Chinese parliamentary sessions 2014

The annual Chinese "lianghui" of 2014, or plenary meetings of China's top legislative and consultative bodies, the National People's Congress and the National People's Consultative Conference, will take place in Beijing in early to mid-March. The NPC sessions are scheduled to begin on March 5, and the CPPCC meetings to commence on March 3. 

Censors were at WeChat offices before crackdown on accounts

Censors were stationed for a week at the offices of Tencent's popular social media service WeChat before dozens of prominent accounts were closed or suspended, a source has said.

Saturday, 15 March, 2014, 9:42am 5 comments

Fresh China media crackdown hits popular accounts on Tencent's WeChat

WeChat's public instant-messaging accounts have became a popular venue for discussing political issues in recent months.

At least a dozen popular public WeChat accounts - some followed by hundreds of thousands subscribers - were shut down or suspended yesterday. Some of the accounts were operated by popular columnists, such as Xu Danei and Luo Changping, or by online news outlets, such as NetEase.

14 Mar 2014 - 9:29am 2 comments

Premier Li Keqiang delivers a healthy dose of realism

Chninese Premier Li Keqiang. Photo: AP

Rebalancing China's economy from being capital-intensive and export-driven to a more sustainable consumer-led model is tricky. Premier Li Keqiang acknowledged that yesterday at the close of the annual meeting of the National People's Congress.

14 Mar 2014 - 5:21am

Premier breezes through journalists’ tame questions at close of NPC

Premier Li Keqiang waves after wrapping up the NPC meeting. Photo: EPA

Li Keqiang breezed through a tame and uneventful press conference, thanks largely to the absence of the uncomfortable questions often foisted on his predecessors.

14 Mar 2014 - 5:56am

We will keep tighter rein on debt and shadow banking, Li Keqiang says

China's Premier Li Keqiang said the debt level was "generally controllable", but the rising trend should not be overlooked. Photo: AP

Beijing is tightening scrutiny of government debt and the shadow banking system to contain risk, Premier Li Keqiang said yesterday. He said Beijing had been "highly attentive" to financial and debt risks, and set a timetable for implementing rules to stop banks overexpanding.

14 Mar 2014 - 5:56am

Company registrations at 10-year high as Beijing reduces red tape

Premier Li Keqiang said the central government was loosening control over company registration, as it cancelled 416 administrative procedures for examinations and approvals last year. Photo: AFP

Registrations of private companies rose 30 per cent from a year earlier, indicating that "cutting red tape and delegating power were powerful tools to boost the market's vitality and social creativity", Premier Li Keqiang said yesterday.

14 Mar 2014 - 5:56am

Beijing 'will do everything' to maintain Hong Kong's economic might, Li vows

Hong Kong people walk past a monitor at Times Square, Causeway Bay, showing Premier Li Keqiang's speech at the NPC last week. Photo: Bloomberg

The mainland’s policies on Hong Kong remain steadfast, Premier Li Keqiang said as he vowed Beijing would “do everything” to help maintain the territory’s economic status.

He pledged the government’s support to the city – a sometimes recalcitrant ally – in maintaining its status as an international financial hub and shipping centre.

13 Mar 2014 - 3:33pm 5 comments

China and US can overcome frictions with co-operation, says Li Keqiang

Li Keqiang speaks at the press conference.

Ties between China and the US would remain strong as long as both sides kept the focus on their common interests instead of the differences, Premier Li Keqiang has said.

14 Mar 2014 - 6:01am

GDP growth target flexible as jobs take priority, says Premier Li Keqiang

Li Keqiang (right) with Communist Party chief Xi Jinping at the closing of the National People's Congress session yesterday. Photo: AP

The official economic growth target will be flexible as long as it can ensure stable jobs, Premier Li Keqiang told an international audience in the clearest message to date by a top leader about the nation's willingness to tolerate slower growth.

14 Mar 2014 - 5:29pm 2 comments

Li Keqiang not asked about Zhou Yongkang case, after reporters warned

Li Keqiang not asked about Zhou Yongkang case, after reporters warned

Premier Li Keqiang was not asked about the graft investigation into former security tsar Zhou Yongkang after reporters were warned against raising the subject.

14 Mar 2014 - 5:56am 1 comment

Premier’s plan for government policy wins approval as NPC draws to a close

Lawmakers depart following the closing ceremony of the National People's Congress in Beijing. Photo: AP

Most of the National People's Congress - dominated by the Communist Party and described by critics as a rubber stamp parliament - usually vote overwhelmingly in favour of Beijing's policies. But analysts said the administration was still enjoying its "honeymoon period".

14 Mar 2014 - 4:14pm

"The central government's policy … is consistent and clear-cut. It will continue to support Hong Kong"

Premier Li Keqiang speaks at the close of the NPC. Photo: Xinhua

Premier Li Keqiang promised continued support for Hong Kong amid "comprehensive deepening" of reforms on the mainland, but he evaded questions about the city's electoral reform and autonomy.

14 Mar 2014 - 4:06pm 3 comments

Pollution a greater concern for delegates to annual CPPCC session

Delegates want more environmental protection. Photo: Simon Song

The National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) concluded its annual plenum in Beijing yesterday. The 10-day meeting saw members submit 5,875 proposals, of which 4,982 were formally accepted, the committee said.

13 Mar 2014 - 4:35am

New anti-terror laws must protect human right, say legal experts

Xinjiang Communist Party Secretary Zhang Chunxian. Photo: AFP

Attempts to introduce anti-terrorism laws could create further problems if they fail to define the powers of various enforcement agencies or strike a balance between battling extremism and protecting civil rights, legal experts say.

13 Mar 2014 - 4:33am

Tougher laws for human trafficking proposal unites Hong Kong's NPC deputies

Prostitutes on the streets of downtown Ruili, Yunnan Province. A town known for trafficking woman. Photo: SCMP

The 36 local deputies to the National People's Congress tabled an amendment that would raise the penalty for buyers of children to 10 years in jail.

12 Mar 2014 - 8:43am