By Dr. AUSTIN MAHO
The 14 conference of the yearly meeting of the National People’s Congress (NPC) and the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) also known as, “Two Sessions” ended last last week with far reaching decisions that promises to shape Chinese socio political and economic life at least for the next 5 years.
To underscore the importance of this gathering it is helpful to understand that the NPC is China’s top legislature. It supervises the government and judicial system and determines major state issues. The NPC also appoints and supervises the president, the chief justice and the chief prosecutor.
The CPPCC on the other hand is not a state organ but a top political advisory body. It facilitates the country’s multiparty cooperation and political consultation mechanism, led by the Communist Party of China (CPC).
As lawmakers, NPC deputies can submit suggestions which are legally binding once adopted. Meanwhile CPPCC members can put forward nonbinding proposals on major political and social issues.
The two sessions is not just a yearly political ritual but a gathering that plays an important role in endorsing the decisions of chinese ruling party and embodies the will and aspirations of 1.4 billion Chinese citizens.
This year’s two sessions was particularly significant because it culminates in the centenary celebration of the Communist Party of China which is celebrating its 100th anniversary on July 1, the 2021.
From a back water country in 1921, China in the last 100 years has gone through pain and starvation to become one of the greatest nations on earth second only to the United States. In the last five decades the successes of the CCP has been nothing but remarkable.
In recent times the sucesses and effectiveness of the Chinese one party system has been demonstrated in how it was able to contain COVID-19 and steer its economy on the path of growth.
While many developed nations were recording negative growth as a result of Covid – 19 China returned a healthy 2.3% growth last year.
Using a host of technology China has contained the coronavirus which firrst broke out in Wuhan in December 2019 and life has return to normal in the Communist country.
As the single most important political event of the year, in China the CCP has used the occasion to arrive at and announce some important policies and decisions.
The first is the passage of a new law that revises election laws in Hong Kong. The law, makes it impossible for pro-democracy activists to run for elected office at any level in Honk Kong. This new law has drawn the ire of western nation and prodemocracy bodies. However China has maintained its right of sovereignty over Hong Kong and the need to protect lives and systain peace and security in the Territory.
Significantly, this year’s two sessions also saw the unveiling of a new five-year plan and blueprint for economic development for the next fifteen years.
The strategic document shows how China intends to sustain economic growth in the years ahead
Major highlight of the five years development strategy includes achieving technological self-sufficiency and weaning itself of reliance on US and other western technology so China can rely on itself in the coming years especially in the areas of semiconductor
The section on science and technology in the new five-year plan spells out ambitious policies to achieve technological self-sufficiency with increased funding for research and development, a revamped national innovation system, and massive investments in sectors where China is most vulnerable to Western sanctions.
Another important aspect of the plan deals with China’s growth strategy tagged dual circulation. Under this strategy China plans to boost domestic consumption while encouraging export as a growth strategy. as a way of growing its economy. This expectedly will shield it from negative and unilateral tariff imposition as the recent case of trade war with the US has shown.
On the domestic economy, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said during the proceeding that job creation was a key focus of the CPC. The CPC he said plans to create 11 million new urban jobs in 2021 while targeting a 6% economic growth in 2021.
China’s growth in 2020 was 2.3%, which was the slowest pace in over 40 years. This was however the consequence of the coronavirus. China however remains the only major economy to have achieved significant growth in 2020..
China continues to prove to the rest of the world that its unique blend of communism with Chinese characteristics works. The annual gathering apart from being a platform for the announcement of key policy decision by the Chinese Communist Party also demonstrates Chinese democratic credentials. China is certainly not a Communist gulag as some people believe but has over the years evolved a process were decisions are reached through the consensus of elected representatives.