Teaching Comparative Government and Politics

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Voting results from China's legislature

Fewer "no" votes this year than last.

Delegates Endorse China’s 5-Year Plan
Not long after 8 a.m. on Wednesday, a line of buses roared onto cordoned-off Tiananmen Square in the heart of Beijing to drop off hundreds of delegates to the National People’s Congress. They walked quickly to the granite-pillared Great Hall of the People on the west side of the square for the final meeting of this year’s session.

Inside, for about an hour, they voted on some of the most important government measures this year, approving all by large majorities. As the delegates silently pressed buttons, the results flashed on large blue screens in the huge red-and-gold hall…

The votes included:
  • The 13th Five-Year-Plan, the first formulated under Mr. Xi. The result: 2,778 for, 53 against, 25 abstentions.
  • The annual government budget: 2,467 for, 299 against, 90 abstentions.
  • The Supreme People’s Court report: 2,600 for, 208 against, 46 abstentions.
  • A law regulating charitable organizations and fund-raising: 2,636 for, 131 against, 83 abstentions.
“Pretty much what I expected. Kind of the same as last year,” said Cao Jingxing, a commentator for Phoenix TV, based in Hong Kong…

The “yes” votes for crucial reports on Wednesday were similar to or higher than in recent years…

[One] reason for the high level of uniformity. Free speech at this legislative session has been crimped, some delegates say, as Mr. Xi continues to consolidate his power and assert the Communist Party’s hold over the news media…

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