Two Sessions Daily Rollup: March 6th

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 March 6th session. A summary of the press conference that was held by the Ministers of Commerce and Finance, the People’s Bank of China Governor, the National Development and Reform Commission Director, and the Chairman of the China Securities Regulatory Commission is also included.

March 6th

NPC

Artists’ illustrations/renderings of China’s Type 004 aircraft carrier

Construction of the Type 004 aircraft carrier, the Type 003’s successor, is reportedly underway, according to Yuan Huazhi, the People’s Liberation Army Navy’s Head Political Commissar and NPC delegate. Yuan made the comments during an interview with Hong Kong Commercial Daily on the sidelines of the second session. He also did not confirm whether the Type 004 would incorporate and utilize a nuclear propulsion system, but he said that would be announced soon. Furthermore, Yuan also added that he did not hear that the shipbuilder, likely Shanghai-based Jiangnan Shipyard, encountered any engineering or technical bottlenecks during construction. However, the admiral said that China’s aircraft carrier program “is not aimed at competing with the United States” but rather at safeguarding the country’s territorial integrity and sovereignty.

The NPC also heard a report and began deliberating on the draft revision of China’s Organic Law of the State Council. Among the most important revisions to the law are the clarification of the State Council’s role in the government and codifying the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) control over the State Council. Specifically, Articles 2 and 4 will clarify the role and status of the State Council as the highest entity in the country. The revised articles will also specify that the Council is the highest agency of the government’s administration. Article 3 specifies that the Council must follow and uphold the CCP’s leadership as well as implement the Party’s will.

NPC delegate Wang Yifang submitted a proposal that called for China to increase efforts to promote the development of basic research through investing in large scientific facilities. Wang, Chinese Academy of Sciences’ Institute of High Energy Physics Director, said that while China will have 70 scientific buildings by 2025 after its planned projects are completed, there is still a large gap in investment for individual facilities. He said that the investment gap for the facilities and the total investment scale are lower than in the United States.

China would need to improve investment to achieve the goal of eight percent of investment in basic research as part of Research and Development by 2025, he said. Wang also pointed out that although China made progress in building the sites, the country still lacks internationally recognized scientific facilities, specifically in nuclear physics and particle physics as well as astronomy. Furthermore, he said that China should increase its focus on improving the quality of development instead of increasing the number of facilities to compete with advanced countries.

Press Conference

NPC press conference of Ministers of Commerce and Finance, and the People’s Bank of China Governor, the National Development and Reform Commission Director, and China Securities Regulatory Commission Chairman to answer any questions regarding Chinese economy and financial markets

Minister of Commerce Wang Wentao, Minister of Finance Lan Foan, People’s Bank of China (PBOC) Governor Pan Gongsheng, National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) Director Zheng Shanjie, and China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) Wu Qing attended a press conference at 3 p.m. local time after the NPC daily session.

The five senior officials fielded and answered questions from both Chinese and foreign journalists during the press briefing that ranged from economic prospects for China regarding its 2024 GDP to fiscal policy. The reporters also asked questions regarding how the five entities will measure growth to determine if the country is on track to meet the goals as well as how monetary policy will be tailored to support China’s economic recovery.

CPPCC

Chinese leader Xi Jinping participated in a joint group meeting of the second session of the CPPCC on March 6th. Other groups that attended the meeting included Kuomintang Revolutionary Committee political advisors, the environment and resources, and the science and technology sectors. Xi tasked the advisors with building a broad consensus that would contribute to Chinese modernization. He also urged political advisors from other political parties, ethnic groups, industries, organizations, and other areas to conduct research to offer suggestions that are based on major tasks outlined by the 20th CCP’s national congress and the Central Economic Work Conference.

Xi also urged members of China’s scientific community that attended the meeting to strengthen their aspirations to rejuvenate China using education and science. He also urged the community to become responsible for the scientific and technological innovation in the country. Xi made the comments during a CPPCC panel discussion with delegates from China’s science and technology industries. During the discussion, Xi also urged China’s leading scientists to provide advice on how to reform the current scientific and technological sector, such as how to cultivate talent and enhance the use of incentives for innovation. The meeting is the first time in 11 years that Xi has joined a CPPCC science and technology panel discussion during the Two Sessions.

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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