China’s Two Sessions seeking great-power status amid heavy atmosphere

Mar 07, 2016, 08:30 am

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China’s leadership will discuss Five-Year Plan on Monday to build a well-off society by 2020
China’s Premier Li Keqiang delivers the Work Report for 2016 during theoperning sesion of the National People’s Congress (NPC) in Beijing China, March5, 2016./ Source from China’s main state-owned news agency, CNS.

By Hong Soon-do, Beijing correspondent, AsiaToday - The 4th Session of the 12th National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC, China's top advisory body) and the National People's Congress (NPC, China's top legislature) opened on March 3 and 5 respecively. These ‘Two Sessions’ will be the two most important-than-ever ones since it will be a place where ‘Xiconomics’ replaces ‘Likonomics’ led by Premier Li Keqiang. Besides, they will confirm China’s 13th Five-Year Plan (2016-2020) under Xi’s leadership, making the sessions even more important.

Nevertheless, the atmosphere of this year’s sessions look quite different compared with the previous ones. The sessions are being held under heavy and tense atmosphere. According to a well-informed Beijing source close to the Chinese government on Sunday, there are reasons behind this kind of negative atmosphere. Most of all, the slowing down real economy is the biggest reason. Since many major international think-tankers are giving a pessimistic outlook about the Chinese economy while even mentioning the term “hard landing”, it’s somehow difficult for China to demonstrate festively atmosphere unlike the past.

Besides, China cannot ignore its external environment issues such as endless military conflicts with the United States over North Korea’s nuclear program, South China Sea dispute, and U.S. THAAD deployment on Korean peninsula. Definitely it’s not in a happy situation. Furthermore, the fact that the two sessions are taking place in a venue heavily obscured by the smog for three consecutive years despite Chinese President Xi’s criticism, is pressing heavily upon the CPPCC and NPC members attending the sessions.

But even so, the two sessions will still serve to solidify China’s willingness to achieve great-power and military-power status. We can tell from Premier Li Keqiang’s speech while delivering the Work Report for 2016 during the operning sesion of the National People’s Congress (NPC) on Sunday. In his speech, Li encouraged the country to achieve its centenary goal. Besides, China confirmed that military spending will rise to 954 billion yuan ($146.5 billion), the largest defense budget appropriated by the country. In addition, the Chinese leadership reviewed on Sunday the Work Report that put the Chinese economy's growth target as 6.5% or higher for the next five years. This is why China's confidence for achieving great-power and military-power status would be inevitably reflected on Monday when the 13th Five-Year Plan will be discussed and confirmed.

#China #Two Sessions #great-power status #military-power status 
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