Two Sessions Daily Rollup for March 4th and March 5th

Two Sessions

The Two Sessions, the annual, concurrent meeting of the National People’s Congress (NPC) and the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), is underway in Beijing. The event is significant because China uses it to set various objectives for the country as well as to appoint officials to various senior-level roles, such as Foreign Affairs Minister. Below are some of the most notable events that occurred during the first two days of the meeting.

March 5th

NPC

Chinese Premier Li Qiang gave his first Government Work Report during the NPC’s second session.

The NPC released a report for China’s 2024 draft budget during its second session, which showed the defense budget will be approximately $230.6 billion USD (1.67 trillion RMB). The budget is the third year China’s defense budget is above seven percent, and it is the second year the budget rose by 7.2 percent. The increase came as the country’s economy continued to slow down amid real estate, increased youth unemployment, and several other economic crises.

Graphic showing China’s national defense budget from 2019 to 2024 (Photo: Global Times)

Chairman of Wuhan Guide Infrared Co. and NPC deputy Huang Li submitted a proposal to increase the Research and Development (R&D) of implantable Brain-Computer Interface (BCI) technology. Huang said that R&D will allow China to domestically produce both BCI systems and products that would allow the country to dominate the emerging industry. His proposal specifically called for the improvement of laws and regulations to enable companies in the field to overcome institutional barriers in the industry. Huang said that BCI technology has several applications in both the healthcare and medical fields, such as disease detection and diagnosis, and health screening and monitoring. Furthermore, he also pointed out that the technology can help treat and rehabilitate individuals with various neurological and psychiatric diseases.

Guo Guoping, NPC delegate and Deputy Director (DD) for the Chinese Academy of Sciences’ Key Laboratory of Quantum Information, proposed that China develop and expand domestic manufacturing and supply chains for quantum computers. Guo is also the chief scientist at the Anhui-based quantum technology company, Origin Quantum Computing Technology Co. He also wrote another proposal that called for increasing the improvement of China’s quantum computing power to assist in the development of various industries.

China’s Minister of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, Tang Renjian, said that the country’s 2023 possession ratio of grain per capita was approximately 1087 lbs. (493 kg). Tang said the ministry will focus on stabilizing areas where grain is planted along with its output by optimizing policy support and increasing disaster prevention and reduction.

CPPCC

A CPPCC delegate, Dai Houliang, proposed that China should increase the development of its energy industry to make the country energy self-sufficient. Dai said one way to accomplish this was to increase its emphasis on developing China’s green and low-carbon energy industries to become a world leader. However, he also said that China should also continue to develop and use new technologies to find and exploit oil and natural deposits in the country.

March 4th

NPC

China announced that the Premier’s press conference will not be held after the end of this year’s NPC, according to the spokesperson of the 14th NPC Second Session. Instead, the State Council representatives of the relevant departments will hold three separate press conferences to discuss significant issues related to diplomacy, the economy, and people’s job prospects.

The agenda for the NPC did not include any personnel appointments to be decided upon during the meeting, according to the NPC’s website.

CPPCC

The DD for the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) and DD for CPPCC’s Economic Committee, Ning Jizhe, said he prepared proposals for fertilizer and grain security.

Qiu Huadong, a CPPCC delegate and political advisor, proposed that China adopt regulations that clarified copyright protection issues regarding A.I. and copyright infringement. Qiu pointed out that infringement is the most significant obstacle that would prevent the industry from flourishing. He highlighted how A.I. developers commonly use enormous amounts of copyrighted material to train and develop the A.I.’s algorithms without receiving permission from or compensating the holders. However, he also pointed out that the biggest issue is that the owners of the material lack a clear understanding of A.I. and how it is used in their programs, which violates China’s Copyright Law.

CPPCC Chairman Wang Huning gave his annual work report during the first meeting of the session. Wang stated in his speech that for the conference to successfully complete the duties of the CPPCC’s 14th National Committee and achieve results, it has to focus on the four points:

  • Abide by the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) leadership over the CPPCC.
  • Strengthen political training and improve political capabilities and the ability to perform duties.
  • Improve the work system to provide a solid foundation to perform the conference’s duties.
  • Approve the research quality and discussion by adhering to a problem-oriented approach.
Joaquin Camarena
Joaquin Camarena
Joaquin the panda began Sino Talk in 2022 primarily to give an objective, unbiased view on China related topics as well as other issues related to the Indo-Pacific region. He spent several years studying and traveling throughout China and many countries in the Indo-Pacific region. In another life, the panda was also a U.S. Marine intelligence analyst who enjoyed bamboo MREs and drinking bourbon and soju. Indo-Pacific Division Desk Chief for Atlas News.

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