Police parade in Tiananmen Square near the Great Hall of the People, which will house the annual session of Congress, in Beijing (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)

There annual session of chinese legislature (National People’s Congress), the most important political event of the year in the Asian country, opens this Sunday in Beijing under anti covid measures and with a limited presence of journalists.

To cover the events, journalists will have to keep a quarantine in a hotel designated by the organization since the day before, despite the fact that China has already practically dismantled the “zero COVID” policy it has maintained for almost three years.

Besides, reporters will be required to undergo a PCR test the day before its coverage, which contrasts with the withdrawal two months ago of routine PCR testing requirements for the population to access all public places, which was part of the “zero COVID” policy for much of 2022 .

The preventive measures for the conclave, which will end on March 13, are similar to those put in place during legislative meetings in recent years and the 20th Congress of the Communist Party of China (ruling CPC), held last October.

Besides, several European journalists have not received authorization to attend the inauguration which will take place this Sunday at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing despite having accreditation, denounced certain journalists based in the Chinese capital.

Preparations for the annual session of the Chinese parliament (REUTERS/Thomas Peter)
Preparations for the annual session of the Chinese parliament (REUTERS/Thomas Peter)

The situation contrasts with the presence of several dozen reporters who came from other countries on purpose to cover the event and who traveled to the Asian country invited by the authorities and in some cases all expenses paid.

The growth target for the next fiscal year after the dismantling of “zero COVID”, the appointment of a new Prime Minister or the foreign policy slogans after the latest skirmishes with the United States will be some of the questions that will hold the attention of political meeting .

This week, the China Foreign Press Correspondents Club (FCCC) said in a report that foreign correspondents in China faced in 2022 no more restrictions when covering due to strict “COVID zero” policy.

The club also denounced the “harassment” of foreign journalists during the Winter Olympics, which took place in February 2022. Regarding the latter, the club assures that many accredited media ultimately did not have access to any of the events. they wanted to cover.

Proxy Xi Jinping (REUTERS/Thomas Peter)
Proxy Xi Jinping (REUTERS/Thomas Peter)

Regarding Taiwan, the deputy Li Yihu indicated that he would present proposals to promote the “civil exchanges” with Taiwana democratic island that the beijing diet considered part of its territory. Li recalled that “Beijing’s overall strategy to resolve the Taiwan issue” has been strengthened over the past year, adding that “mainland China will speed up national unification.”

Regarding the birth rate, several deputies want to present proposals to promote it in the country. Among them, the free education until the end of university for all children born after 2024, or the extension of maternity leave – until now reserved for full-time employees – to self-employed businesswomen and peasant women. It also plans to grant single women the same rights as married women and to lift restrictions on the registration of children born out of wedlock in the civil registry.

For his part, the deputy Zhao Wanping wants to fight the kill cats and dogs, as well as against the trade and consumption of their meat.

(With information from EFE and AFP)

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