China’s Two Sessions: Significance & Utility | By Dr Mehmood-Ul-Hassan Khan


China’s Two Sessions: Significance & Utility

China has been pioneer of good governance and superior human values for the last 12000 years. Interestingly, China has been pursuing socio-economic development, human respect, environment and nature friendly policies to maintain qualitative life since long.

China’s Two Sessions have become icon of modern model of smart/good governance during which all major policies of macro-economy, strategic priorities of national politics, fund allocations of social development, debate on structural reforms, distribution of ministerial slots, approval of projects and last but not the least, critical review of the last years economic achievement and performance will be thoroughly discussed.

It is indeed a huge political event which is open, transparent, inclusive, holistic and comprehensive. Hopefully, it will provide essential inputs of the leaders and policy makers to steer the country towards more openness and modernization. It will also set goals and targets for the next years in terms of GDP, GNP, LSM, poverty reduction, employment generation. Ultimately, it will stage the world largest political show to discuss the national, regional and global economy and will facilitate quick economic recovery in the days to come.

It vividly reflect China’s constant and continued persuasions of peaceful co-existence, effective role in the global governance, multiculturalism and promotion of a balanced economic growth in the country, region and beyond. In this regard, the successful conclusion of the 20th National Congress of CPC, it is again ready for further transformation, modernization and politically soft projection through the conduction of its two sessions already started on March 4 2023.

Since China has become one of the biggest economic equalizers, politically peaceful stimulator, diplomatically positive neutral and industrially centre of production, due to which its two sessions have now become one of the hottest topics of mass media. In this regard, the market pundits, economists, gurus of diplomacy and even security expert are of the view that announcement of continuation of structural reforms would further streamline and stimulate economic recovery and market consolidation in the days to come. In a netshell, friends and foes are equally and anxiously waiting the start and outcome of the Chinese two sessions.

The Chinese two sessions would showcase a window of the country’s proactive development and are considered a true reflection of simple socialism with Chinese characteristics. Hopefully, it would be positive, productive and, of course, massively participatory in its presentation, persuasion, policies, plans and future projects. Due to rapidly changing socio-economic conflicting realities, geopolitical contradictory preferential treatments and last but not lthe east, geostrategic compulsions, the Chinese two sessions have become an iconic political event in the world. Moreover, prevailing global economic recession, imposition of unilateral sanctions, ongoing CHIP and trade war, economic and financial constraints and diplomatic stresses and strains have further enhanced the strategic importance of China’s two sessions.

China’s systematic advancement in green development, national capacity building mechanism against COVID-19, further modernization, openness and last but not the least, initiation of Xi Jinping’s Global Development, Global Security Initiative and Shared Prosperity have become role model of human survival, immense socio-economic development, gradual industrial development and achieving of global peace, stability and harmony and this year China’s two sessions stand for it.

In 2022, the official growth target was set at around 5.5 percent. But due to unavoidable external shocks, including the COVID-19 epidemic, China’s GDP growth rate reduced to the target but still achieved the hard won 3%, outperforming most other major economies in 2022 and with the economic output topping the 120 trillion Yuan mark for the first time.
Interestingly, as China lifted anti-epidemic measures and declared victory against COVID-19, the Chinese macro-economy has embarked on a fast recovery track, reflected in a growing number of indicators, including increased consumption and expanded manufacturing activity. In this regard, many domestic and foreign institutions are expecting a GDP growth rate of above 5 percent in China this year. The International Monetary Fund, for example, forecast a 5.2 percent-growth compared to a 2.9-percent global growth. Stability is the key theme, and policy intensity is likely to be moderate.

A series of recent top meetings and official statements also highlighted the importance of stability. The Central Economic Work Conference in December demanded making economic stability a top priority and pursuing steady progress while ensuring economic stability for 2023, while eyeing “an overall recovery and improvement. The further boosting of domestic demand, enhancing of technological self-reliance and strength and prevention of major risks would be national priorities during 2023 and beyond. Even policy consolidation in the financial and real estate sectors may also be expected this year. At the two sessions each year, there are often major policies for the development of the capital markets, and this year is not likely to be an exception.

There are growing expectations for the establishment of a working mechanism to maintain financial stability. A draft law on financial stability submitted to the Standing Committee of the NPC in December which recommended the establishment of a working mechanism to maintain financial stability, the strengthening of the mechanism to prevent and defuse financial risks, the clarification of the division of responsibilities to handle financial risks, and improved response measures to financial risks.

To conclude the Chinese Two Sessions would also set policy guidelines for sound development of China’s capital market, including the rollout of an across-the-board registration-based initial public offering (IPO) system and revised regulations for Chinese firms’ overseas listings, with the latter scheduled to take effect on March 31. It is expected that another top priority for China’s economic development this year is expanding foreign trade and foreign investment. The Central Economic Work Conference in December also demanded greater efforts to attract and utilize foreign capital.

In this regard, wider market access, opening-up of modern services industries and for foreign-funded firms to be granted national treatment should be the foremost priority. The writer is Executive Director: The Center for South Asia & International Studies (CSAIS) Islamabad, Regional Expert: China, CPEC & BRI, Senior Analyst: Defence, World Affairs, Pakistan Observer