Scheduled for early March, it had been postponed due to the Covid-19 emergency. The regime wants to reinforce the idea that the crisis is over. Cracks emerge in consensus on Xi Jinping's handling of the crisis. A delegate from the Consultative Conference asks the government for a comprehensive plan to combat coronavirus.
Beijing (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The National People's Assembly (NPA) will meet on May 22nd. It was scheduled for early March, but was postponed for the first time in 20 years due to the coronavirus pandemic. The decision was announced yesterday by the PNA Standing Committee, which did not specify whether the session will last two weeks as in previous years.
Three thousand deputies will meet in Beijing in the Great Hall of the People in Tiananmen Square. They should discuss problems, policies and laws to be implemented for society: in reality they endorse everything the Communist Party Standing Committee has already decided.
The Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPCPC) also meets together with the NPC. Its 2,000 delegates (including religious ones) represent civil society and should offer advice to the National Assembly and the Party on how to improve national policies. In reality, it is a tool for submitting the population to leadership decisions.
According to many observers, with the announcement of the convocation, the regime intends to reinforce the idea that the coronavirus emergency is over. For the president of the PA, Li Zhanshu, the session aims to "gather the thoughts" of the delegates on the general situation in the country. The statement denotes a possible rift within the regime on how President (and CCP secretary) Xi Jinping has dealt with the pandemic crisis.
Jia Qingguo, a CPPCC Standing Committee member, calls on the government to launch a comprehensive aid plan to combat Covid-19. Beijing is accused by many countries, especially in the West, of using preferential donations and sales of medical supplies to increase its international prestige. According to Jia, a coordinated intervention program would help calm these accusations.
Presumably, the double session (the so-called "lianghui") will have to be kept under strict sanitary control. In Beijing, strict prevention measures are still in place; visitors undergo diagnostic tests and two weeks of quarantine. To date, there are 84369 infected and 4643 deaths in the country.