Bejing, May 21 (efe-epa).- Strong measures of control against the spread of COVID-19 marked the start of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) on Thursday which saw the participation of its more than 2,000 members in Beijing.
The 2,057 delegates – comprised of many prominent cultural, film or sports figures – turned up at the Great Hall of the People, in the Chinese capital, wearing masks to avoid possible contamination during the opening of the so-called Two Sessions.
However, the leaders of the country, including President Xi Jinping presided over the gathering without their masks.
Those present in the gathering observed a minute of silence to pay tribute to the people who died due to COVID-19. China’s official figures report 4,634 deaths due to the infection so far.
Veteran Chinese basketball player Yao Ming and actor Jackie Chan are among the 2,151 members who make up the CPPCC which includes those from military, academic, business, religious, cultural and sports background who are granted the membership of the body which does not have real power in the national politics.
The theoretical function of this body is to represent Chinese society and draw proposals for the executive organs without any binding nature.
During the opening session, the chairman of the CPPCC National Committee Wang Yang presented the work carried out in the last year. They included references of the rivalry between the Asian country the United States at the economic front which has deepened with the pandemic after mutual accusations over the origins of the novel coronavirus.
This advisory body holds an annual plenary session in parallel with the National People’s Congress which is set to meet Friday and would deal with matters such as the draft civil code and government’s management of the coronavirus crisis.
During the annual session of the NPC, economic growth targets are set, however it is not yet clear that it would do so this time due to the uncertainty on the development of the economy of the country due to the impact of the pandemic at national and international level.
The annual meetings of the CPPCC and the NPC – known in Chinese as “Linghui”: Two Sessions – somehow portray China’s victory over the coronavirus pandemic at a time when the majority of the countries worldwide is still struggling with fighting the infection.
NPC as well as CPPCC – which were scheduled to beheld in early March this year – had to be postponed due to the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus pandemic which has so far infected 82,967 in China and killed 4,634. EFE-EPA