Two Sessions or 'lianghui': China's biggest political gathering, in a nutshell

The two bodies will focus on China's next five-year plan between 2021 and 2025 and the Communist Party's centenary year.
The two bodies will focus on China's next five-year plan between 2021 and 2025 and the Communist Party's centenary year.PHOTO: EPA-EFE

SINGAPORE - The Two Sessions, or "lianghui", are annual parliamentary meetings in Beijing during which lawmakers and advisers review the annual targets of the world’s second-largest economy.

This year, the meetings, comprising the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) and the National People's Congress (NPC), will begin on Thursday (March 4) and are expected to end on March 11. The CPPCC is the country's top political advisory body, while the NPC is China's top legislature.

This year, the two bodies will focus on China’s next five-year plan between 2021 and 2025 and the Communist Party’s centenary year.

They will review economic benchmarks and budgets at the national and local levels.

A key policy focus this year will be on developing domestic technology and self-reliance, as China braces itself for a decoupling from foreign technology.

Last year, the Two Sessions were postponed to May from March because of the Covid-19 pandemic and shortened from about 10 days to a week. Some 5,000 lawmakers and advisers attended.

Many restrictions imposed last year due to Covid-19 will be in place this year, including a shortened period for the meetings.

Only Beijing-based journalists will be allowed to register for the events, and most events will take place virtually.

Previously, reporters, no matter where they are based in China, could visit the Great Hall of the People in the capital for the meetings.