Land­mark Ses­sions Chart New Course

China sets sail with an amended Con­sti­tu­tion that en­shrines Xi Jin­ping Thought on So­cial­ism with Chinese Char­ac­ter­is­tics for a New Era as the guid­ing prin­ci­ple for the coun­try’s rise.

China Pictorial (English) - - CONTENTS - Con­cept by Chi­napic­to­rial

China set new course for de­vel­op­ment dur­ing the re­cent an­nual “Two Ses­sions” where nearly 3,000 na­tional leg­is­la­tors and over 2,000 top po­lit­i­cal ad­vis­ers met in Beijing to dis­cuss and de­cide on crit­i­cal is­sues con­cern­ing the coun­try’s fu­ture.

The first ses­sion of the 13th Na­tional Peo­ple’s Congress (NPC) opened on March 5 and lasted half a month, and the first ses­sion of the 13th Na­tional Com­mit­tee of the Chinese Peo­ple’s Po­lit­i­cal Con­sul­ta­tive Con­fer­ence (CPPCC) convened on March 3 and con­cluded on March 15. The ses­sions were the first high-pro­file na­tional po­lit­i­cal gath­er­ings since the 19th Na­tional Congress of the Com­mu­nist Party of China (CPC) last Oc­to­ber and car­ried tremen­dous sig­nif­i­cance as China marches to­ward the goals set by the mile­stone Party congress—to ba­si­cally re­al­ize so­cial­ist mod­ern­iza­tion by 2035 and build a great mod­ern so­cial­ist coun­try that is pros­per­ous, strong, demo­cratic, cul­tur­ally ad­vanced, har­mo­nious and beau­ti­ful by the mid­dle of the cen­tury.

Ac­cord­ing to this year’s gov­ern­ment work re­port, China aims to grow its GDP by about 6.5 per­cent in 2018, which is con­sis­tent with last year’s tar­get. Look­ing to greener and more sus­tain­able en­gines such as con­sump­tion and ser­vices, the world’s sec­ond-largest econ­omy is show­ing a clear in­ten­tion to shift from high-speed growth to high-qual­ity de­vel­op­ment. To achieve the growth tar­get, China will also open its doors wider to for­eign in­vestors, fur­ther lib­er­al­ize and fa­cil­i­tate trade and in­vest­ment and bet­ter in­te­grate with the in­ter­na­tional mar­ket.

To im­prove the peo­ple’s liv­ing stan­dards, China will ad­vance in­sti­tu­tional so­cial re­forms this year, cov­er­ing old-age pen­sions, pub­lic hos­pi­tals and health­care. Greater ef­forts will be made to boost em­ploy­ment, raise in­comes, re­lieve poverty and re­duce dis­par­i­ties in ur­ban­rural de­vel­op­ment.

China rolled out a mas­sive in­sti­tu­tional re­struc­tur­ing plan of the State Coun­cil, or China’s cabinet, to cut bu­reau­cracy. The

na­tional leg­is­la­ture ap­proved a plan to cut 15 State Coun­cil en­ti­ties at the min­is­te­rial or vice-min­is­te­rial lev­els and strengthen the cabinet’s roles in eco­nomic man­age­ment, mar­ket su­per­vi­sion, so­cial man­age­ment, pub­lic ser­vices, and en­vi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tion. The in­sti­tu­tional re­form of the cabinet, the eighth since 1982, is ex­pected to make the gov­ern­ment bet­ter struc­tured, more ef­fi­cient and more ser­vice-ori­ented.

Un­veil­ing spe­cific goals and pri­or­i­ties for this year’s work as it con­ven­tion­ally has, China also elected new state lead­er­ship to work to­wards these am­bi­tions. Xi Jin­ping was re-elected pres­i­dent of the Peo­ple’s Repub­lic of China (PRC) unan­i­mously by the NPC and he took the oath of al­le­giance to the Con­sti­tu­tion in pub­lic. This was the first time a Chinese pres­i­dent took such an oath upon as­sum­ing of­fice, only six days af­ter the na­tional leg­is­la­ture added oaths of al­le­giance into the newly amended fun­da­men­tal law. Xi was also elected chair­man of the Cen­tral Mil­i­tary Com­mis­sion of the PRC. Fol­low­ing his lead, new heads of other state or­gans all took the oath of al­le­giance to the Con­sti­tu­tion in­clud­ing the NPC, the State Coun­cil, the Na­tional Su­per­vi­sory Com­mis­sion, the Supreme Peo­ple’s Court and the Supreme Peo­ple’s Procu­ra­torate. This move is part of

the Chinese lead­er­ship’s re­newed com­mit­ment to the rule of law.

The Na­tional Su­per­vi­sory Com­mis­sion, en­dorsed by the amended Con­sti­tu­tion, is a newly founded body in­tended to strengthen China’s fight against cor­rup­tion. The NPC passed the na­tional su­per­vi­sion law to serve as a fun­da­men­tal and guid­ing reg­u­la­tion to fight cor­rup­tion and im­prove state su­per­vi­sion as part of an ef­fort to guar­an­tee re­form of the su­per­vi­sory sys­tem. A na­tion­wide net­work of su­per­vi­sory com­mis­sions has taken shape in China. Shar­ing of­fices and staff with the Party dis­ci­plinary in­spec­tors, the su­per­vi­sory com­mis­sions in­cor­po­rated ex­ist­ing su­per­vi­sory, cor­rup­tion preven­tion and con­trol agen­cies within gov­ern­ments and procu­ra­torates. The com­mis­sions are ex­pected to in­de­pen­dently ex­er­cise su­per­vi­sory power without in­ter­fer­ence from the gov­ern­ment, so­cial or­ga­ni­za­tions or in­di­vid­u­als.

Most im­por­tantly, the Con­sti­tu­tion en­shrines Xi Jin­ping Thought on So­cial­ism with Chinese Char­ac­ter­is­tics for a New Era as the guid­ing prin­ci­ple for the coun­try’s rise as the NPC adopted the first amend­ment to the fun­da­men­tal law in 14 years. Deemed the lat­est achievement in adapt­ing Marx­ism to the Chinese con­text, the Thought is a form of Marx­ism for con­tem­po­rary China and the 21st cen­tury.

As the cur­tains closed on the Two Ses­sions, China set sail with its peo­ple primed to fight for a bet­ter life in the new era. The tar­get of build­ing a mod­er­ately pros­per­ous so­ci­ety in all re­spects is only two years away. Pre­cisely as Pres­i­dent Xi said at the clos­ing meet­ing of the NPC an­nual ses­sion, “The new era be­longs to each and ev­ery one of us, and ev­ery one of us is part of this new era, wit­ness­ing, blaz­ing new trails and build­ing this new era.”

March 18, 2018: Xi Jin­ping (left, front) shakes hands with Li Ke­qiang at the sixth ple­nary meet­ing of the first ses­sion of the 13th Na­tional Peo­ple’s Congress (NPC) at the Great Hall of the Peo­ple in Beijing. Li Ke­qiang was en­dorsed as Chinese premier...

March 17, 2018: Xi Jin­ping is elected Chinese pres­i­dent and chair­man of the Cen­tral Mil­i­tary Com­mis­sion of the Peo­ple’s Repub­lic of China at the fifth ple­nary meet­ing of the first ses­sion of the 13th Na­tional Peo­ple’s Congress (NPC) at the Great Hall...

March 17, 2018: Li Zhan­shu (left, front) shakes hands with Zhang De­jiang, chair­man of the Stand­ing Com­mit­tee of the 12th Na­tional Peo­ple’s Congress (NPC), at the fifth ple­nary meet­ing of the first ses­sion of the 13th NPC at the Great Hall of the Peo­ple...

March 14, 2018: Yu Zheng­sheng (right), chair­man of the 12th Na­tional Com­mit­tee of the Chinese Peo­ple’s Po­lit­i­cal Con­sul­ta­tive Con­fer­ence (CPPCC), shakes hands with Wang Yang at the fourth ple­nary meet­ing of the first ses­sion of the 13th CPPCC Na­tional...

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