Premier Li Keqiang’s frank answers to journalists’ questions on March 15 gave average people and businesses more confidence as he articulated support for solving everyday difficulties.
In the two-and-a-half-hour news conference, the Premier took 18 questions, ranging from China-United States ties to employment and consumption. Many of my friends said he did not avoid any sensitive topics and responded to “sharp” questions.
Benhedouga Anis, a journalist from Algerian Radio who attended the event for the first time, said the Premier is clear about China’s economic and social progress.
For instance, he made clear stances on topics closely related to people’s lives, such as caring for the elderly and children. As he said, more government support will help increase supply in this field. As I am a father of an 18-month old daughter and a son of two retired parents, I felt more confidence from his answers.
This was my third time covering the event, and I was extremely lucky to get a chance to pose a question.
As I did last year, I got up at 5 am and went to the Great Hall of the People with my colleagues. One of them joked that the two sessions are one of the very few occasions each year to see the sun rise in Beijing, as many journalists are night owls.
The event usually attracts hundreds of journalists, who line up very early in front of the Great Hall of the People to claim a good spot. Fortunately, we were among the earliest to get in at around 7:30 am.
When it started at 10:30 am, most journalists raised their hands to compete for a rare opportunity. After two hours of waving my right hand, I was extremely worried I’d miss the chance because 14 journalists had asked their questions already.
Fortunately, I was the second to last to ask my question, and I asked about policies aimed at encouraging domestic consumption. Li Li, a 36-year-old relative of mine in Chongqing, said I spoke for her and many like her on how the government aims to cut the cost of living for average citizens.
Premier Li said obstacles will be removed to boost domestic consumption, including cutting internet fees and electricity costs for industrial and commercial users. Indeed, his answer was quite satisfying.
During the Q&A process, cameramen in the back could take restroom breaks, but we in the front could not. So I stayed put until the end of the event.
When it wrapped up, I was tired and hungry and eager to go to the restroom. In this sense, a good body is more than necessary to make a good journalist.