Front roll: Chinese President Xi Jinping (m), with top Chinese officials during the opening ceremony of the second session of the 14th National People’s Congress (NPC), China’s national legislature at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on March 5, 2024.


The 14th National People’s Congress (NPC), China’s national legislature, opened its second session at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on March 5, 2024. Chinese President Xi Jinping and top Chinese officials which included Chinese Premier, Li Qiang; the Chairman of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, Wang Huning; First-Ranked Secretary of the Secretariat of the Chinese Communist Party, Cai Qi; the First Vice Premier, Ding Xuexiang; the Secretary of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, Li Xi and the Vice President, Han Zheng, were present at the opening meeting, which was attended by nearly 3,000 NPC deputies. Also, the Executive Chairman of the Session’s Presidium, Zhao Leji, presided over the meeting.

Premier Li delivered a government work report at the meeting. Li said in the face of an unusually complex international environment and the challenging tasks of advancing reform and development and ensuring stability at home, China accomplished main goals and tasks for economic and social development in 2023 and made solid advances in building a modern socialist country in all respects.

Reviewing the work that was carried out in 2023, Li also said the government strengthened macro regulation and promoted steady economic recovery and growth. Other work Li listed included the promotion of industrial upgrading through innovation, deepening reform, expanding opening up, and improving the business environment.

Li further said the year 2024 marks the 75th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China, and it is a crucial year for fulfilling the objectives and tasks set out in the 14th Five-Year Plan.

He disclosed major targets for the current year’s development, including a GDP growth of around five percent, the creation of over 12 million jobs in urban areas, and a CPI increase of around three percent.

To achieve the targets, the premier called for more efforts to advance high-quality development, promote better interplay between an efficient market and a well-functioning government, and further stimulate and boost the vitality of the society.

Li outlined major tasks for 2024, including striving to modernize the industrial system and developing new quality productive forces at a faster pace, invigorating China through science and education, expanding domestic demand, continuing to deepen reform and pursuing higher-standard opening up.

He also elaborated on work related to improving government performance, ethnic and religious affairs, national defense and military development, the development of Hong Kong and Macao, cross-Strait relations, and foreign policy.



President xi stresses developing new quality productive forces

Chinese President Xi Jinping, has stressed developing new quality productive forces amid the country’s accelerated efforts to foster new growth drivers and promote high-quality development.

First put forward by Xi in his inspection tour of Northeast China’s Heilongjiang Province in September 2023, the term was highlighted again at the Central Economic Work Conference in December, and became the subject of the first group study session held by the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee this year.

With innovation playing the leading role, new quality productive forces mean advanced productivity that is freed from traditional economic growth mode and productivity development paths, features high-tech, high efficiency and high quality, and comes in line with the new development philosophy, Xi, who doubles as the General Secretary of the CPC Central Committee, said at the study session.

Xi noted that new quality productive forces are driven by revolutionary technological breakthroughs, innovative allocation of production factors, and deep industrial transformation and upgrading.

Xi further highlighted the concept again when participating in a deliberation at the ongoing annual national legislative session, stressing developing new quality productive forces based on local conditions.

He called for efforts to step up innovation, foster emerging industries, adopt forward-thinking plans for developing future-oriented industries and improve the modern industrial system. Xi however said developing new quality productive forces does not mean neglecting or abandoning traditional industries, noting that it is necessary to prevent a headlong rush into projects and the formation of industry bubbles, and avoid adopting just a single model of development.

China, it would be recalled, has made strides in boosting sci-tech innovation and industrial upgrading and its global ranking in innovation has increased markedly over the past decade, while strategic emerging industries, such as new energy, high-end equipment and biotechnology, have taken a larger share in the national economic output.


Chinese, African Leaders to Meet in Beijing Over Future Development, Cooperation


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Member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and Foreign Minister, Wang Yi.


On March 7, 2024, Member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and Foreign Minister, Wang Yi, talked about China-Africa relations when he met the press during the NPC and CPPCC sessions.

Wang Yi said that the tradition that Chinese foreign ministers begin their overseas visits every year with a trip to Africa has continued for 34 years.

According to Wang, “This is unparalleled in the history of international exchanges. It is so because China and Africa are brothers treating each other with sincerity and sharing a common future. China and African countries have fought shoulder to shoulder against imperialism and colonialism. They have supported each other in pursuit of development. They have always stood for justice in a changing international landscape. Since the start of the new era, President Xi Jinping has put forth the principle of sincerity, real results, amity and good faith and called for taking the right approach to friendship and interests. The endeavor of building a China-Africa community with a shared future has thus been steered onto a fast track. China has remained Africa’s biggest trading partner for 15 years straight, and the pie of China-Africa cooperation is growing bigger. The Chinese and African people are feeling closer to each other.”

Wang also said that the Global South, including China and Africa, is growing fast and profoundly shaping the course of world history.

“African countries are experiencing a new awakening. Models imposed from outside have brought Africa neither stability nor prosperity. African countries need to explore development paths suited to their national conditions and keep their future and destiny firmly in their own hands. In this new historical process, China will continue to stand firmly with our African brothers and support n frica that is truly independent n thinking and ideas. China will assist Africa in building capacity for self-driven development and support faster modernization in Africa.

China always holds that Africa should not be marginalized. While China-Africa cooperation thrives, other major countries have again turned their eyes to Africa. China welcomes that. China ope that, like itself, all sides will pay greater attention to Africa and increase input to support Africa’s development. China stands ready for more trilateral and multilateral cooperation on the basis of respecting the will of Africa,” Wang assured.

Wang further said that the next meeting of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) will be held in China this autumn.

“Chinese and African leaders will gather in Beijing again after six years to discuss future development and cooperation and exchange governance experience,” Wang stated.


What China-Africa Think Tank Forum Entails in Dar

The 13th Meeting of the China-Africa Think Tank Forum was concluded in Dar es Salaam with a message that the world is like a village with shared future and understanding.

In what observers opined as a springboard for the continent’s economic and industrialisation agenda, the forum was further focused on exploring China-Africa cooperation mechanisms, strategic initiatives and practical actions in the fields of industrialisation, agricultural modernisation, and human resources training, among others.

Hosted by the Secretariat of the Chinese Follow-up Committee of the Forum in China-Africa Cooperation, it was a platform for an initiative on building China-Africa think-tank cooperation network, which is in Chinese, English, and French, calling for the strengthening of China-Africa think tanks’ cooperation and a network promoting mutual understanding and common development between the two sides.

In the course, the forum released a document on the consensus of China-Africa think tanks on deepening cooperation on global development, where it discussed in depth areas, in which the two should further join hands to address any future challenge that will arise along the common vision of living in the world that is now one village with shared future.

Historically, China-Africa Think Tanks Forum (CATTF) was established by the Institute of Africa Studies at Zhejiang Normal University in 2011.



A Closer Look at Economic Potential Behind China’s Growth Target

China sets an economic growth target of around five percent for 2024.

In setting the target, the need to boost employment and incomes and prevent and defuse risks have been taken into account, and the growth rate is well aligned with the objectives of the 14th Five-Year Plan, according to a government work report approved by the national legislature.

The target also takes account of the potential for growth and the conditions supporting growth, it said.

Over the past decades, China’s economy has overcome odds such as the COVID-19 pandemic, natural disasters and the global financial crisis, and has managed to maintain consistent growth while invigorating the global economy.

Since 2014, the Chinese economy has reached one milestone after another, with the country’s GDP passing the 60-trillion-yuan, 80-trillion-yuan, and 100-trillion-yuan marks in 2014, 2017 and 2020. More recently, it went on to pass the 110-trillion-yuan and 120-trillion-yuan marks despite the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2023, China’s economy grew by 5.2 percent, with the corresponding economic growth in volume exceeding six trillion yuan (around 845.33 billion U.S. dollars) in comparable prices. Such an increase in volume would take a 10-percent annual GDP growth rate to achieve 10 years ago.

For this year, therefore, analysts believe that an economic growth rate of around five percent is a goal that can be achieved through hard work, and it shows the enterprising and vigorous state of the Chinese government.

Setting such a target would help boost confidence, guide public expectations, and further build consensus on development, said Zhou Li’an, a professor at Peking University.