There were few surprises at China’s lianghui or “Two Sessions” when the two top legislative bodies, the National People’s Congress (NPC) and the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, met to outline the country’s direction for this year. Concepts such as “dual circulation” had been discussed at length by both media and policymakers before the conference held at the Great Hall of the People. 

That is not to say that the meetings were a non-event. The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has imbued the sessions with significance as the beginning of China’s journey to become a “modern socialist economy”. The 14th Five-Year Plan (14FYP), which sets China’s economic direction until 2025, is the first step in China’s vision of becoming a medium-level developed country in terms of GDP per capita by 2035.

“The period covered by the 14FYP will be the first five years in which we embark on a new journey to build China into a modern socialist country in all respects,” explained Premier Li Keqiang as he delivered the government work report on March 5. “We should ... accelerate our efforts to create a new development pattern to promote high-quality development.”

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