Chinese party-state politics

Policy brief

published: 2.04.2024

The Two Sessions (March 2024)

Jean-Pierre Cabestan

Jean-Pierre Cabestan, a renowned sinologist and associate researcher at Asia Centre, recently authored a policy brief, which delves into the proceedings of the recent ‘two sessions’ in the People’s Republic of China. Within the pages of this brief, Mr. Cabestan provides a nuanced analysis of the implications of these sessions, shedding light on the priorities of the regime and their potential ramifications, particularly for the European Union.

Extract of the abstract:

“The National People’s Congress (NPC) and China’s Political People’s Consultative Conference (CPPCC) annual plenary meetings — also called the “two sessions” (lianghui) — took place as planned in early March 2024 in Beijing. […] The two sessions’ choreography was without surprise: all reports and decisions submitted by the government were approved, quasi-unanimously. Ambitious economic objectives were announced, especially a 5% growth rate for 2024 and the move towards a high-quality development model. As usual, the two sessions were also the occasion for NPC and CPPCC delegates to air some of their concerns about the situation in their locality or bureaucracy. Nonetheless, even more than before the 2024 two sessions have underscored how much the Party and General Secretary cum State President Xi Jinping in particular call the shots. Premier Li Qiang’s press conference was cancelled. New rules on the operation of the State Council, China’s central government, were adopted, putting it under closer Party watch and confirming that decisions are made elsewhere.”

About authors

Jean-Pierre Cabestan

Emeritus Senior Researcher at French National Centre for Scientific Research, Emeritus Professor at Hong Kong Baptist University

Political Scientist and jurist specialised in contemporary China and contemporary Taiwan