03/03/2017, 17.31
CHINA
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The "two sessions" of Chinese politics begin today but few are interested

by Wang Zhicheng

The Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference opened today, two days before the National People's Congress. The lack of interest stems from the fact that everything has already been decided. At least 10,000 people with petitions have been removed from the city.

Beijing (AsiaNews) – The Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) opened today. Two days from now it will be the turn of the National People’s Congress (PNC).

The two bodies meet in what is known as the ‘two sessions’ for a period of about two weeks. For the Chinese Communist Party, this represents the highest moment in the people’s political life, but much of the "people" seems totally uninterested.

About 5,000 people will attend the two gatherings. The CPPCC brings together representatives of the cultural, religious, economic, and social milieus to consult with and advise the leadership.

The NPC brings together 3,000 political representatives. After the State of the Nation address by the prime minister, it votes on laws, budgets, top official appointments and regulations set by the Standing Committee.

Usually they approve what has been already decided from above and contrary votes do not exceed ten per cent.

Since everything has already been decided, most Chinese are not interested in what they say or do. "They have already decided everything on their own,” said Qian Long, “and we have no chance to influence things. Then, every year, it is the same soup."

Still, some people who have travelled thousands of kilometers in order to arrive in Beijing for the "Two sessions", hope to use this opportunity to present their petition to some top representative.

These individuals or groups have suffered injustices by local governments (seizure of land, houses, judgments, prisons [. . .] and want more justice from those higher up.

To avoid mass gatherings that can embarrass the leadership, police have already removed at least 10,000 people who had assembled to present their petition.

Some were sent back to their town or village; others, more stubborn, were shipped to so-called ‘black jails’, i.e. secret places of detention. Some were instead blocked by local police even before they left for Beijing.

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