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Packed agenda awaits advisers

Wang Xiaodong and Zhang Zhihao
Updated: May 21,2020 10:12 AM    China Daily

Members of China's top political advisory body will have a busy agenda as they review and discuss work reports of the central government and the top judicial and procuratorate bodies, as well as the draft civil code and related resolutions, a spokesman said on May 20.

The third session of the 13th National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference will start at 3 pm on May 21 and end on May 27, four-and-a-half days earlier than previously planned, Guo Weimin, spokesman of the session, said at a news conference.

The number of plenary meetings and panel discussions will be reduced. There will be three meetings at the Great Hall of the People — the opening and closing meetings and a plenary meeting in which some political advisers will deliver speeches. A similar event with speeches will be held using a video linkup, according to Guo. Foreign diplomats will be invited to attend the opening and closing meetings, he said.

Apart from the routine agenda, topics related to epidemic prevention and control, as well as poverty alleviation, are expected to receive more attention given the COVID-19 situation and China's pledge to lift all of its people out of absolute poverty by the end of this year.

Guo said political advisers have highlighted the urgency of improving public health emergency management and the country's overall governance system in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak.

China has made major achievements in fighting COVID-19 after arduous efforts, but coping with the new virus has also exposed some deficiencies in the country's epidemic prevention and control system and public health emergency management, he said.

Following the COVID-19 outbreak, many CPPCC National Committee members made proposals on making up for shortfalls in public health emergency management and related topics, Guo said. Proposals include speeding up legislation in public health, enhancing the quick response ability for epidemic monitoring, establishing a mechanism integrating modern and traditional Chinese medicine on the prevention and control of major epidemics and improving the development of hospitals specializing in infectious diseases.

Guo said more efforts are needed to fight bureaucracy and data fraud in poverty relief work, and to prevent farmers who were recently lifted out of poverty from sliding back into economic woes as well as dealing with the new challenges posed by the COVID-19 outbreak.

Political advisers have been actively involved in the battle against poverty. The CPPCC National Committee has conducted surveys in 17 provincial regions with a focus on assessing whether relief approaches were tailored to local circumstances, Guo said.

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