Beijing gears up for NPC, CPPCC sessions 03-03-2004 09:17

The country's top advisory body, the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, starts its annual session on Wednesday. And the National People's Congress, the country's top legislature, opens its session on Friday.

The CPPCC session reports will be available by simultaneous translation in seven ethnic languages.

A CPPCC working staff says all participating members have arrived in Beijing, bringing with them more than 200 proposals on a wide range of topics.

A handler for submitted proposals said: "I feel that the quality of proposals is improving every year. This year's proposals deal with a wider range of hot issues, and in greater depth and detail."

The issues that are attracting the most attention are those that affect ordinary Chinese in everyday life. Issues such as medical care, poverty relief, education and the economy.

Yu Xiaowen, CPPCC member, said: "My proposal focuses on the livelihood and welfare of farmers, especially on how to increase their income and how to provide better protection for the rights and interests of rural migrant laborers in urban areas."

Dong Xieliang, CPPCC member, said: "We are proposing the establishment of hospitals for poor people in 100 poverty-stricken counties. Also, we want to work to ensure that all the ordinary people receive prompt medical care at a reasonable price. "

The challenges and opportunities facing Hong Kong and Macao are also prompting new ideas.

Around 2,900 journalists from both home and abroad have been registered to cover the two sessions. The figure is almost the same as last year, when the new generation of leadership was elected.

Just days before Premier Wen Jiabao reviews his first year in office in the NPC, Beijing-based foreign media have already awarded high marks to the government's performance.

Huang Ziyu, CPPCC member, said:"A closer cooperation arrangement with the mainland has brought new opportunities to the Hong Kong economy. We're taking many motions with us on this and on China's future development."

Topping the NPC's agenda is constitutional amendment. Other issues, to be tabled at both sessions, include fighting corruption, increasing farmers' income, helping laid-off workers find jobs, improving social security and protecting the environment.

As the most solemn forums for political consultation and decision-making, the two sessions will have a lot to accomplish in the coming two weeks.


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