China's Two Sessions at a glance
Updated 02:59, 12-Mar-2021
The Fourth Session of the 13th CPPCC National Committee opened in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. /VCG

The Fourth Session of the 13th CPPCC National Committee opened in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. /VCG


The Two Sessions, the major event of the Chinese political calendar, opened in Beijing on March 4. 

The event encompasses the meetings of China's top two political bodies, the legislative National People's Congress (NPC) and the advisory Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC).

Together the events provide a guidance on how China considers the year just gone and its plans for the next 12 months. 

READ MORE: Background to China's Two Sessions


The Two Sessions: Thursday March 11


Chinese Premier Li Keqiang has said that employment remains the country's priority with "great pressure in the job market."

In addition to promoting current job measures, more flexible job channels will be opened up, he said. Read more here

At the closing meeting of China's annual legislative session, lawmakers adopted a decision on improving the electoral system of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region with an overwhelming majority. Read more here

Chinese lawmakers also approved the country's development blueprint for the next five to 15 years. Read more here

Chief Executive of HKSAR, Carrie Lam, said she was grateful that the plan to improve the electoral system was approved.

"I, together with the governing team of the HKSAR government, would like to pledge our staunch support for and sincere gratitude to the passage of the decision on improving the electoral system of the HKSAR by the NPC this afternoon," Lam said. Read more here


The Two Sessions: Wednesday March 10


China's top political adviser Wang Yang called on the CPPCC to give full play to democratic consultation and focus on building a modern socialist country. Read more here

A NPC deputy suggested the government open rehabilitation clinics for COVID-19 patients who have been discharged from hospital, adding that treatment fees "should be covered by the national medical insurance program." Read more here 

READ MORE: How do NPC deputies get their proposals turned into action during the conference?

Education was a key theme at this year's Two Sessions. President Xi Jinping stressed the importance of building a high-quality and balanced basic public education system. Read more here 

CGTN interviewed Kenneth Fok Kai-kong, a member of China's top political advisory body from the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR), on improving the region's electoral system. Read more here

At this year's Two Sessions, cultural revival has become a hot topic. CPPCC member Xu Li stressed that this should go beyond promoting a certain salute or national clothing. Read more here 

Watch below for CGTN Europe's interview with Isabel Hilton, the CEO of China Dialogue, on her analysis of the Two Sessions. 



The Two Sessions: Tuesday March 9



Carrie Lam, Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR), expressed her satisfaction with the central government's efforts to improve Hong Kong's electoral system and implement the "patriots administering Hong Kong" principle. Read more here

A Chinese political adviser, Yan Huiying, expressed concern about a potential theater chain monopoly in the country after a record-breaking performance by several movies backed by big studios. Read more here

Yukon Huang, senior associate in the Carnegie Asia Program, spoke to CGTN, giving his analysis of the Two Sessions. Watch here

China is planning to accelerate legislation against "foreign sanctions, interference and long-arm jurisdiction," according to a work report by the Standing Committee of the 13th NPC. Read more here


The Two Sessions: Monday March 8 

NPC deputy Zhang Jinhai told the press at the Deputies' Corridor that the ecological protection of the Yellow River, China's mother river, is crucial to the people's livelihood. 

Zhang said: "This year is the Year of the Ox. We should work hard to make our country more environmentally friendly and more beautiful." Read more here

China's top legislature made preliminary arrangements for the deliberation of 45 legislative items in reserve, said Li Zhanshu, chairman of the National People's Congress (NPC) Standing Committee. Legislature work will proceed in key areas, including national security, scientific and technological innovation, public health and biosafety. Read more here

According to a work report of the Standing Committee of the 13th National People's Congress (NPC), China plans to accelerate legislation relating to external affairs. The committee's chairman, Li Zhanshu, said: "We will upgrade the legal tool kit for meeting challenges and guarding against risks in order to oppose foreign sanctions, interference and long-arm jurisdiction." Read more here 

Li said on Monday that the country's top legislature would safeguard China's sovereignty, making sure the principle of "patriots administering Hong Kong" is implemented.  Read more here 


The Two Sessions: Sunday March 7


China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi addressed the congress urging U.S. President Joe Biden to make a "clear departure" from his predecessor's approach to the Taiwan region.

Wang also dismissed allegations of genocide in Xinjiang as "a lie through and through." Read more here

Chinese Vice Premier Han Zheng told the National People's Congress (NPC) deputies from Hong Kong that the region's existing electoral system must be improved. Han insisted it was necessary to ensure patriots are administering Hong Kong. Read more here

Chinese President Xi Jinping has called for efforts across the country to advance high-quality development and improve people's wellbeing. Xi told a meeting of lawmakers from northwest China's Qinghai Province they should prioritize ecological protection and advance sustainable development. Read more here 

The Communist Party of China (CPC) leadership provides great political advantages to Chinese diplomacy, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi told reporters on the sidelines. Wang said the party's values will help China pursue peaceful development and safeguard ongoing diplomatic endeavors. Read more here


The Two Sessions: Saturday March 6


President Xi Jinping has reiterated people's health as a priority and the need to accelerate the implementation of the Healthy China initiative at the NPC. 

He joined a group meeting with national political advisors from the education, medical and health sectors where he said the COVID-19 virus showed again the benefit of prevention as the best health strategy. Read more here

Chinese Vice Premier Han Zheng has called for the principle of "patriots administering Hong Kong" to be implemented as lawmakers deliberate a draft decision on improving the electoral system of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR).

Han urged for the full implementation of the fundamental principles of "One Country, Two Systems," and "the people of Hong Kong administering Hong Kong with a high degree of autonomy." Read more here

The plan to improve Hong Kong's electoral system as part of implementing the "One Country, Two Systems" policy was also backed by Secretary for Justice for Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Teresa Cheng Yeuk-wah.

She appealed to the central authorities to take the lead to improve the electoral system of HKSAR, to close "clear loopholes." Read more here

The Two Sessions: Friday March 5


Deliberations on China's 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-2025) topped the agenda. Compared with previous plans, it contained no numerical GDP growth target but more focus on balanced and sustainable development in the domestic markets. Read more here

China's Premier Li Keqiang said the country will work on improving living standards and steadily advancing social development, adding it will continue to advance the Healthy China initiative. Read more here 

China will strengthen budget constraints and performance management and promote greater transparency in the process, Premier Li said. He laid out the economic sectors that China will focus on reforming in 2021, such as state-owned enterprises (SOEs), energy, transportation and telecommunications. Read more here

Chinese lawmakers began deliberating a draft decision on improving the electoral system of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. Wang Chen, vice chairman of the NPC Standing Committee, said the amendments will strictly follow and fully reflect the principle of "patriots administering Hong Kong." 

Su Bomin, vice president of Dunhuang Academy China, called for safeguarding cultural relics using digital tools at the Deputies' Corridor of this year's Two Sessions. Su said the academy is applying to establish a digital national library to better protect the abundant cultural relics along the ancient Silk Road. Read more here 

READ MORE: From population growth to economic facts and figures, China's last five years in data.

China's annual defense budget will maintain single-digit growth for the sixth consecutive year, increasing by 6.8 percent in 2021. This year's planned defense spending will be about 1.35 trillion yuan (about $209 billion), according to the draft submitted to the fourth session of the 13th NPC deliberation. Read more here


The Two Sessions: Thursday March 4



READ MORE: From economic growth targets to long-term development plans, what's on the Two Sessions' agenda?

China's top political adviser, Wang Yang, explained how the CPPCC helped organize the country's fight against COVID-19 throughout 2020. The body helped "efforts to ensure stability on six fronts and maintain security in six areas," Wang said. Read more here. 

Data security and information privacy are high on the agenda in China, as in many other countries across the globe. Read more here

Bao Weimin, director of the Committee of Science and Technology under the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation, and a CPPCC member, gave an update on China's first Mars probe Tianwen-1. Read more here.  

With one year to go until the opening of the Beijing 2022 Paralympic Winter Games, Zhang Haidi, political adviser and executive president of the organizing committee for the Games, spoke of advances in protecting people with disabilities. Read more here. 

An overview of China's economy was presented by Zhang Yesui, spokesperson for the fourth session of the 13th NPC. Read more here. 

He also discussed changes to public health legislation to support the COVID-19 response over the past year. Read more here. 

Zhang also stressed that China will always push for better China-U.S. relations, free from conflict and based on mutual respect. "It is natural for China and the United States to have differences on some issues. Decoupling will do harm to others and confrontation serves no one's interest," he said. Read more here. 

Last year's Two Sessions meetings placed a strong emphasis on science, technology and innovation and this year's are likely to do the same. Click below to see CGTN's Mark Niu look at China's place in the global economy. Read more here. 

Search Trends