Hu Zhangliang, Chinese Ambassador to Sierra Leone
A few days ago, the annual gatherings of the National People’s Congress (NPC) and the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), known as China’s Two Sessions were successfully held in Beijing. The conventions of the Two Sessions are big events in China’s political life.
During about a week’s time, nearly 3,000 NPC deputies and around 2,000 members of the CPPCC National Committee exercised their powers and performed their duties under the Constitution and Laws, conducted deliberations of a variety of legislative items, reviewed and discussed a series of work reports, garnered common ground and convergence of interests of the Chinese people and drew up the country’s annual development blueprint.
The Two Sessions fully demonstrated the value and power of China’s democracy.
Before this year’s Two Sessions, the State Council Information Office (SCIO) of China briefed the public that in 2021, the State Council departments handled 8,666 suggestions put forward by NPC deputies and 5,718 proposals from members of the CPPCC national committee on schedule, accounting for 96.4 percent and 93.4 percent of the total respectively. The relevant State Council departments have adopted more than 4,300 suggestions and proposals from NPC deputies and CPPCC national committee members and introduced more than 1,600 policies and measures accordingly.
This is a clear indication that China makes sure that its people from all walks of life have channels of expressing their aspirations, wishes and demands on issues ranging from national strategies and social governance to basic necessities of life and ensures that people’s voices can be heard and their requests be answered.
In the process of drafting the 2022 Government Work Report, the Chinese government has solicited public opinions and suggestions via multiple channels and received thousands of opinions and suggestions, among which more than 1,100 pieces of typical suggestions from the netizens were selected. Some key advice has been accommodated into the report. Special online pages, portals or apps such as “I will send a message to the Two Sessions” and “2022 Deputies/Members’ voices on government work” were created for people to provide suggestions.
It is obvious that the Chinese people are enthusiastically enjoying their democratic rights, the scope and depth of Chinese people’s political participation have been constantly expanded and the forms and channels of such participation have been further diversified.
H.E. President Xi Jinping pointed out that China’s whole-process people’s democracy integrates process-oriented democracy with results-oriented democracy, procedural democracy with substantive democracy, direct democracy with indirect democracy, and people’s democracy with the will of the state. It is a model of socialist democracy that covers all aspects of the democratic process and all sectors of the society. It is a true democracy that works.
The practice of the Two Sessions has proved that under the system of China’s whole-process people’s democracy, the demands of the people’s interests could be freely expressed and effectively realized.
The Two Sessions effectively showcased the achievements and resilience of China’s economy and social development
According to the Government Work Report adopted by the NPC, China registered notable economic and social development in the past year although facing the continued impact of the COVID-19 and other challenges. In 2021, China won final victory in the critical battle against absolute poverty as scheduled, achieved the first centenary goal of building a moderately prosperous society in all respects, and began a new journey toward the second centenary goal of building a modern socialist country in all respects.
In 2021, China’s gross domestic product (GDP) reached 114 trillion yuan (equal to about 18 trillion US dollars), an annual growth of 8.1 percent. The national fiscal revenue exceeded 20 trillion yuan, increasing by 10.7 percent. A total of 12.69 million urban jobs were added with the average surveyed unemployment rate standing at 5.1 percent. The consumer price index (CPI) rose by only 0.9 percent. A basic equilibrium was maintained in the balance of payments.
In 2022, China set the main targets for economic development as follows:
- GDP growth of around 5.5 percent
- over 11 million new urban jobs
- a surveyed urban unemployment rate of no more than 5.5 percent
- CPI increase of around 3 percent
- The growth of personal income basically in step with economic growth
- steady increases in both the volume and quality of imports and exports
- a basic equilibrium in the balance of payments
The Two Sessions earnestly upheld the people-centered philosophy of governance.
During the Two Sessions, President Xi Jinping attended meetings and debates of the delegations and exchanged views on how to forge a keen sense of national identity, achieve peaking carbon emissions and carbon neutrality, ensure energy security, ensure the security of industrial and supply chain, ensure food security and strengthen social security, etc.. President Xi emphasized that people’s livelihood is no trivial matter and special attention and care should be paid to the people in need.
The Government Work Report also indicated that in 2021, Chinese people’s living standards rose steadily, with per capita disposable income increased by 8.1 percent in real terms. Achievements in poverty alleviation and rural development were consolidated and further expanded. Inputs in social assistance were increased. New steps were taken in the reform and development of education. And over 85 percent of the whole population received a full course of COVID-19 vaccination.
In 2022, China will continuously endeavor to ensure and promote the people’s well-being. China will step up efforts to improve the fairness and quality of education, medical and health services, social security and social services. China will continue to meet people’s housing needs, enrich people’s intellectual and cultural lives, and enhance social governance based on collaboration, participation and common gains. In short, the Chinese government will do everything possible to provide better public services and resolve pressing issues that are of common concern to the people.
The Two Sessions displayed China’s sincere will to promote the building of a community with a shared future for mankind.
When reviewing the Government Work Report, President Xi Jinping and other Party and state leaders pointed out that in the past year, China promoted the building of a community with a shared future for mankind, fostered global partnerships, and played an active part in the reform and development of the global governance system. China also advanced international cooperation on COVID-19 response and worked with all other countries to respond to other global issues and challenges. China engaged to pursue the Global Development Initiative and promote the shared values of all humanity. China will, as always, work to safeguard world peace, contribute to global development, and preserve international order.
While attending the press conferences of the Two Sessions , Premier Li Keqiang and State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi also emphasized that facing the profound changes unseen in a century, China will continue to keep a global perspective, honor its responsibilities, and hold high the banner of peace, development and win-win cooperation, to promote the building of a new type of international relations and a community with a shared future for mankind. China will work with all progressive forces in the world for development and together for a shared future.
To sum up, the just-concluded Two Sessions and Beijing Winter Olympics and Paralympics epitomize a China that is striving forward with great vigor. China’s development will inject fresh impetus to the building of a better world and provide African countries including Sierra Leone with new opportunities to expand mutually-beneficial and win-win cooperation.