Two sessions promise major developments to begin 2023

China is about to usher in its most highly anticipated annual political event, known as the two sessions, and 2023 is the very first year after the monumental 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, held last October. Among over 5,000 delegates gathering in Beijing in early March, the 2,172 members of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference National Committee will attend the first session of the 14th CPPCC, which starts on March 4, and the 2,977 National People’s Congress deputies will attend the 14th NPC meeting, which commences on March 5.

The two sessions are bound to draw domestic and global attention more than ever. Not only does the event serve as an open window to look into the road map of China’s development in the past, present and future, but also, the new leadership of the central government as well as new NPC deputies and members of the CPPCC National Committee will make their debuts at this time. The succeeding premier will also meet the press to introduce the major policies and vital info on a wide range of hot issues.

Through last year’s two sessions, the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area project was included in the government work report for six consecutive years. 2023 is the fourth year since the promulgation and implementation of the “Outline Development Plan for the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area”; normal travel between the Chinese mainland, Hong Kong and Macao also fully resumed this year. How to accelerate the common prosperity of the Greater Bay Area is expected to be the gist at this year’s two sessions. As one of the core cities and development engines in the area, Hong Kong can make a big difference. Local CPPCC National Committee members and NPC deputies are anticipated to submit constructive proposals and raise new initiatives to go all-out to expedite economic growth.

The annual sessions, especially in a year of new terms, provide a corking opportunity for Hong Kong society to understand local-related policies and relevant personnel changes. As a special administrative region under the “one country, two systems” principle, our fate is closely related with the motherland. Staying tuned to the two sessions is essentially keeping a watchful eye on Hong Kong’s prospects. The work reports of the government and CPPCC during the two sessions are a crucial way to know and predict the decision-making of the central government on Hong Kong.

Along with the hard-won political stability and smooth transition of the sixth-term HKSAR government, the mandatory mask-wearing requirements were lifted on March 1, all symbolizing that Hong Kong is starting a new chapter. Whether there is national policy statement for Hong Kong is worthy of attention. In a context that Hong Kong is increasingly integrated into the overall national development, the institutional reforms, policy direction, personnel arrangement, etc, revealed in the two sessions can indirectly affect Hong Kong in the short and long term.

Moreover, China’s development and its impact on the world will in turn affect Hong Kong. Up against an economic downturn for years trapped in the COVID-19 pandemic, the outside is concerned about how the world’s second-largest economy will realize sustainable high-quality development in 2023, and what our next plan for global outreach is. A series of politics to boost the economy is expected to be released at this time. Only by leveraging the central government’s policies, particularly those in support of Hong Kong, can we give full play to our strengths that will bring a continuous impetus to the local economy and community.

Confronting a growing intricate international landscape, China must be responsive to the new changes and adopt slick diplomacy. As a bridge and power buffer between the Chinese mainland and the West, Hong Kong was once deeply affected by geopolitics. The policies and personnel of foreign affairs discussed at the 20th CPC National Congress will be fully finalized in the two sessions, including how to deal with external matters under the new circumstances, which will exert an effect on Hong Kong as well.

The two sessions, which translate ideas and values into systems or actions, are not only of critical importance to China but will also have a far-reaching impact on the international community.

The author is chairman of the Hong Kong CPPCC Youth Association and a standing member of the CPPCC of Henan Committee.

The views do not necessarily reflect those of China Daily.