Chinese Parliamentary Sessions 2013
March 2013 sees the annual meeting of the two legislative and consultative bodies of China, where major policies are decided and key government officials appointed. The National People's Congress (NPC) is held in the Great Hall of the People in China's capital, Beijing, and with 2,987 members, is the largest parliament in the world. It gathers alongside the People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) whose members represent various groups of society.
C.Y. Leung gets boost on national stage
Hong Kong's embattled chief executive, Leung Chun-ying, received a boost yesterday when his leadership abilities were praised at a press conference ahead of today's CPPCC.
"I am familiar with Mr Leung Chun-ying," said Lu Xinhua, the CPPCC session's new official spokesman.
"He is not only committed to Hong Kong and ambitious, but also very capable. I believe Hong Kong will be a better place under his leadership," said Lu, a former commissioner of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Hong Kong, in response to questions regarding Leung's performance.
Asked about Hongkongers' concerns over the nomination threshold of the 2017 chief executive election, Lu said it would need further discussion.
"The concrete arrangements of universal suffrage will require the SAR government to have a rational discussion with different sectors of the community to seek consensus in accordance with the Basic Law and based on the decision of the National People's Congress Standing Committee," Lu said.
Lu said he agreed with Legislative Council president Jasper Tsang Yok-sing that the central government would agree to elect the chief executive in 2017 by universal suffrage and that voters would elect someone who loved the nation and Hong Kong.
In view of the anti-mainlander sentiment in Hong Kong sparked in part by the parallel-goods trading of infant milk formula, Lu called on people not to exaggerate the differences between the two sides and expressed confidence that the problem could be overcome.
Meanwhile, former chief secretary Henry Tang Ying-yen was yesterday among six newly elected Hongkongers to sit in the 323-strong presidium of the CPPCC. Ten others were re-elected.
Veteran delegates said the Hongkongers were very likely to be elected to the body's Standing Committee on March 11.
The other five Hong Kong delegates are Hospital Authority chairman Anthony Wu Ting-yuk; Peter Lee Ka-kit, son of Henderson Land Development chairman Lee Shau-kee; Lam Shu-chit, Hong Kong Federation of Fujian Associations chairman; Yin Xiaojing, a deputy director of the central government's liaison office; and Liu Changle, chairman and chief executive officer Phoenix Satellite Television.