The annual sessions of China’s national legislature and top political advisory body, known as the “two sessions,” recently concluded in Beijing.
The 13th National People’s Congress (NPC) concluded its fourth annual session on Mar. 11, and the 13th National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) concluded its fourth session on Mar. 10.
As national lawmakers and political advisors were gathering for the two sessions, the world kept a close eye on China’s annual political event, to see how it will guide and influence the country’s development for the years ahead.
During the two sessions, Chinese President Xi Jinping mentioned “high-quality development” on multiple occasions.
The Chinese economy is in a critical period of transition from rapid development to high-quality development as the current wave of digitization surges, with the rapid development of online platforms, big data, cloud computing, Internet of Things, blockchain, and artificial intelligence said Qin Rongsheng, a member of the CPPCC National Committee and president of Beijing National Accounting Institute.
China has entered a new stage of comprehensively implementing the rural vitalization strategy and accelerating the development of digital rural areas, noted Lian Yuming, a member of the CPPCC National Committee and head of the Beijing-based Global City Development Corporation Council.
“For now, the digital infrastructure construction in our country’s rural areas is still facing many challenges, such as a lack of top-level design, insufficient resource coordination, weak infrastructure, and prominent regional differences,” Lian said.
As an NPC deputy in the field of agriculture and rural areas, Wei Houkai, director of the Rural Development Institute at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS), focused on issues concerning agriculture and rural areas.
China is a major agricultural country, and agriculture is the foundation of our national economy, Wei said. To promote rural vitalization in an all-around way, a large amount of investment is needed to prioritize the development of agriculture and rural areas.
As such, it is necessary to establish a stable growth mechanism for fiscal investment. In the public budget, the growth of expenditures on agriculture, forestry, and water projects should be faster than the growth of general public budget expenditures, Wei explained.
Education and research
In order to meet the new needs of rural modernization, Zhu Xiaojin, a member of the CPPCC National Committee and vice president of Nanjing Normal University, suggested vigorously developing vocational education and further improving the vocational education system in rural areas.
Zhong Maochu, a member of the CPPCC National Committee and a professor at the Nankai Institute of Economics, said that the construction of high-quality village-level primary schools should be included in the agenda of the rural vitalization strategy.
As one of the regions with the most concentrated educational resources, the highest level of development, and the strongest innovation capabilities in China, the Yangtze River Delta shoulders the historical mission of pioneering the way for the country to modernize education and build a high-quality education system, said Ge Daokai, an NPC deputy and director-general of the Jiangsu Education Department.
Zhuo Xinping, an NPC deputy and CASS Member, said that the world is undergoing major changes unseen in a century. Coupled with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, people’s mindsets and world outlooks will undergo tremendous changes.
Philosophers and social scientists must observe and study these new changes in a timely and attentive manner, and recognize opportunities and challenges ahead of the new era, Zhuo noted.
Based on his own experience participating in politics, He Yun’ao, a member of the CPPCC National Committee and a professor at Nanjing University, said that a CPPCC member must have a broader vision, and a deep understanding of the international and domestic situation. It is vital to understand the needs of the people, and reflect on major issues concerning the national economy and people’s livelihoods. It is necessary to go beyond the limits of disciplines and place known problems in a broader system of philosophy and social sciences for observation, so as to best determine their proposals.