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NPC annual session shows country confident of overcoming all odds: China Daily editorial | Updated: 2020-05-22 21:17
The third session of the 13th National People's Congress (NPC) opens at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, capital of China, May 22, 2020. [Photo/Xinhua]

After being deferred for more than 10 weeks owing to the devastating pandemic, and despite speculation that this year's annual sessions of the top legislature and political advisory body may go completely virtual, the convening of the two sessions shows that the country is prepared to overcome all odds.

That message cannot be more obvious than in the fact that, even though for the first time in years the central government avoided setting an annual growth target because of COVID-19-induced uncertainties, Premier Li Keqiang's Government Work Report to the National People's Congress on Friday stuck to the deadline for bidding farewell to abject poverty and building a moderately prosperous society in all respects by the end of this year.

Latest official data show 52 counties, more than 2,700 villages and over 5.5 million people are still designated as "impoverished". And, thanks to the massive economic disruptions including the closure of businesses and the consequential job losses the pandemic has caused, another 5 million people could slip into poverty. This new contingent of unemployed people, financially vulnerable as they are, may add extra workload and difficulty to the poverty relief program.

Behind the commitment to that deadline is the confidence to achieve an important socioeconomic goal.

Confidence that the central leadership's earlier prescription of stabilizing employment, finance, foreign trade, overseas investment and expectations, as well as securing job supply, basic livelihoods, market players, food and energy security, stability of industrial and supply chains, and operation of grassroots administration will help the country tide over present difficulties.

Confidence that China's unique "systemic advantages", which drew further endorsement for being vital to largely containing the novel coronavirus outbreak at home, will continue to facilitate economic and social development.

Confidence that the "whole-nation system", more recently upgraded to what President Xi Jinping defined as "new type of whole-nation system" which incorporates market economy factors, will remain the country's time-tested weapon against all challenges.

Another element prominent throughout the text of the Government Work Report is the focus on the country's set course, which illustrates what is known today as confidence in the path the country has taken and the system it follows.

As the report indicates, nothing has swayed the conviction of the Communist Party of China and the government in the advantages of "socialism with Chinese characteristics". There may be no better footnote to that conviction than the continuous commitment to multilateralism amid increasing adversities in the international arena, as the report highlighted.

Such confidence and conviction are essential because, for all the loss of lives and lockdown-induced economic woes COVID-19 has inflicted, the post-pandemic world may present harsher challenges than people are willing to believe or ready to withstand.

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