Strict measures in placeThose that are there have had to undergo hotel quarantine.Diplomats that would usually observe the opening work report by Premier Li Keqiang are only permitted in the Great Hall if they undergo COVID testing and isolation at a state guesthouse.
Many are therefore not attending, including Australia's Ambassador to China Graham Fletcher.Journalists — who have long faced access barriers to those in power in China — now have an extra layer of distance.While some will be allowed in after undergoing testing, the vast majority of reporters are barred from the Congress venue and are restricted to asking (often pre-selected) questions to delegates via video link from a media centre in a different part of Beijing.
"The Congress has both a symbolic and practical significance this year", said Beijing-based independent political commentator Wu Qiang."Authorities couldn't indefinitely postpone it as they need to show they won the battle against the virus over the past few months."
The biggest change is that the normal 10-day program of provincial sessions and working groups has been whittled down to about a week.While the ceremony for the opening is likely to be dialled down in an emptier hall, there are many familiar aspects about this year's event.
In the lead up, the usual small army of retirees appeared on the streets clad in red armbands.These concerned citizens, many of them grandparents, are part of a vast government effort designed to suppress dissent and keep public order.(ABC News: Steve Wang
)The neighbourhood watch volunteers are part of a heavy-handed security effort in central Beijing each year designed to ensure nothing goes wrong."I think Chairman Xi's good health is our biggest wish — he's our leader and guides our country", said one of the retired volunteers who declined to give his name to the ABC.
"He must not fall ill."Economy in focusWhile the Congress is widely viewed outside China as a rubber stamp parliament that approves decisions largely made by the Communist Party's leadership, it does set the economic agenda for the year ahead.
Usually the second-ranked leader Premier Li Keqiang would announce a GDP growth target range to signal how much China's Government will spend.Last year, it was 6-6.5 per cent.This year, with China's economy suffering an unprecedented first quarter official growth rate of minus 6.8 per cent (and some analysts suspecting it was even worse), it's not clear if he will announce a target.
"I don't think Premier Li will set up a definite GDP growth target for this year. It's not necessary", said Xiang Songzuo, an economics professor."From my observation, in the second half of this year, China's economy will have a positive growth rate, maybe 3 to 4 per cent, and overall for 2020, maybe it will be 1 per cent or 2."
Some others have suggested failing to declare a growth target would hurt confidence about China's ability to bounce back quickly from the crisis.Most commentators expect the government will use fiscal and monetary tools to try to get the economy chugging again, even though options are considerably more limited now than when Beijing spent $US575 billion ($873 billion) worth of stimulus during the 2008 Global Financial Crisis.
Alleviating spiralling unemployment appears to be the main focus, with few factories in China's southern manufacturing heartland running at capacity amid an export slump."I expect Premier Li to launch… more infrastructure investments", said Professor Xiang.
If so, it could reassure Australian coal and iron ore exporters — who are jittery over reports that some power plants have been ordered to suspend Australian coking coal imports to protect local producers.Revised iron ore inspection procedures have also raised concerns, having been announced just days after new barley tariffs and bans on some Australian beef imports — which Chinese authorities have only half-heartedly claimed are not linked to strained diplomatic ties.
A China Iron Ore Association spokesman told the ABC the new customs inspection measures were aimed at streamlining imports, not holding them up. Read more: ABC News »
'Follow the money' to seek true intentions of Vic Treasurer's pro-China comments | Sky News AustraliaSky News Darwin Bureau Chief Matt Cunningham says all you need to do is 'follow the money' to find the true intentions behind Victorian Treasurer Tim Pallas' pro- China comments.\n\nThe Australian is reporting “the Victorian Premier's office has refused access to details of crucial national security advice it received before signing up to China ’s Belt and Road Initiative”.\n\nMr Cunningham said The Australian had “revealed how deep those ties are between China and the Victorian government”.\n\n“We have been more than fair throughout this whole episode” and “the federal government has show great leadership into the inquiry into the coronavirus”. \n\n“Victoria is not coming out of this looking very good at all”.\n\nSky News host Peter Gleeson said the comments made by Victorian Treasurer Tim Pallas “about Australia having ‘vilified’ China ” were “a disgrace'.\n\n'I think he should resign,' he said. \n\nImage: News Corp Australia\n Didn't Darwin sell port to the Chinese? That was a strange move. Is Australia China2 now? So if I travel to Australia I will actually be traveling to China2. So I see Australia is no longer its own country.
China ‘goes after Australia’ with brand new iron ore ‘threat’ | Sky News AustraliaSky News host Paul Murray says “there is a brand new threat” issued by the Chinese Communist Party who have said they “are ready to hurt the Australian economy”. \n\n China ’s The Global Times reported “it seems the Australian government has no intention of sowing new troubles in its trade with China , but the possibility of deteriorating tensions escalating into a trade war should not be ignored”. \n\nMr Murray said it is clear China is once again “threatening us” and they 'are confirming by their actions that they are going after us”.\n\n“First it was barley, then a bit on beef and now the big game, iron ore”. \n\nThe Age reported “ China ’s customs authorities have released new rules coming into force on June 1 that officials would conduct quality inspections for iron ore shipments at the request of the buyer”.\n\n“The buyer of course is the Chinese Communist Party,” Mr Murray said. \n 1Naasty what does Australia produce that China needs Food!! Our big problem - Australia is the most China-dependent economy in the developed world. The other big problem is that most people in Australia are not aware of that fact. China is indeed drunk on power however the Chinese economy is like a HOUSE OF CARDS - their economy is in dire straits. Looking forward to the collapse. You can't believe one word they say, they are like gangsters thieving in the night! Your threats show weakness not strength!
'Strong ongoing demand': Fortescue chief confident on China as other sectors fretFortescue is confident in China 's ongoing appetite for iron ore, noting Australia's top trade partner is vital to the health of the nation's economy. All of them are china boot lickers
Coronavirus updates LIVE: Trump blames China for 'mass worldwide killing', global cases pass 4.95 millionVictoria has recorded a net increase of just one coronavirus case overnight. Four people were diagnosed, including three household contacts linked to the Cedar Meats cluster. Three cases were re-classified, however, and taken off the state database. Everyone knows China is responsible. 7 weeks after the first cedar meats case and still more.... i guess different rules for labor party donors. So few cases . . . why are we not opening the economy . . . or is there a strategy here to destroy small business and the free market?
Vic Treasurer targets federal govt for 'vilifying' China | Sky News AustraliaVictorian Treasurer Tim Pallas has savaged the Morrison government's 'vilification' of China over trade and the COVID-19 pandemic. \n\nMr Pallas's pro- China intervention comes as the deadline looms for Victoria to sign an investment road map for China 's belt and road initiative.\n\nImage: News Corp Australia timpallas Chairman Dan and Comrade Tim, you are a disgrace to Victorians and all Australians, why don't you two move back to China! timpallas The truth is out timpallas Chairman Andrews and his Deputy Pallas, along with Koch from CH:7 just love Chinamen. Koch accused some with the racial slur White Australian Policy. Could the media please ask these three clowns what their motives are.
China plans to tighten laws for Hong KongIn what may be a response to the protests of the last year China plans an overhaul of Hong Kong's laws that will clamp down on protesters, foreign interference and other anti-government activity. Whatever. I'm done with apologists for China. Same with apologists-lite for them, also. FreeHongKong China owns it about as much as they do Japan or South Korea. Any attempt to control it like the rest of their country is nothing but potential genocide. because lets face it... CCP don't care for human lives. My heart goes out to Hong Kong.