Teaching Comparative Government and Politics

Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Big deal or "Big" deal?

For participants, these meetings are big deals. Are they big deals for citizens and those of us outside of China?

Commentary: China's annual political sessions to unleash growth momentum for global economy
NPC in session
China's upcoming two annual political sessions will once again focus on economic policies, which is widely expected to inject new vigor and vitality into the economic giant and unleash growth momentum for the the global economy. A series of reform agenda are highly anticipated at this year's sessions of lawmakers with the National People's Congress (NPC) and political advisors with the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), including reforms of local government financing, taxation, pricing, State-owned enterprises and the household registration system…
China Focus: A-Z of "two sessions" talking points
CPPCC in session
The plenary sessions of the National People's Congress (NPC) and the National Committee of the Chinese People' s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), popularly known as the "two sessions", will kick off this week. What will be the big talking points? Xinhua has compiled a list of 26 hot topics.

A|Anti-corruption: The Chinese government has adopted a zero-tolerance approach in fighting corruption since the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) in November 2012.

In 2015, China's top anti-graft watchdog said it will net more "tigers" and "flies" -- corrupt government officials at both higher and lower levels -- and combat graft in state-owned enterprises (SOEs).

But how to build a long-term mechanism to supervise the exercise of official power requires suggestions from NPC deputies and CPPCC members.

B|Breakup of Monopolies: Although China has eased market access in many industries and started SOE reforms in a bid to mobilize private investment and break monopolies, there is still a lot to do to achieve fair competition. Experts believe the private sector will reap more fruit this year…

[You can probably guess the organizing system for the following 24 "hot topics."]
In China’s Legislature, the Rich Are More Than Represented
Lawmakers in much of the world are often accused of being in the pockets of billionaires. But there’s a difference in China. Here, the lawmakers are the billionaires.

Among the 1,271 richest Chinese people tracked by the Shanghai-based Hurun Report, a record 203, or more than one in seven, are delegates to the nation’s Parliament or its advisory body, which will convene for their yearly joint session this week in Beijing…

American lawmakers are poor by comparison. According to figures provided by the Center for Responsive Politics, a Washington-based group that tracks money in American politics, the richest person in any of the United States government’s three branches, Representative Darrell Issa, a California Republican, would rank as only the 166th richest member at the meeting of China’s National People’s Congress and the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Congress which opens on Wednesday…

Still, while the National People’s Congress is a rubber stamp for the ruling Communist Party, lacking the power of the United States Congress or the British Parliament, the concentration of wealth in its ranks reflects the growing influence of the rich in Chinese politics.

That is no accident. Starting more than a decade ago, the Communist Party, founded to empower workers and peasants and quash the capitalist class, began to welcome wealthy members to broaden its appeal and buttress its authority…

A seat on one of the two bodies is highly desirable, not because the positions are powerful, but because being a delegate provides access to the highest echelons of the party and the government. It is also a clear sign to potential business partners and rivals of political clout.

Membership in either body can also provide wealthy Chinese with protection from government actions that could hurt their businesses…

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