China’s local legislative season has ended. The annual meetings of provincial lawmakers and political advisors to review the past year and make plans for the year to come have closed across the country.
Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era has been the focus of the sessions, guiding policy on growth, the environment, risk prevention and the fight against corruption.
Economic data released at the local “two sessions” have shown China is moving toward high-quality development, instead of merely pursuing high GDP.
Chongqing Municipality, one of the fastest-growing regions in China, set its growth target for 2018 at 8.5 percent, down 1.5 percentage points from last year.
The city in southwest China recorded a growth of 9.3 percent last year, after 15 years in double digits. It now pins its hope of growth on emerging industries such as big data and artificial intelligence.
The targets set by Gansu, Hubei, Tianjin and Tibet are all lower than last year.
“What we pursue is growth that fits reality and high-quality economic structure,” said Zhang Zhao’an, deputy head of the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences.
Zhang said the move is in line with the basic policy to uphold and develop socialism with Chinese characteristics in the new era, adopted at the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) in October 2017.
The work report of the Beijing municipal government said it will focus on its functions as the nation’s capital and pursue coordinated development with neighboring Tianjin and Hebei.
“This year marks the 40th anniversary of China’s reform and opening up. We can see clearly from the ‘two sessions’ that local governments will cement the foundation for fully building a modern socialist China,” said Zhou Hanmin, a national political advisor.
BETTER LIFE FOR PEOPLE
“As socialism with Chinese characteristics has entered a new era, the principal contradiction facing Chinese society has evolved. What we now face is the contradiction between unbalanced and inadequate development and the people’s ever-growing needs for a better life,” Xi told the 19th CPC National Congress.
Improving people’s life has been a highlight of all local two sessions.
Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region plans to invest over 57 billion yuan (about 9 billion U.S. dollars) in 10 projects that will directly improve people’s wellbeing.
The CPC has incorporated “Beautiful China” into its two-stage development plan for the building of a great modern socialist country, and environmental issues were high on the agenda of provincial legislative sessions.
Beijing plans to invest more than 67 billion yuan in environmental protection this year in sectors such as air pollution, water and soil improvement, as well as integrated garbage treatment.
SUPERVISORY SYSTEM REFORM
After the conclusion of the provincial “two sessions,” a name list of newly-elected directors of local supervisory commissions was published on the website of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI).
Setting up supervisory commissions at the provincial level is a key part of a national reform to build a new supervisory system that covers everyone who exercises public power, not only CPC officials.
The 19th CPC National Congress decided to extend the pilot supervisory system reform to nationwide, while the second plenary session of the 19th CCDI held just ahead of local “two sessions” identified the reform as its key task in 2018.
The government of southwest China’s Yunnan Province said in its work report that it will intensify the combat against corruption in poverty relief by strengthening auditing and supervision, and will investigate those who misuse or embezzle funds.
The 19th CPC National Congress asserted that the anti-corruption campaign “has built into a crushing tide, and is being consolidated and developed.”
“We will spare no effort in fighting against corruption to achieve a crushing victory,” said Du Jiahao, Party chief of central China’s Hunan Province.