Two Sessions to Pave the Way for China in an Increasingly Uncertain World

China began its most important political deliberations of the year on March 4, with the opening of its Two Sessions, that is, the assembly of its two major legislative bodies, the National People’s Congress (NPC) and the Chinese Peoples’ Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC). This year’s gathering is particularly important given the war in Ukraine, the genocide in Gaza, and the increased economic pressure from the U.S. and others to restrict the sale of high technology products to China. The main theme of the ten day deliberations will be how to move the deteriorating world situation in the direction of President Xi’s community of shared interests.

While the Western “hype” about China’s imminent demise as a major economic power is not taken seriously by most scholars, the hostile actions taken by the United States and European countries have had an adverse impact on the economy. The Chinese leadership will no doubt take additional measures to open up the economy to foreign investment, as some U.S. companies hesitate to expand their business activities in China. Chinese banks have recently eased credit for specific categories of investment, which are also important for maintaining employment, and therefore social stability.

But at the same time, the Chinese government will be wary about simply “opening all doors”, given the clear intention expressed by CIA Director William Burns to recruit more “human resources” for purposes of espionage in China. Beijing can expected to respond with measures to protect China’s data.

There will continue to be an emphasis on pushing forward in all fields of science and technology. What China is being deprived of due to the restrictions from abroad will have to be made up by the country’s own domestic talents. Already there has been something of a “forced march” in the area of S&T, and there may be some big surprises coming out of the Congress in that respect.

On the foreign policy front, China is at the forefront of peace initiatives for both Ukraine and Israel-Palestine. Beijing’s special envoy Li Hui was in Moscow on March 2-3 to discuss China’s peace proposal, on a tour that took him to Brussels, and will have included Ukraine, Poland, Germany and France. Beijing has also been discreetly, but effectively, proposing approaches for mutual development in South-West Asia, both in the region itself and at the UN. A new foreign minister is likely to be named at the NPC, and it may well be Liu Jianchao, who has already traveled to important countries to make himself more known to his counterparts.

We note that just three days before the Two Sessions began, Global Times ran an article on the major goals of the leadership, in which two foreign experts were quoted, the first being Helga Zepp-LaRouche, founder of the Schiller Institute. She said, among other things, that she hoped the event “will show the world the way forward in terms of how to overcome the mistaken view that a country or a group of countries must defend its interests against another group by any means necessary”.

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