onsdag 29. april 2020

China to hold annual parliament meeting after two-month delay in signal that coronavirus is under control

China announced Wednesday it will hold the country's biggest annual political meeting in May following a two-month delay, the strongest signal yet from the Chinese government that it considers the novel coronavirus outbreak to be under control. The annual meeting of the National People's Congress (NPC), China's top legislative body, is usually held in early March. This year, it was postponed for the first time in decades due to the coronavirus outbreak.

On Wednesday, the NPC Standing Committee announced the parliamentary session will kick off on May 22, citing the "continuously improving situation of epidemic prevention and control on Covid-19" and a "gradual return to normal of economic and social life" in China, according to state news agency Xinhua.

The announcement is a symbolic display of confidence by Beijing that it has successfully contained the coronavirus, which was first reported in the Chinese city of Wuhan in December last year. It has since spread worldwide, infecting more than 3.1 million people and killing at least 216,000, according to Johns Hopkins University. The highly choreographed meeting of the rubber-stamp parliament will see nearly 3,000 delegates from around the country gathered in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, unveiling the country's key economic targets, approving budgets, and passing legislation in sessions that last for about 10 days.