Two Sessions shortened amid COVID-19 outbreak
Enforcing strict safety measures to keep participants ultra-safe will be the top concern of this year’s National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, the country’s top political advisory body.
China has nearly 3,000 national lawmakers and more than 2,000 political advisors. The large-scale gathering in Beijing requires all-out efforts to ensure that the epidemic does not resurge again.
According to a CPPCC press conference on Wednesday, the number of journalists has been greatly reduced, from around 3,000 normally to just a few hundred, the number of plenary meetings and group meetings will be reduced.
Except for the opening and closing meetings, this year’s session includes two plenary meetings, one of which will be convened via video, as well as six group meetings.
Guo Weimin, spokesperson for the third session of the 13th CPPCC National Committee, said in the briefing that the Two Sessions will be shorter than usual and social distancing will be enforced.
The annual session of China’s top political advisory body will start at 3pm on Thursday in Beijing after a two-month-plus delay due to the coronavirus pandemic, and end on May 27 — four-and-a-half days shorter than previously planned.
Guo briefed the media on the session and took questions through video conference amid COVID-19 pandemic.
With regard to media coverage, some Beijing-based Chinese and foreign journalists will be invited to the Great Hall of the People for interviews while there will be no group interviews.
Three corridor interviews of CPPCC members will be conducted via online video.
At this year’s meeting, CPPCC members represent wide cross-sections of society and many of them have taken part in China’s COVID-19 response, Guo told reporters.
The political advisory body has also worked for improving the public health emergency response by conducting video conferences, online workshops and seminars to discuss key issues that emerged during the pandemic and offer advice including the strengthening construction of specialized hospitals for infectious diseases and expert teams.
Guo said with concerted efforts of the whole country, China has brought the COVID-19 epidemic under control in a short period of time. China’s virus response and its global aid have achieved positive results. He added some foreign politicians will not succeed in their attempt to smear China over COVID-19.