Beijing committed to ‘one country, two systems’ says Premier Li Keqiang

Premier Li Keqiang delivers his report during the opening ceremony of the National People's Congress this morning. Photo: Reuters

Beijing will "unswervingly" implement the principles of ‘one country, two systems’ and maintain the long-term prosperity and stability of Hong Kong and Macau, Premier Li Keqiang promised in his first annual report.

Wednesday, 5 March, 2014, 1:01pm

Corruption the watchword as annual national summits near

A bottle of mao-tai cost about 5,000 yuan at five-star hotels and many hotels would be out of stock of the fiery white spirit during those two important weeks in March.

Every year in March, the country's most important officials and businessmen will converge in Beijing for the two annual top-level political summits known as "Liang Hui".

17 Feb 2014 - 8:09am

Beijing-loyalist Maria Tam says the right to be elected is not universal

Maria Tam (centre) on City Forum yesterday. She says Beijing may need to make the final decision on universal suffrage. Photo: SCMP

Speaking on a television talk show, the head of the Hong Kong delegation to the National People's Congress dismissed a UN Human Rights Committee's report on Hong Kong. The report expressed concern at the "lack of a clear plan to institute universal suffrage" and possible limits on who can stand for election.

11 Jun 2015 - 4:50pm 21 comments

Li Fei promoted to be new chairman of Basic Law Committee

Li Fei: stepping up. Photo: Xinhua

Li, who has a legal background, is expected to take up a major role in the forthcoming debate on Hong Kong's political reform, which will set out the rules for the 2016 Legislative Council election and for the selection of the chief executive in 2017 by universal suffrage.

20 Mar 2013 - 5:02am

Infographic: Who's who in China's new cabinet

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Premier Li Keqiang's team is expected to focus on narrowing the income gap, shifting a heavily investment-reliant economy to a more consumption-based one, as well as taming property prices.

12 Sep 2013 - 5:03am

Chilling history lesson for 'no' voter in Xi election

The Great Hall of the People in Beijing on March 14, 2013, when Xi was elected as China's President. Photo: AFP

While an overwhelming 2,952 delegates voted yes for China’s newly elected President Xi Jinping on Thursday, the only  “no” vote has attracted considerable attention and debate on China's social media.

16 Mar 2013 - 5:01am 3 comments

Security steps up for petitioners as China parliament meets

Police ask a petitioner to get up as he lies on the ground in an effort to draw attention outside the Great Hall of the People last week. Photo: Reuters

A few miles from China’s National People’s Congress in Beijing, citizens who have travelled from across the country to tell the government about their problems face tight controls on this age-old right.

29 Aug 2013 - 4:13am

State council has no right to impose tax, says NPC deputy

Zhao Dongling has won widespread support on Weibo, China's twitter-like service. Photo: Weibo/SCMP pictures

Zhao Dongling is not as famous as Jackie Chan and other celebrity NPC and CPPCC delegates attending sessions in Beijing this week. But her bold proposal to deprive China’s State Council of the power to impose taxes has won her national applause and support.

9 Mar 2013 - 2:07pm

Video: How much do foreigners know about Chinese politics?

As the Chinese parliament and its political advisory body hold their annual gatherings this month, “lianghui” (or “two sessions” a collective name for both National People’s Congress and Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference session) is probably the most popular topic of conversation.

8 Mar 2013 - 6:54pm

Milk powder, GM food and pollution: Interesting quotes from NPC

Zhang Chunxian, Communist Party chief of northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, at right, is mobbed by journalists after a briefing for the National People's Congress. Photo: AP

"We must pay attention to the problems triggered by curbs on milk powder transportation and respond to people's concerns on the issue."

Yu Zhengsheng, Standing Committee member of the Politburo of the Communist Party of China, on milk powder issue. 


7 Mar 2013 - 6:27pm

Hangzhou mayor Shao Zhanwei dies during NPC session

Shao Zhanwei. Photo: SCMP Pictures

Shao Zhanwei, China’s NPC deputy and mayor of Hangzhou, died of a heart attack on Wednesday morning during the annual parliamentary session in Beijing, reported Xinhua state news agency. 

Shao was born in 1956 and became the mayor of Hangzhou in February 2011, according to Hangzhou’s official website.

6 Mar 2013 - 3:06pm

Wen regrets not preventing his children doing business in China, reports say

Wen Jiabao. Photo: AFP

Despite the 11 failures China’s outgoing premier Wen Jiabao openly acknowledged in his last work report on Tuesday, sources say he omitted another important one: failing to stop his children doing business in China.

6 Mar 2013 - 7:20pm 1 comment

Activist's plan to legalise gay marriage submitted to NPC

Li Yinhe has said legalising same-sex marriage requires only minor changes to the current marriage law. Photo: Mark Ralston

“A [National People's Congress] member has brought the proposal to the parliament meeting, but only as a ‘suggestion’,” Li Yinhe said. On multiple occassions since 2003, she has entrusted NPC members to submit her proposal on gay marriage on her behalf. 

6 Mar 2013 - 1:45pm

China to hike budget deficit to 1.2tr yuan to stabilise growth

Outgoing premier Wen Jiabao (left) and his successor, Li Keqiang, at the first session of the new National People's Congress, which opened in Beijing yesterday. Photo: Simon Song

Besides running a record-high budget deficit, the economic tasks facing the new cabinet also include maintaining a GDP growth rate of 7.5 per cent, keeping inflation steady at 3.5 per cent and guarding against financial risks to make growth more sustainable, something stressed by outgoing Premier Wen Jiabao in his last work report.

6 Mar 2013 - 5:24am 1 comment

Wen devotes fewer words to Hong Kong, Macau at NPC

Wen stressed the importance of unity between Hong Kong and Macau and the mainland. Photo: Simon Song

Wen dropped references to "developing the economy", "improving people's livelihoods" and "facilitating democracy" in the two cities, a feature of previous reports.

6 Mar 2013 - 9:09am