The 4th Session of the 12th National People’s Congress held its first news conference on Friday in Beijing, ahead of the NPC session officially opening on Saturday.
National People’s Congress spokeswoman Fu Ying briefed the media about the agenda of this year’s Two Sessions and took questions from the audience.
According to Fu, one of the most discussed topics this year will be the 13th Five-Year Plan that mapped out the national development for the next five years.
She said that the draft plan will be submitted for revision and discussion starting from Saturday. Discussions around the plan have been highly anticipated among the attendees due to the current economic downward pressures.
She said the NPC and its standing committee will meet people’s expectations, conduct research projects on key issues, and invite government representatives to join in the debate, to make sure new ideas and suggestions are heard.
Also, Fu responded again to the reported “militarization” of the South China Sea, saying that it is unfair to blame China for the tensions in the South China Sea.
She said that such reports are misleading to the public. She stressed that China’s development and constructions in the South China Sea are necessary and helps China to keep peace and stability.
She went further, pointing out that U.S. military actions close to China can provoke strong sentiments among the Chinese people.
Fu further revealed China’s rough defense budget which will be submitted to review on Saturday. She said China’s defense budget will continue to increase but the increase will be smaller, at around 7 to 8 percent.
Another hot topic among the media was the revision and implementation of China’s charity law.
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Fu said that, the charity law is very important and should not be underestimated. She said China needs a comprehensive and basic framework to build the charity system.
As the economy grows, more people are expected to donate to charity. From 2006 to 2014, the total value of charitable donations in China increased 10 fold — from 10 billion yuan to over 100 billion yuan. And there are 65 million volunteers. She said teh government needs to create a better legal environment so that the people who are willing to donate will be respected and their donations guaranteed.
Fu also responded to questions about anti-corruption, the compilation of the civil code, air quality control, and implementations of the second-child policy.
The 4th session of the 12th National People’s Congress will open on Saturday. About 3,000 deputies from around the country will have their voices heard at the legislature over the next 12 days.
Over 3,200 reporters registered to report on the Two Sessions, including around 1,000 from overseas newsrooms. Fifteen or 16 press conferences will be held throughout the Two Sessions.
Story by CCTV NEWS.