2017 Lianghui: This Year’s Hot Topics
“Lianghui”, meaning two meetings, is the annual plenary meeting of two of China’s major policy-making bodies: The Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) and the National People’s Congress (NPC). Read on to learn what topics will likely be covered at this year’s meeting.
It’s March, which means the Lianghui is once again upon us! “Lianghui“(两会), meaning two meetings, is the annual plenary meeting of two of China’s major policy-making bodies: The Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) and the National People’s Congress (NPC). Made up of over 2000 representatives that are a cross-section of the highest achieving individuals in Chinese ethnic groups, academia, business, and etc, these two governing bodies function in tandem as consultants and implementers. The annual March meeting of the NPC and CPPCC in Beijing provides an opportunity to review the past year and map a plan for the future of the nation.
Let’s take a closer look at what topics are on the table for discussion this year:
- Income Distribution: Similarly to the US, China has a large wealth gap that it is working to address. One of the major topics at this year’s lianghui will include the poverty alleviation efforts that were started last year, with a goal to “end poverty” by 2020.
- National Sovereignty Interests: It has been a tumultuous year for the issues surrounding the South China Sea, Taiwan and Chinese national sovereignty. With the election of President Trump, whose position on these issues remains unclear, it is likely that this will be a hot topic of discussion at the Two Sessions.
- Economic Stabilization: According to a report published by the National Bureau of Statistics, GDP growth has slowed for the sixth year in a row and is now at 6.7%. With a still hot housing market, a waning manufacturing industry, and ghost cities full of unused infrastructure belying a severe lack of demand, leaders at this year’s lianghui will need to examine the current economic trajectory China is following, and how to stabilize it as the country continues to develop.
- Environmental Degradation: Hand-in-hand with the issue of development is how to do it sustainably. With new initiatives encouraging technological innovation and a push for food safety and a healthier environment by the public, this issue is sure to be brought up again this year.
Two factors that will underpin all of the discussion as unspoken subtext are the issues of leadership transition in the Communist Party later this year, as well as the unknown that is President Trump. Because of this, it’s likely that the official outcome year’s lianghui will not be taking many risks, but the discussion behind closed doors is bound to be interesting! Check back after the lianghui comes to a close for updates about the meeting outcomes.
Sources: South China Morning Post