Two sessions put on hold amid outbreak
China's top legislative and political advisory bodies have decided to postpone this year's two sessions, which customarily begin in early March, as the nation focuses on fighting the novel coronavirus pneumonia outbreak.
The specific rescheduled time awaits further decisions, according to the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress and the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference.
The term "two sessions" refers to the annual plenary session of the NPC, which was due to start on March 5, and the annual plenary session of the CPPCC National Committee, which was due to open on March 3.
The two sessions are considered to be the country's biggest annual political event, as about 3,000 national legislators and 2,200 national political advisers gather in Beijing to review work reports from the central government, as well as the nation's highest court and procuratorate, the budget and the national economic and social development plan. In some years, they also deliberate on key bills or elect State leaders.
As they are from across the country and represent all walks of life, legislators and political advisers also bring voices from the grassroots and different sectors of society to the central leadership at the two sessions.
However, as this is still a crucial time in fighting the outbreak and many national legislators and political advisers are working on the front line of the battle, the NPC and CPPCC said earlier this month that it may be necessary to delay this year's two sessions.
Therefore, the NPC Standing Committee decided during a bimonthly meeting on Monday to postpone the third plenary session of the 13th NPC.
Li Zhanshu, chairman of the NPC Standing Committee, said the decision was made following careful research and deliberation by the top legislature, and it was based on the current epidemic situation and the practical needs of disease prevention and control work.
A recent meeting of the Chairperson's Council of the CPPCC National Committee also suggested postponing the third plenary session of the 13th CPPCC National Committee, it was announced on Monday.
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