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China’s annual parliamentary session to last one week

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China’s annual parliamentary session, the National People’s Congress (NPC), will convene for seven days, a spokesman said on Monday.

The meeting of top officials and delegates is set to begin on Tuesday and last until next Monday, spokesman Lou Qinjian said in Beijing. According to official information, the report on the work of the government is at the top of the agenda.

The targets for economic and social development for the coming year are also a major focus. The government also plans to reveal its economic growth goal for 2024, which many observers are eagerly awaiting. Some experts are expecting the government led by state and party leader Xi Jinping to set an ambitious growth target.

The National People’s Congress, according to China’s constitution, is the highest state body and the country’s only legislative house, though it is subject to the leadership of the Communist Party. According to official figures, the plenum currently comprises 2,956 members, who are not freely elected.

At its annual session, the congress approves the plans and goals of the government led by Xi.

Police presence in Beijing has been significantly increased in recent days, with many bridges and underground station entrances guarded.

Lou Qinjian, spokesman of the National People's Congress, speaks at a press conference. The spokesman announced the schedule for the National People's Congress on 4 March. Johannes Neudecker/dpa

Lou Qinjian, spokesman of the National People’s Congress, speaks at a press conference. The spokesman announced the schedule for the National People’s Congress on 4 March. Johannes Neudecker/dpa

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