Monday, March 7, 2011

China's State of the Union

Today I've got some interesting news for you. Saturday morning, Paul went to Tiananmen Square (het Plein van de Hemelse Vrede) to hear in person from the Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao what the government is planning to work on the next five years.

Wen Jiabao presented the famous "12th five-year plan" during the opening ceremony of the National People's Congress, which was held at the Great Hall of the People, just steps away from the Forbidden City. This is kind of like the State of the Union in the U.S. or Prinsjesdag in The Netherlands: an occassion for the government to present how things are going (great, lots of progress) and what they are going to be focussing on over the next couple of years (continuing the great work and tackling new complex and urgent problems).

According to the China Daily, "[n]early 3,000 National People's Congress (NPC) deputies from across the country, and more than 2,000 members of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), the top political advisory body, are present in the Great Hall of the People at the opening meeting of the Fourth Session of the 11th NPC."

Well, them, and a Paul from The Netherlands. (Paul of course got invited through his work.)

The event was also in the news everywhere. On the NOS Website: China vreest onrust door inflatie; and in the Washington Post: Chinese parliament opens with grand pledges. You can also read the full report at the Wall Street Journal's blog on China.

Here are some pictures:

Traffic has never been this quiet on the 2nd ring road (normally a parking lot). The police was managing traffic to make sure the important visitors could easily make it to Tiananmen Square.

Arriving at Tiananmen Square with the other VIPs.


Inside the Great Hall of the People. (The Grote Hal van het Volk.)

The Chinese emblem. The five stars - shining above Tiananmen, the Gate of Heavenly Peace - symbolize the unity of the Chinese people under the leadership of the Communist Party. If you look carefully, you can spot the grain (representing the peasants) and the cogwheel (representing the working class).

Wen Jiabao, in case you missed him in the crowd.

Great view.

The attentive audience.

Important information.

The five-year plan is presented.

Streaming out of the Great Hall of the People.

Firetrucks at the ready.

Outside the Great Hall of the People, back on Tiananmen Square.

In het Nederlands: Paul mocht afgelopen zaterdag aanwezig zijn bij de opening van het Nationaal Volkscongres in de Grote Hal van het Volk in het hartje van Beijing. Premier Wen Jiabao presenteerde het werkverslag van de regering en kondigde aan waar men de komende vijf jaar aan gaat werken. Dat meerjarenplan is het "Twaalfde vijf-jaren plan" voor China, en er is met smart op gewacht want het maakt nogal uit voor de rest van de wereld wat voor belissingen China maakt op het gebied van financien, werkgelegenheid en energiegebruik. Dit artikeltje op de NOS Website, Volkscongres: hoe en wat, geeft een (klein) beetje meer informatie over het Volkscongres.

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