21 August 2019
Yu, chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference speaks during the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing

The Big Picture: CPPCC PLENUM

The head of China’s top political advisory body opened an annual plenum Monday with a plea. Yu Zhengsheng {俞正聲}, chairman of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), said the group should encourage discussion among members to smooth the rollout of national economic reforms.

This is a critical year for implementation of policies announced by the central government in the 12th five-year plan, Yu said, adding that members should research the issues, go to primary sources, consult various communities and reflect their views.

Yu said the CPPCC is an effective platform for members from different regions to communicate with each other. It encourages active discussion instead of confrontation, sincere communication rather than perfunctory exchanges, and pointed but not extreme criticism, he said.

Members should be prepared to speak the truth because it will help the administration resolve the nation’s problems, Yu said. They should also do what they can to advance development in minority regions.

Before Yu addressed the conference, all members stood in silence in remembrance of the dozens of victims of Saturday’s deadly terror attack at a train station in Kunming, the capital of Yunnan province. Order was restored in Kunming after the attack, which left 29 dead and more than 140 injured, state media reported. Train services resumed at the station Sunday. 

The other major issue on the national mind is the investigation into the activities of retired security tsar Zhou Yongkang {周永康}.

A senior official has publicly suggested for the first time that Zhou may be investigated for corruption, the Sunday Morning Post reported on the weekend. CPPCC spokesman Lv Xinhua {呂新華} was quoted as saying that anyone who breaks the law will be punished, regardless of his name and position.

China property tax trial expansion said to be on hold

China is considering legislation before expanding the property tax trial scheme, China Securities Journal reported Tuesday, citing Jia Kang, director of the Research Institute for Fiscal Science of the Ministry of Finance. The scheme is in place in Shanghai and Chongqing but a planned expansion is on hold, pending a decision on whether legislation is needed to implement it nationwide, Jia was quoted as saying. Also, the central government is considering whether to allow local governments to implement their own versions of the program, the report said.

Chongqing mulls inland free trade zone

Chongqing is looking at setting up an inland free trade zone that will ease restrictions for foreign investors and provide favorable tax policies, the China Securities Journal reported Tuesday, citing Wang Jiguang, vice director of the Office of Chongqing Port Administration. Chongqing is keen to expand trade with ASEAN countries, hoping to import more fruit, food and timber from the region while exporting electrical machinery, building materials, cars and motorcycles to the bloc. The planned zone will be managed by the State Council and the Chongqing city government.

–Contact HKEJ at [email protected]



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