SPARK II - China's "two sessions": phoney democracy or true innovation?
Added On March 9, 2017
Central Beijing is getting a lot busier this month.
That’s because China's annual gathering of top legislators and advisers known as the "two sessions" is taking place.
For years, the sessions have been dubbed by Western media as a "muted, rubber-stamping, closed-door networking of bigwigs that are irrelevant to the people."
Such a narrow interpretation is unfortunate. At least our politicians don't fight in parliament, yell at each other, or delay important work through filibustering.
In China, we like things done quietly, orderly and efficiently.
Today China is home to the world's longest high-speed railway. In over three decades, 700 million Chinese have risen from poverty.
If you think you can deliver good governance to a country with a population four times that of the United States and a territory 39 times that of Britain, without doing some real hard work at the "two sessions", you are either hallucinating or believe that the Chinese Communist Party is somehow magical.
Just last year, lawmakers and advisers made over 11,000 proposals with the aim of improving livelihoods and facilitating the country's long-term development.
For example, a deputy from China's Xinjiang proposed developing key technologies for new energy vehicles since the freezing weather in his hometown and some other northern parts of China shortened battery life. His idea was a good one and thus included as part of China's 13th five-year development plan.
Such proposals, small or big, ranging from housing to diplomatic policies, are discussed by delegates and mostly responded to by the State Council and translated into practice. Perhaps that’s one of the main reasons China can achieve in several decades what many Western countries built in centuries.
Of course China faces problems that have emerged with such rapid transition. But we don't back away from difficult challenges. As President Xi Jinping said the Chinese people will roll up their sleeves and work hard to realize their dreams. That means their representatives at this year's "two sessions" will be busier than ever.