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China’s National People’s Congress and the economy: Short change

First published: Council for Geostrategy 11th March 2024

The biggest surprise to emerge from last week’s National People’s Congress (NPC) in Beijing was the announcement before it opened that Li Qiang, the Chinese Premier presenting his first Government Work Report (GWR), would no longer be holding a press conference.1 This three decades-old practice offered a rare opportunity for the Premier of the People’s Republic of China’s (PRC) to engage with the media openly, and away from the formulaic and often impenetrable language which features in the main economic reports published on the first day of the NPC. Whether the end of the premier’s press event is a message from Xi Jinping, General Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), about the status of the premier or the economy is a moot point. The optics are not good either way. Read on…..