Although the two sessions are back at their regular place in the
calendar, after being postponed last year from March until May, the
nation's biggest annual political gathering has taken on new
characteristics this year against the backdrop of COVID-19 prevention
and the pursuit of quality and efficiency.
This year's two sessions are not only shorter than usual, but also more streamlined in terms of their meetings and documents.
The major political event, which also includes more online meetings,
will last for seven-and-a-half days this year instead of the usual two
The fourth session of the 13th National Committee of the Chinese
People's Political Consultative Conference started on the afternoon of
March 4 and will end on March 10, and the fourth session of the 13th
National People's Congress is from March 5 to 11.
This year's agenda shows that the one-day break during the two
sessions has been canceled, and the interval between the opening of the
top political advisory body and the top legislature was reduced from two
days to one.
However, the regular agenda items were not reduced. Apart from
reviewing the regular documents, CPPCC National Committee members and
NPC deputies also have to review an important document about the
country's 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-25).
The requirement for a pragmatic work style and the pursuit of
efficiency can be seen in the speeches made by senior officials during
the two sessions as the country embarks on a new journey of development.
While delivering the Government Work Report on Friday, Premier Li
Keqiang urged governments at all levels to practice frugality in the
interests of the people and to continue to tighten their own belts to
ensure more financial input to improve people's livelihoods.
"For all of us in government, the people must always be uppermost in
our minds. We must take a fact-based approach, and improve people's
lives in a realistic and pragmatic way," he said.
While presenting a work report on Thursday, Wang Yang, chairman of
the 13th CPPCC National Committee, called for efforts to improve the
style of meetings and documents, eliminate bureaucratism and formalism
and practice frugality.
The reports delivered by senior officials this year are shorter and
take less time, but have more detailed figures and clear goals set. Many
documents are no longer read out at the meetings, but are left for the
participants to read.
For the first time, the Government Work Report has two versions. To
reduce the meeting time, a shorter version was delivered by Premier Li
at the meeting and the full version was distributed to deputies and will
be made public once it is approved.
"It's a pragmatic approach," said Zhao Wanping, a deputy to the NPC
and vice-president of Anhui Academy of Agricultural Sciences. "The
premier's speech lasted only one hour and we can read the full version