Monday, March 05, 2007

2007 NPC, CPPCC Journal, Day 1

Top National Political Conferences Cause Grand Traffic Jam, and Information Explosion

The opening of the National People’s Congress (NPC) annual session in Beijing, aided by earlier heavy snow, caused traffic in the capital to a nearly full stop on Monday.

Many people were forced to abandon buses on their way to work and walked on their feet. It was estimated that about 27 percent of the city’s work goers were late on Monday morning, according to a blog kept by the staff of, a website affiliated with the State Council Information Office.

Beijing residents have been used to such traffic headache during the NPC and Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference’s (CPPCC) conventions every spring, when the city applies various contemporary traffic restrictions to make way for hundreds of vehicles serving the two meetings, or lianghui as called in Chinese.

The NPC and CPPCC, meetings of the nation’s top legislators and top political advisors, respectively, bring not only extra traffic, but also so much press coverage that the entire nation would plunge into a kind of media frenzy during the two-week conference period.

Information about the two meetings, deemed as one of the biggest national political events in China, is simply overwhelming, and has become increasingly so.

All major news websites, including xinhua,,, China Youth Daily website, People’s Daily website, to name just a few, created separate sites for the meetings, covering everything from the Premier’s Government Work Report and related analysis, to sideline comments from individual delegates as well as appearance of good-looking female journalists in the Great Hall of the People, where the great meetings are held.

Special sections or programs about the meetings are also seen across the board of traditional media----newspapers, radio and television stations, national as well as local. News about NPC, CPPCC and their participating members are all over.

That is not it. As Chinese people and journalists are becoming more and more Internet savvy, blogs and online forums have joined the already overflowed reporting on the meetings.

Special online forums are set up for people to comment on the events, like the one hosted by Besides existing blogs, several websites, including xinhua and sina, set up new blogs for NPC delegates or CPPCC members, as well as reporters, to blog the two meetings.

In a way, the NPC and CPPCC sessions are just a big game for journalists from all over China, who devote all their passion, wisdom, skill and aggressiveness in covering the events. The general pubic, however, does not seem to let the political party totally consume their lives.

Outside those online forums set up just for discussing the meetings, in other online public forums, notably and, posts related to the meetings are far from dominant, scattering among all kinds of other topics, such as asking for suggestions of naming a newborn, discussion about classic literature Dream of the Red Chamber, and tips for seniors to surf the Internet.

Indeed, the NPC delegates and CPPCC members are not elected by the public, and most of their comments, either criticism of current policies or fresh initiatives of new ones, fell empty after the meetings. The exploding coverage of the meetings, however fine, fun or deep it is, does not arouse the public to be as crazy.
----by Josie Liu

Day 1, March 5, 2007

Premier Wen Jiabao delivered his annual Government Work Report to the general session of the NPC, stressing on improvement of common people’s livelihood and pledging to expand government sponsored health care and basic education to rural populations, among other policies favoring the low-income group.
Interesting Ideas and Proposals
NPC delegate Fan Yi, of Zhejiang Province, called on the state to abolish the College Entrance Examination. He said the exam has distorted China’s basic education to pursue only high test scores, oppressing young people’s creativity and creating a myth of universal fairness in front of scores.
Links: Special sections of the two meetings (complete and authoritative, with government authorized information) (one of the most complete collection)

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