China unexpectedly announces the cancellation of premier’s annual news conference

On Monday, Xi and Li, along with other state leaders, gathered at the Great Hall of the People on one side of Beijing’s Tiananmen Square. They attended the opening session of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, a parallel advisory body. The chamber was grand and adorned with a red carpet, creating a majestic setting for the event.

According to Lou, government ministers, officials, and the approximately 3,000 delegates to the congress will have more opportunities to be questioned by journalists. The last instance where there was no premier’s press conference after the congress was in 1992, as reported by state broadcaster CCTV.

The premier stated that the press conference would not be held in the upcoming years of the National People’s Congress, unless there were special circumstances. He made this statement in reference to the current five-year term, which is set to conclude in 2027.

Lou addressed various concerns and assured that China continues to welcome foreign business and investment. He dismissed apprehensions regarding the recent alterations to the national security laws and expressed confidence in China’s ability to navigate any limitations imposed on its access to technology.

The government spokesperson emphasized that the revisions made to the espionage law do not intend to target regular business, scientific, and academic activities and exchanges. He stated that China strongly opposes any attempts to tarnish and weaken its business environment by misinterpreting the law.

According to foreign businesspeople, there are still uncertainties regarding what activities are considered illegal and what are not.

Lou also mentioned that China’s technology sector cannot be controlled by any entity, emphasizing the progress made in the country’s independent development of a satellite navigation system similar to GPS.

He emphasized that this example clearly showcases the power of self-reliance and the ability to overcome any challenges. He firmly believes that with determination and perseverance, there is no obstacle that cannot be conquered. Additionally, he mentioned that any technology that is already known can be developed further with time and effort.

The extent of the expected growth in military spending will be disclosed at the commencement of the congress on Tuesday. Lou did not provide specific details regarding the increase for this year, but his statement indicated that it would likely follow the recent pattern of more moderate growth in percentage terms, contrasting with the double-digit surges observed until 2015. In the previous year, military spending experienced a 7.2% rise.

According to Helena Legarda, a defense and foreign policy analyst at the Mercator Institute for China Studies in Berlin, the government’s emphasis on both defense and economic growth is expected to result in a 6% to 7% increase. This increase reflects the government’s recognition of the significance of defense while also striving to stimulate the economy.

According to the expert, Beijing’s decision to prioritize military modernization over other economic or social policy issues would indicate its concern about the international environment.

In recent years, China has been able to achieve a balance between enhancing its national defense capabilities and strengthening its economy, according to Lou. The country has successfully managed to maintain a reasonable level of military expenditure while prioritizing economic growth.

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