Interview: "Two sessions" offer window into how China builds consensus, says U.S. expert

Source: Xinhua| 2021-03-10 20:22:27|Editor: yhy
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WASHINGTON, March 10 (Xinhua) -- The ongoing "two sessions," the annual sessions of China's top legislature and political advisory body, present a window on how China efficiently builds consensus for its development strategies and goals, a renowned U.S. scholar has said.

"I think the consensus building process is just as hard, but it's more efficiently conducted in China," Sourabh Gupta, a senior fellow at the Washington-based Institute for China-America Studies, told Xinhua in an interview Monday.

Typically in a given year, Gupta said, the annual gathering is "the most important meeting at which the general direction of government is sorted out, decided, and done and dusted ."

"The process that goes into the 'two sessions' is a very exhausting and a long one," he said.

For example, he added, with regard to the various government proposals and the government work report, the Central Economic Work Conference in December "set the parameters on which government policy is going to go for this year's work."

"This year's work of the 'two sessions' is much more momentous and important because it is also laying out the 14th Five-Year Plan as well as a longer plan, which will run over 15 years," he said.

The expert pointed out that the "two sessions" symbolize how that consensus process has worked out in a country as large and complex as China.

"You have so many delegates from the provinces and from local levels at the 'two sessions' showing ... how broad and wide that consensus is," Gupta said. "But the 'two sessions' meeting is not a rubber stamp. There's an elongated process of government work which goes into the 'two sessions' meeting at which it gets formalized. That is how we must conceive how the system works."

"There's a lot of kicking of the tires to ensure that this vehicle of government can move forward smoothly in the year ahead," and that when plans are drawn for a longer period of time, those plans are sustainable and achievable, he noted.

"At the end of the day, it is important that the government move forward," and that all the parties involved in the shaping of the consensus also have a constructive view of how to take the country forward, added the expert. Enditem