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BEIJING - Thousands of national lawmakers and political advisors are heading to Beijing for the "two sessions," important annual events in China"s political calendar.
The first sessions of the 13th National People"s Congress (NPC) and the 13th National Committee of the Chinese People"s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) will convene on March 5 and March 3, respectively.
Deputies from Northeast China"s Heilongjiang Province were the first to arrive Friday.
Lawmaker Zhai Qingbin from Heilongjiang said poverty alleviation was among the topics he was concerned about most.
"More targeted measures should be taken to identify the poor people and lift them out of poverty," said Zhai, an entrepreneur in the agricultural sector.
Deputy Zhou Chaohong, from Tianjin Municipality, said he would propose integrated control over water pollution in the region of Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei.
NPC deputies are elected by people"s congresses of provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities. The armed forces elect their own. Deputies from Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan follow separate election rules decided by the NPC.
Being the first annual sessions following the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC), they are crucial to securing a victory in building a moderately prosperous society (Xiaokang) in all aspects and implementing the country"s 13th Five-Year Plan (2016-2020).
At the legislative session, deputies will deliberate a draft revision to the Constitution. The draft revision has incorporated major theoretical achievements, principles and policies adopted at the 19th CPC National Congress, particularly Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era.
The national supervisory commission is expected to be established, part of China"s anti-corruption drive to have all public servants exercising public power supervised.
A draft supervision law is also to be deliberated.
All these political moves, crucial to modernizing China"s system and capacity for governance, will pave way for China"s goal of "a great modern socialist country."
According to the two-stage development plan announced last October at the Party congress, socialist modernization will be basically realized from 2020 to 2035. From 2035 to the middle of the century, China will become a great modern socialist country that is "prosperous, strong, democratic, culturally advanced, harmonious and beautiful."
At the upcoming sessions, China will have a new leadership lineup. The leadership for the next five years will lead the nation to fulfil the 2020 target and lay the foundation to achieve the goal of becoming a "great modern socialist country."
China has set 2020 as the target year to achieve Xiaokang, with poverty eradicated, and GDP and per capita income doubling from 2010 levels.
A total of 68.53 million rural people over the past five years have seen their fortunes transformed, with the national poverty rate falling from 10.2 percent to 3.1 percent.
There were still 30.46 million rural people living below the national poverty line at the end of 2017, according to the National Bureau of Statistics.
Guo Naishuo, an NPC deputy from Jilin Province, said industries should be developed to prevent people falling into poverty again.
He also advised health stations at residential communities to better serve the neighborhood to reduce people"s medical bills and save resources of top public hospitals for the critically ill.
As for the GDP target, China needs annualized growth of 6.3 percent in 2018-2020, according to the office of the central leading group on financial and economic affairs. Its economy expanded 6.9 percent in 2017.
In developing a modernized economy as requested by the Party congress, China announced more efforts to deepen supply-side structural reform to attain high-quality development at the central economic work conference held at the end of 2017.
The tone-setting meeting also listed "pushing forward a new pattern of all-round opening up" as one of the priorities for this year and beyond. The year 2018 marks the 40th anniversary of China"s reform and opening-up drive.
Jia Hongtao, a deputy to the NPC from Heilongjiang Province, advised more technological innovation to turn "made in China" into "created in China."
"Pollution control should also keep up pace for the building of a beautiful China," Jia said.
Preventing major risks, targeted poverty alleviation and pollution control have been described by the Chinese leadership as the "three tough battles."
A hardline stance on irregular and illegal activities in the financial industry was also announced at the central economic work conference.
Specific plans on the above aspects are expected to be unveiled at the two sessions.
China has declared the principal contradiction the country faces as the contradiction between unbalanced and inadequate development and the people"s ever-growing need for a better life.
Su Quanke, a member of the CPPCC National Committee, brought a proposal to facilitate rural road construction.
CPPCC members come from various walks of life and ethnic groups. They are the think tank for the government, and the legislative and judicial organs. They put forward proposals for major political and social issues.
Su, an architect, said poor road infrastructure had hampered development in some rural areas, and improved road quality was vital for rural vitalization, a concept proposed at the 19th CPC National Congress.
A package of policies to see a strong agricultural sector, a beautiful countryside and well-off farmers was unveiled in the first central document of the year.
"These issues are all aspects that address the principal contradiction of China," Su said.