China’s politicians stay in Beijing and more
As China’s elites gather in Beijing for the country’s “two sessions” political meetings, we’ve invited readers to ask the questions they want answers to. So there are the answers to your questions on everything from swanky hotel stays to drinking tap water. Subscribe to our newsletter and let us know what else you want to know about. Q: Why does the meeting last two weeks if it’s mostly rubber-stamping? A: Rituals are key to Communist Party politics. Although important decisions have already been made by a small group of leaders (and as some have argued, by Xi Jinping himself), the party needs to demonstrate that people’s voices are somehow heard in its system. During the two weeks, the Nat
Xi Jinping is letting his hair go gray
China’s most powerful man is letting himself go gray. When Chinese leaders show up together at the annual parliamentary gathering this week, it’s not just their speeches that go under the spotlight. Their outfits, body language and appearance are all carefully studied by those who wish to gauge the mysterious inner workings of the Communist Party. This year, one thing that’s particularly excited China watchers is none other the color of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s hair. It appears to be going from jet black to just a little silver. One hypothesis: hair is all about the "head"—that is, the head of the Party-state. Xi has upended many seeming norms & we can add to the list his shift from je
Cringe with us at China’s parliamentary propaganda rap
Chinese state news agency Xinhua has published an English-language propaganda rap video all about the “two sessions” – the country’s annual parliamentary meetings. Performed by rapper Su Han, who rose to fame in popular reality show Sing! China, the video celebrates China’s recent developments, including its landing on the far side of the moon, its battles against pollution and poverty, and its greening campaign. While hip hop culture and propaganda don’t seem like natural bedfellows, in recent years the government has increasingly been making use of rap to sell its message. Check out our video, above, for a taste. Interested in in-depth analysis and news from the Two Sessions? Check out the