BEIJING, March 3, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — As China’s important annual political gatherings, the National People’s Congress (NPC) and Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), known as the “Two Sessions,” will convene on March 5 and March 4 respectively. The Two Sessions are of enormous importance in the country’s political calendar, during which development targets will be determined for the year and beyond. The upcoming Two Sessions offer observers, especially foreign experts, a window into the idea and practice of whole-process people’s democracy, its openness to embrace international talent, as well their own expectations on this year’s meetings. On the eve of the Two Sessions opening, Science and Technology Daily had the opportunity to interview three foreign experts who shared their thoughts on China’s Two Sessions. As part of our commitment to providing diverse perspectives, each of them brought unique and valuable insights into China’s development and its role in global growth. We hope that this series of unique viewpoints will offer our readers a deeper understanding of China and the issues that matter to those who live and work in the country.

Gaining Useful Knowledge from China’s Development

Having been committed to strengthening exchanges and cooperation between China and Azerbaijan through language and culture teaching in both countries for many years, Dr. Agshin Aliyev, an Azerbaijani sinologist, has gained an insightful perspective on China’s rapid development at all levels.

He hails China as a country that assumes greater responsibility for enhancing regional connectivity and embracing a brighter future, especially with the launch of Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) in 2013.

Azerbaijan is one of the first countries to join the BRI and is now an indispensable link in the Initiative.

China and Azerbaijan have a very long history of cultural exchanges dating back to the establishment of the Silk Road. Now the cooperation between the two countries has been deepened since the BRI,” said Aliyev, adding that not only economic and trade cooperation, but also educational and cultural exchanges between the two countries are improved in leaps and bounds, and tangible benefits have been brought to their people.

Commenting on the upcoming Two Sessions, Aliyev emphasized their importance not only for the Chinese people, but also for the world. “The great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation is the expectation of ordinary people. The Chinese government is made up of experienced politicians and administrators who understand the feelings of the people and work for the benefit of the people,” he said.

As China remains committed to its reform and opening-up policy, more fruitful results will be achieved in the future. The whole world will gain useful knowledge as China continues to share its experience in lifting millions of people out of poverty and mitigating climate change, said Aliyev.

Aliyev is a founder and head of the Department of Azerbaijani Language at Beijing Foreign Studies University (BFSU) and a visiting scholar at the Chinese Culture Research Center of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. He is also the founder and director of the China Research Center at Khazar University.

Global Significance of Two Sessions

Professor Goh Hui Hwang has followed China’s Two Sessions for a number of years. As a Malaysian scientist living and working in China, Goh is fully aware of the significance of these meetings and their impact on China’s and the world’s future.

Goh explained that the Two Sessions, which are held in March each year, address significant concerns in various aspects of China, and the outcomes receive extensive attention both domestically and internationally. He believes that the purpose of the Two Sessions is to convey the suggestions and opinions of the Chinese people to the government, so that the party and government can truly comprehend the desires and ideas of the people and protect their tangible interests.

As an educator currently working at Guangxi University (GXU), Goh is particularly concerned about China’s significant steps in sci-tech innovation and talent cultivation. He hopes that the Two Sessions will address the way to expand funding for scientific research, which he sees as a key issue for foreign experts in China. He lauded the fact that China has intensified its efforts to promote international sci-tech collaborations and exchanges, and also established a variety of programs to support the brightest minds in an effort to become a global magnet for talent and innovation.

“Science has no borders,” said Goh, adding that the Chinese government’s efforts in fostering a healthy atmosphere for sci-tech innovation have attracted many scholars to China, including himself, to serve the sci-tech community. As a foreign expert, his perspectives showcased the importance of international exchanges and cooperation in addressing common issues and challenges.

Goh said the Two Sessions not only provide a platform for the government to listen to its people’s desires and ideas, but also play a vital role in shaping the country’s policies and decisions. He applauds the positive measures in China’s opening-up to the world, especially in talent exchanges. “This is a significant issue closely related to foreign experts,” he said.

China’s Democracy: Institutional Guarantee of People’s Power

Italian scholar Rocco Lacorte described his impression of China as “Democratic, promising and socialist.” He currently serves as an associate professor at Nankai University (NKU).

Based on his observation, Lacorte considered China’s whole-process people’s democracy covers all sectors of society through electoral democracy, consultative democracy, and community-level democracy. He said that this whole-process people’s democracy embodies the Communist Party of China’s innovation in advancing China’s democratic theories, systems and practices and guarantees the “principal position of the people.”

According to Lacorte, the NPC is different from the legislative systems in many Western countries. It is designed to provide “an institutional guarantee” for the people to wield power that they have gained after the revolution and developed through the years, creating a stable and vital balance system of political decision-making. As the Two Sessions approach, Lacorte expects that the focus will be on addressing key issues related to social and economic development, as well as environmental problems. He said that China is already ahead of the West in terms of green policies.

On China’s policies in promoting international cooperation, Lacorte applauded China’s contribution to common development via global initiatives such as Belt and Road Initiative. “It is essential to recognize that true development and security cannot be achieved by a single country alone, but require joint efforts of many countries,” he said, adding that, “Development and security are only true if they are true for all.”