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Summary of Chinese People’s Congress 2020: Attack on Hong Kong and economic recovery

Instead of the usual 5th of March, the People’s Congress of China is only now being held at the end of May. The approximately 3000 delegates are not freely elected but are sent every 5 years by local People’s Congresses of the provinces. Many observers see this event as the most important political event in China.

Summary

China…

  • … proposes a security law that would allow Beijing to ban insurgent actions by Hong Kong.
  • … takes on billions in debt to boost the economy
  • …’s economy slumped by 6.8 percent in the first quarter
  • … wants to create nine instead of eleven million new jobs.
  • … has only a few infected people left.

New law against Hong Kong

A new security law, which allows Beijing to suppress activities perceived as subversive, has been enacted and is causing much turmoil worldwide. This idea has existed since 2003, but had to be stopped due to strong protests. The law does not violate the legitimate freedom of Hong Kong residents, Lam explains.

It attacks the principle of “one country, two systems”, which Hong Kong was supposed to give autonomy to. The People’s Congress is to deliberate on the law and announce its decision on May 28th, however, the Congress is famous for never being divided in votes. This will bypass the parliament of Hong Kong. We will probably see more intense protests in the near future.

Economic recovery

With new debts in the billions, China wants to fight the economic consequences of the coronavirus, Prime Minister Li Keqiang announced. In addition, government bonds worth one trillion yuan (140 billion dollars) will be issued. No growth forecast was made for this year. The economy had slumped by 6.8 percent in the first quarter, a rarity for China, which is why the national debt exceeded the critical threshold of 3.6 percent of economic output.

Li promised that despite the difficult situation, all trade agreements with other states would be pushed forward, including the agreement with the USA, which was signed in mid-January. It states that both sides will no longer impose additional punitive tariffs.

Coronavirus

By holding the congress, China is showing how far it has already come in the fight against the virus. Prime Minister Li Keqiang rejects accusations that China has covered up the high infection rates and has not cooperated sufficiently. It has adopted an “open, transparent and responsible attitude” in international cooperation and provided information in good time.

Out of more than 84,000 infections, about 80,000 people recovered. 4,500 have died. In the meantime, only very few cases remain and the quarantine is slowly being lifted.

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