Media centre opens as China prepares for upcoming annual political meetings

China's President Xi Jinping arrives for the closing session of China's National People's Congress (NPC) at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China on March 15, 2017. PHOTO: REUTERS

BEIJING (CHINA DAILY/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - The media centre for the upcoming annual sessions of the national legislature and top political advisory body opened on Tuesday (Feb 27) to reporters from home and abroad.

The centre said that more than 3,000 journalists have registered to cover the two sessions - the plenary session of the National People's Congress (NPC) and the plenary session of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC).

The CPPCC session will start on March 3 and NPC session on March 5.

For the first time, reporters will have a chance to interview NPC deputies along a newly planned "deputies' passage" in the Great Hall of the People, similar to the "ministers' passage" at previous sessions, said media centre director He Shaoren.

The "ministers' passage", also known as "the ministers' red carpet", is the 100m passage near the northern gate of the Great Hall of the People through which ministers and other high-ranking officials must walk through before entering the meeting hall.

During the two sessions, the corridor is usually crowded with reporters trying to raise questions to ministers and glean information from their quick responses.

This year, many NPC deputies will be invited to take media questions in a similar fashion so the session will be more open, Mr He said.

There also will be a series of news conferences during the upcoming two sessions, such as on China's foreign policy, reform and development and fiscal policy, he said.

The media centre, at Beijing's Media Centre Hotel, has set up facilities such as a main news conference hall and interview rooms.

The official website of the centre provides information from the sessions and interviews. Reporters can use the public computer ports and free WiFi at the centre as well as have access to free drinks and snacks.

Ms Zhou Wen, a reporter at China Women's News, said it is convenient to write and send out her stories with the facilities at the media centre.

"The computers and Internet here are quite handy. But I wish there would be more information about the delegations, NPC deputies and CPPCC (National Committee) members once the two sessions start," she said.

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