Stability takes the spotlight at China’s ‘Two Sessions’

Domestic News

China is hosting its “Two Sessions,” the nation’s biggest annual political gathering. Throughout the long list of issues on the central government’s agenda, stability emerges as the guiding principle.

Illustration for SupChina by Derek Zheng

China’s annual “Two Sessions” (两会 liǎnghuì), the biggest political meetings of the year, are well underway in Beijing, as thousands of officials gather to discuss the central government’s priorities and plans. Stability, above all else, is the guiding rhetoric. Here are some of the key topics:

Stability in the economy: Premier Lǐ Kèqiáng 李克强 announced a 5.5% growth target for this year.

  • This would be the lowest economic growth target since 1991, though still on the higher end of the spectrum based on the 5.2% estimate from a Reuters poll of analysts and the 4.8% projected by the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
  • The ambitious target “signals an intent to stabilize an economy facing fierce pressures from a property slump and new risks from the Russia-Ukraine war,” per Bloomberg.

Stability in food and energy: General Secretary Xí Jìnpíng 习近平 repeated on Sunday his refrain that cutting emissions “shouldn’t come at the expense of energy and food security, supply chains, or the normal life and work of the people,” per the Global Times via Bloomberg. Xi also noted that “the rice bowls of the Chinese people must be filled with Chinese grain” from domestic food production.

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Stability in Ukraine: Foreign Minister Wáng Yì 王毅 reaffirmed China’s support for Russia, and indirectly accused the U.S. of making “moves that pour oil on the flame and escalate tensions” in Ukraine, while warning Washington against forming a “Pacific NATO” and backing Taiwan.

Stability among ethnic minorities and in special territories: Society would be “destabilized” without “ethnic unity and harmony,” Xi told Inner Mongolia delegates on Saturday, as the nation faces global criticism over its treatment of people in Xinjiang and Hong Kong.

  • Li said Beijing will implement its “patriots-only” principle when selecting officials in Hong Kong and Macau.

See Pekingnology’s twopart translation of Xi Jinping’s speeches.

Nadya Yeh