CHINA: China’s rubber-stamp parliament, the National People’s Congress (NPC), starts its annual session on Sunday. Xi Jinping plans to make major changes to the country’s government and party at this year’s NPC.
The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) announced changes with “far-reaching significance” on Tuesday. The organisations in charge of state security, the finance and technology sectors, and other industries are likely to be reorganized.
Since Mao Zedong, Xi Jinping has been China’s most influential leader. After eliminating the two-term limit in 2018, he was re-elected as party secretary and head of the military commission at the CCP congress in October, paving the way for him to govern for the rest of his term.
The two-term restriction still holds true for positions that Xi Jinping does not hold. Li Qiang, who was promoted to the second post on the CCP Standing Committee in October, is anticipated to succeed Li Keqiang as premier. The brutal lockdown that was imposed on the city for two months in 2022 was overseen by Li Qiang, a close ally of Xi Jinping and his former head of staff. He served as the party secretary for Shanghai.
The sudden promotion of a cadre who had never worked in a high-level government job shows how much Xi Jinping values loyalty over background and tradition.
Another ally of Xi Jinping, He Lifeng, is anticipated to be named vice-premier in charge of economic policy and is also being considered for the position of party head of the People’s Bank of China. The creation of a new party committee to supervise the central bank and other financial institutions is one of the rumored changes.
The NPC will also reveal the government’s GDP growth goal for the coming year in addition to the political changes. Analysts think it will be between 5% and 6%, which is a big jump from the 3% it was last year. Other ideas brought up by delegates at the NPC are not likely to move forward without the support of the top leaders.
Li Yihu, a member of the NPC, has proposed initiatives to advance “civil exchanges” between China and Taiwan to support Beijing’s drive for what it refers to as “reunification”. Zhao Dongling, a screenwriter and NPC representative, wants all children born after 2024 to receive free education up until their senior year of college. Other delegates favour greater equality for married and single women.
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