onsdag 13. mars 2019

Open dissent in China’s halls of power

It's not filibustering or parliamentary brawls, but there are signs of open dissent in the air at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. To many, Beijing’s annual meetings of its policymaking bodies – its rubber-stamp legislature the National People’s Congress (NPC) and advisory body the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) – are scripted, boring fare.

But there appeared to be more dissenting voices – although still mild by nature – at this year’s parliamentary sessions, even though President Xi Jinping faces no real challenge to his power. Most of these voices are heard in relation to China’s foreign policy, with the country locked in a costly trade war with the United States and facing setbacks in its attempts to spread its influence around the world.