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. 

Smog hangs heavy over assembly

Two police officers keep watch from a rooftop near the Great Hall of the People amid heavy air pollution in Beijing. Photo: Simon Song

Members of the mainland's top political advisory body braved the choking smog that returned to Beijing yesterday as the first of the two annual political assemblies in the capital this week got under way.

Tuesday, 4 March, 2014, 6:07pm 1 comment

HK delegates eye greater links with motherland

Ambrose Lee

Two Hong Kong delegates to the national legislature say Beijing should give greater attention to local affairs, with a former security chief calling on the mainland's civil service to hire young people from the city.

4 Mar 2014 - 6:07pm

Government must leave the tea lady out of the fight on graft

An attendant refills the tea cup of Chinese President Xi Jinping. Photo: EPA

A crackdown on wasteful spending and extravagance by officials meets the ultimate test of credibility when taxpayers are footing the bill for showpiece VIP occasions.

4 Mar 2014 - 4:32am 1 comment

China's NPC meeting of little or no consequence

President Xi Jinping (top left), Premier Li Keqiang (top right) lead officials in the opening of the second session of the 12th National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) in Beijing. Photo: EPA

The annual sessions of the National People's Congress and the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference are taking place this week. Chinese internet users wryly noted that many of the delegates attending had rushed back to Beijing from different parts of the world in order to take part.

4 Mar 2014 - 12:41am

Big defence spender US has no right to criticise China military budget, says admiral

Yin Zhuo (centre) registers for the CPPCC conference in Beijing. Photo: Xinhua

A top military official and member of China’s top consultative body says the United States has no right to criticise China’s defence spending as America’s own budget dwarfs that of the world’s No 2 economy.

3 Mar 2014 - 3:36pm

Beijing still struggles to make voice heard through Sina Weibo

Media gather for a press conference on the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference in Beijing. Photo: Xinhua

While the number of verified government accounts on Sina Weibo, the country's most popular microblog service, has grown steadily over the past few years, it remains to be seen how effective they are in influencing public opinion.

3 Mar 2014 - 4:38am

Tensions with mainland run high ahead of NPC meeting in Beijing

A rally in Hong Kong demanding a cap on mainland visitors. Photo: Felix Wong

Some Hongkongers worry that growing tensions between city residents and mainlanders, as well as pro-democracy activists, could ruin any chance that Beijing will give the city a voice in 2017

1 Mar 2014 - 9:24am 3 comments

Local NPC delegates take stock after first year

Hong Kong delegate Brave Chan Yung.

A year after being elected to the National People's Congress, local deputy Brave Chan Yung has a short list of achievements. The 44-year-old social worker said that while he was pleased that mainland authorities seemed to be paying attention to the development of social services there, he was dissatisfied with the paltry progress in ending a monopoly that has pushed up meat prices.

1 Mar 2014 - 3:59am

PLA spending likely to slow as economy stalls, analysts say

President Xi Jinping visits troops stationed on the Sino-Mongolian border. Photo: Xinhua

Li Jie, a researcher at the PLA Navy's Military Academy, estimated the defence budget, expected to be announced by the National People's Congress on Wednesday, would show a slower rate of growth compared to the past few years.

1 Mar 2014 - 2:33am 2 comments

Conference austerity police put a new twist on 'personalised' bottled water

Tea attendants stand in line as they wait to serve delegates during the plenary meeting of the National People's Congress in Beijing. Photo: Reuters

Beijing has ratcheted up its campaign against waste and extravagant spending by government officials ahead of the annual parliamentary sessions next week, ordering luxurious dishes to be dropped from the menu and bottled water to be tagged with the names of delegates, the Beijing Times reported yesterday.

28 Feb 2014 - 12:29pm 1 comment

Families demand China's leaders take action to curb worsening air pollution

Stella Zhou, with her daughters Yunyun (left) and Zhuyi, worries over the effect of air pollution on her children and parents. Photo: Simon Song

Middle class families on the mainland are hoping political leaders meeting next week in Beijing provide something money can't buy - clean air.

28 Feb 2014 - 5:18am

Austerity bites for delegates to China’s National People’s Congress

The luxury Anhuacheng restaurant in Beijing. Photo: Adrian Wan

Shark's fin and abalone are conspicuous by their absence. Vintage wines will stay tucked away in the cellar. As deputies gather in Beijing this weekend for the annual National People's Congress (NPC) session, many are bracing themselves for a fortnight of unusual austerity.

28 Feb 2014 - 5:23am

Enough talk - time for China to actually implement major reforms

Chinese President Xi Jinping has talked about reforms on two occasions since the Lunar New Year holiday. Photo: Xinhua

Spring is in the air and how to rejuvenate the reform process will be the focus of next week's National People's Congress and Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference meetings.

27 Feb 2014 - 2:36am 1 comment

Six years on, farmer who received famed visit by Li Keqiang still living in debt and poverty

Fu Maoyan (left) and his wife Yang Fang are struggling to repay the 50,000 yuan that they borrowed from relatives to build new pigsties. Photo: Edward Wong

He has been visited by top government officials like Premier Li Keqiang and promised a better future than his hardscrabble life, but all of the attention has done little to improve the life of Qingbao farmer Fu Maoyan.

26 Feb 2014 - 4:46am 1 comment

Removal of CPPCC delegate Liu Yingxia’s tied to CNPC deal, paper says

Liu Yingxia. Photo: SCMP

The graft probe targeting the China National Petroleum Corporation – a powerbase of retired security tsar Zhou Yongkang – continues to widen, the 21st Century Business Herald reported yesterday, citing “multiple sources” close to the state oil giant.

26 Feb 2014 - 3:35am 1 comment