COMMENARY: Chinese Two Sessions Lay out the Blueprint For the Future and Bring New Opportunities for China-Sierra Leone Relations

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By y Wang Qing, Chinese Ambassador to Sierra Leone

The National People’s Congress(NPC)and the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), which are the annual Chinese sessions, have just been concluded in Beijing. The two sessions have always been an important window to understand China. The “highlights” of this year’s two sessions were as follows:

The Two Sessions are an important window to show a clear picture of the whole-process of people’s democracy in China. In the modern states, The People as Masters of the Country cannot be a “lofty” political slogan. We need to achieve democracy with practical institutional arrangements and measure it in the country’s political and social life. The 2,977 deputies to the 14th NPC are from various industries and places across the country and the 2,169 CPPCC members from 34 sectors basically cover all areas of society. Through the platform of the two sessions, public opinions can reach the “top” from the “bottom”. The international community vividly compares the two sessions of China as the process of “consensus building”, where the “big issues of the country” are closely linked to the “small issues” of people’s livelihoods, and the “what the people want” resonates with the “what the party and the government do”.

The party’s proposition for the national will, and the people’s voice are highly unified. The first session of the 14th National People’s Congress elected the new Leadership of China. Xi Jinping was unanimously voted as President of China and Chairman of the People’s Republic of China Central Military Commission, which fully reflects the common will of the Party, the armed forces, and the Chinese people of all ethnic groups. This also fully embodies the high degree of unity between the will of the Party, the people and the state. It is what the Party and the people hope for.

The Two Sessions are an important window to see China’s development prospects. Over the past five years, in the face of multiple shocks that exceeded expectations, China has withstood the test and achieved a five-year average annual growth rate of 5.2%, increasing its GDP to about 18 trillion US Dollars and continuing to be an important engine of growth for the world economy.

However, China’s development is still unbalanced and inadequate. Currently, our development is focused on providing for people’s basic needs. Going forward, the focus will be shifted toward delivering a life of better quality for the people. In particular, we will enhance our capacity for scientific and technological innovations, build a modern industrial system, and transit toward green development.

The Two Sessions particularly emphasized the importance of high-quality development and put forward a series of specific initiatives. The target of GDP growth of around 5%, which China proposed is in line with economic laws and realistic requirements, and also demonstrates China’s firm determination to promote high-quality development. Although the world’s economic situation this year is generally not optimistic and there are still many unstable, uncertain and unpredictable factors, China will take a number of actions such as optimizing macro policies, expanding demand, advancing reform and innovation, and preventing and defusing risks, so as to inject new impetus to the global economy with its own high-quality development and create more opportunities for the world.

To sum up, like Chinese new Premier Li Qiang said, the prospect of Chinese economy will break winds and waves, and sail toward a brighter future.  

The Two Sessions are an important window to comprehensively understand China’s foreign policy. At the press conference of the two sessions, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Qin Gang comprehensively explained China’s foreign policy, stressing that China will continue to implement the mutually beneficial strategy of opening-up and always be a builder of world peace, a contributor to global development, and a defender of the international order.

What is happening in the world today? What should we do? Humanity is once again standing at the crossroads of history. China’s answer is clear. We will build on our extensive partnerships to promote a new type of international relations. We will take openness and development as our objective. We will facilitate high-quality development and high-standard opening-up. We will uphold an open and inclusive world economy, and will generate new opportunities for the world with our new development. We will take multilateralism as the way forward. We will promote the building of a community with a shared future for mankind, make global governance more just and equitable. We will offer more, better Chinese insight and solutions to help meet humanity’s common challenges.

At present, With the COVID situation turning for the better in China, we’re steadily resuming exchanges with the world. We’ve pressed the “acceleration button”, and sounded the clarion call for our diplomacy. Not long ago, China released the “The Global Security Initiative Concept Paper” and “China’s Position on the Political Settlement of the Ukraine Crisis ” , exploring solutions to both the symptoms and the root causes of international security challenges and showing China’s responsibility for maintaining world peace. During the two sessions, Saudi Arabia and Iran announced the restoration of diplomatic relations under the active mediation of China, which is a successful practice of the Global Security Initiative and sets a model for regional countries to resolve conflicts and differences through dialogue and consultation. This year marks the 10th anniversary of China’s “One Belt, One Road” initiative, Over the past decade, the BRI has galvanized nearly US$1 trillion of investment, established more than 3,000 cooperation projects, created 420,000 local jobs, and helped lift almost 40 million people out of poverty. China will host the third Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation this year. Taking this as an opportunity, we will work with all relevant parties for more fruitful outcomes from Belt and Road cooperation.

The Two Sessions have sent out rich signals, giving the world a sense of a confident and down-to-earth China. Looking ahead to 2023, it will be a very important year for China’s development, as well as for China-Sierra Leone and China-Africa relations. China is willing to work with Sierra Leone to strengthen high-level contacts, deepen exchanges and cooperation, and promote new progress in the China-Sierra Leone Comprehensive Strategic Cooperative Partnership, so that the people of our two countries can benefit more from China-Sierra Leone practical cooperation and create a bright new era in our bilateral relations together.

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