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Why world cares about China's two sessions

2015-March-3       Source: Xinhuanet.com

China's two sessions have their global relevance that is under the attention of the world especially in several key issues.

The annual two sessions of China's top legislative body and top national advisory body are slated for this month.

The sessions will hear reports on the overall condition of the nation, chart its agenda for 2015 and outline foreign policies. It is also an opportunity for the world to watch the oriental country.

Since their birth, the two sessions have often had global relevance.

The first Constitution of the People's Republic of China was approved at the first National People's Congress in 1954, establishing the fundamental socialist system, a significant move in the Cold War era.

During the Cultural Revolution, which started in the 1960s, lawless chaos engulfed the nation and the two sessions lay dormant, and this instability sent shockwaves across the globe.

Since the two sessions endorsed the reform and opening-up measures initiated by the Communist Party of China Central Committee in the late 1970s, the world has watched China ushering in an era of rapid economic expansion.

The world's second largest economy, China has established itself as a dominant trading partner of over 100 countries, and has become a net capital exporter.

China is expected to hold up global growth while the United States and Europe are still in tepid recovery.

Some use the term "pivoting everywhere" to describe China's growing political clout, as it has actively sought ties with countries across the globe.

Following are eight aspects of the upcoming two sessions that might have global implications.

1. China will announce its 2015 GDP growth target at the start of the sessions.

When China posted 2014 its lowest growth rate in 24 years, 7.4 percent, speculation has been rife that the government will reduce its target for this year to around 7 percent from the 7.5 percent set for the past three years.

What will this "new normal" growth rate of the Chinese economy mean to the world? How will it affect jobs worldwide?

2. China will unveil its defense budget for 2015.

Last year, China's defense budget was over 130 billion U.S. dollars, second only to the United States.

Where does the money go in a country that is building slim but strong military forces? How will other countries react? How will that budget affect regional and world stability?

3. The Chinese premier and scores of ministers are expected to hold press conferences during the sessions.

These sessions, along with the government work report, will be crucial to deciphering China's national priorities. How will the ongoing reform, the rule of law, anti-corruption, anti-monopoly, anti-pollution and Internet administration develop? How will they affect global investors?

4. For the United States, there is something that deserves its particular attention.

In the State of the Union address 2015, U.S. President Barack Obama referred to China three times, rendering it the most-mentioned foreign country with a likely "frenemy" face. What will China make of that?

The government work report delivered at the opening day of the legislative session is similar to the State of the Union address. How will China cover issues that, at times, have disturbed Sino-U.S. relations, for instance, cyber security, human rights, Tibet and foreign trade policies?

Also a quick reminder: China is the largest creditor to the United States, and Chinese President Xi Jinping is scheduled to visit the United States in September.

5. The European Union is the largest trading partner of China, while China is the second largest trading partner of the EU.

Coincidentally and interestingly, as China kicks off its annual two sessions, the historic QE program launched by the European Central Bank will start to take effect.

What will China's policymakers do to ward off the possible spill-over of a depreciating euro? Will China fine tune its monetary and trade policies? It is expected that the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road will be detailed during the two sessions.

What opportunities will this gigantic pan-Eurasia commerce network create for European investors?

6. China's neighboring countries are a critical part of the "Belt and Road" initiatives.

The joint construction of high speed rail, ports and pipelines will inject vigor into local economies, creating more jobs.

The "Belt and Road" initiatives, synergistic with booming free trade zones, have the potential to rejuvenate the entire region.

Uncertainties, however, still overshadow ties between China and its neighbors. Territorial disputes are far from being resolved, while tensions between China and Japan are showing no clear signs of easing in the year that marks the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II.

The sessions may shed light on how Chinese lawmakers respond.

7. China's presence in Africa, its "brother, friend and partner," has been growing fast.

As Africa's biggest trading partner, China is endeavoring to increase China-Africa trade volume to 400 billion U.S. dollars by 2020.

In China's latest round of industrial upgrading, to achieve quality growth, there are opportunities for the labor-intensive parts of the "world factory" to be relocated to areas where labor is inexpensive. Africa could be one destination.

8. China's stance on hot global issues.

At the two sessions, China would make clear its stance on hot global issues. Last year, Foreign Minister Wang Yi talked about a wide range of world issues from the Ukraine crisis and the Afghanistan issue to the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue.

What would Wang say this year when hot issues keep emerging?

So heed to the message from the two sessions. Find your answers in the upcoming big political event.

 

Editor: 王凯

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