China “two sessions” 2023: Xi Jinping promises “powerful” overhaul of financial and technology sectors

While Xi’s speech to the political leaders echoed his work report to the party congress in October, it represented the first confirmation that the aforementioned changes would be included in the imminent overhaul plan.

He was referring to a plan to overhaul several party organs and government departments that will be unveiled when the National People’s Congress — China’s top legislative body — begins its annual session on March 5.

The reform will also seek to strengthen party building in the private sector, Xi told the leaders.

The proposed reform package was adopted at the Central Committee’s conclave, which ended on Tuesday. It will then be sent to the NPC for approval.

The plan will “strengthen the leadership of the Communist Party,” according to the readout from the conclave, which did not provide details of the package.

The overhaul will involve central and local party institutions, the NPC, the State Council or China’s Cabinet, and the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), the country’s top advisory body, the reading said.

The CPPCC is set to start its annual session a day before the NPC – March 4.

China's 20th Party Congress ends with a bigger-than-expected leadership reshuffle


China’s 20th Party Congress ends with a bigger-than-expected leadership reshuffle

Known as China’s “two sessions”, the annual meetings of the top legislative and policy advisory bodies bring together key leaders to discuss proposals and vote on legislation, providing insight into the government’s reform initiatives and its future direction.

This year’s “two sessions” will see China complete a leadership transition twice a decade, with a reshuffle of top government positions, including the naming of a new prime minister, while Xi is expected to secure a third term as president.

However, the exact duration of China’s most watched event for foreign and domestic media generally remains a mystery until the day before the curtain goes up.

The only clues as to its duration can be found in the massive security arrangements surrounding the event.

The Beijing municipal government last week issued a notice banning the use of small flying objects – such as drones, balloons and unapproved aircraft – within the city’s administrative region for the two weeks from March 1 to 14.

Also last week, China Post, the state-owned official postal service, issued a notice requiring an extra layer of security checks for all mail and packages sent to Beijing.

The reading of Tuesday’s proceedings included a pledge to roll out a series of “strategic” and “innovative” reform measures in the near future.

“(We must) achieve new breakthroughs in important areas and key factors,” it said.

The meeting also called on the participants, which included hundreds of full and alternate members of the Central Committee, to “try to fulfill this year’s goals”, without specifying what those goals are.

China has entered a period where development challenges and risks coexist and the future is increasingly uncertain and unpredictable, the reading said, with all party members urged to be prepared to “face great tests, even in the midst of a storm”.

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