mandag 4. mars 2024

Economy, security, party drama: What to expect at China’s ‘two sessions’

China’s two sessions, the state’s most important annual political meetings, open this week in Beijing where the country’s political elites will reflect on the broader trends in Chinese politics, offering a sense of what to expect in the coming year. The capital will host concurrent meetings of the National People’s Congress (NPC), the top legislature, and the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), the political advisory body to the Chinese Communist Party.

The CPPCC will hold its opening meeting Monday afternoon with chairman Wang Huning delivering its work report. But the bigger focus will be on the Chinese premier’s work report on Tuesday. China’s economy, the world’s second largest, is growing at its slowest pace since 1990 and policy makers are grappling with how to steer it back to a recovery track.

The challenge is underpinned by deepening long-standing structural problems built up over past decades where growth has hinged on exports, and government investments that have resulted in local governments being overleveraged and drowned in debt. It is compounded by a real estate industry crisis and weak domestic demand depressing prices.