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Envoys focus on Beijing's policy goals

China's plans for advancing economy, cooperation on list of intl interests

By Mo Jingxi | China Daily | Updated: 2024-03-05 08:05

Foreign envoys attend the second session of the 14th National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, which opened at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Monday. [WANG JING/CHINA DAILY]

Foreign diplomats said they are keen to learn about China's policy goals for this year, particularly in the economic and diplomatic fields, when they attend key events at the two sessions as observers.

The Chinese government has invited them to the opening meeting of the annual gathering of the country's national legislators on Tuesday, where they will hear firsthand the annual Government Work Report delivered by Premier Li Qiang.

It has been a tradition for diplomatic envoys in China to be invited to the opening and closing meetings of the two sessions to learn about the world's second-largest economy's achievements over the past year and hear about its development targets for the upcoming year.

The National People's Congress, the country's top legislature, and the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, the top political advisory body, are meeting in Beijing for the two sessions.

Siyabonga Cyprian Cwele, South African ambassador to China, who has attended the two sessions several times since assuming his post in 2020, said that any ambassador who misses the two sessions does not see the whole picture of the country's achievements and goals.

"It's a meeting where the Chinese government maps out the plans for the year, the resources to be allocated for the year, and areas where they are focusing in terms of development," he said.

Cwele said he will be looking carefully at China's economic development plans, especially in regard to the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region and the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, so that his country can interact better with the Chinese side.

Marco V. Balarezo, Peruvian ambassador to China, said the Chinese government has various mechanisms to gather insights and recommendations from experts, academics and intellectuals to help shape the country's policies.

Balerezo, who will attend the two sessions for the first time, said he will have the opportunity to observe firsthand the functioning of the most important bodies of the Chinese political system.

"We can gain valuable insights from this aspect of China's governance with Chinese characteristics," he said.

Bishnu Pukar Shrestha, Nepali ambassador to China, will attend the two sessions for a second time. The uniqueness of the two sessions is the attendance of thousands of representatives from across the country, which showcases China's democratic parliamentary system, he said.

"I'm interested to learn about the targets of China for 2024 in various areas including trade, investment, tourism, digital technology, science and innovation, and green energy," he said. The Belt and Road Initiative and the Global Development Initiative are among other areas he is interested in hearing about, he said.

The Nepali ambassador said that as a close and friendly neighbor, Nepal looks forward to seeing how China prioritizes neighborhood policies. His country is interested in the implementation of South-South cooperation, economic cooperation, people-to-people exchanges and green and low-carbon development, the ambassador added.

Pick Fung Ho-Chong, ambassador of the Republic of Suriname to China, said that the two sessions are very important for foreign envoys in China as their work and duties need to be informed by everything happening in the country, including at the political level. "It was really eye-opening, structural and very well-organized," she said of her attendance last year.

"I'm very happy to be invited and looking forward to the event this year," she said.

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