Factbox: Key issues to watch at "two sessions"
                 English.news.cn | 2014-02-28 16:33:36 | Editor: Zhu Ningzhu

BEIJING, Feb. 28 (Xinhua) -- China's lawmakers and political advisors are set to gather in Beijing next week for the annual two sessions to discuss the country's social and economic policies.

The following are some key issues to watch to see how the government will deliver its wide-ranging reform promises made during the Third Plenum of the 18th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China last year.

-- GROWTH TARGET

China is expected to unveil its growth target for 2014 in a government work report to be delivered by Premier Li Keqiang on March 5.

For the past two years, the country has kept its growth target unchanged at 7.5 percent after lowering the goal from 8 percent for the first time in eight years in 2012 to allow more room for rebalancing.

The leadership's new mindset is to pursue a "reasonable growth range", marked by a lower limit designed to ensure steady growth and job creation and an upper limit meant to avert inflation. As long as the economy stays on that track, China will actively press ahead with reforms.

In the work report, the country will also clarify its inflation target, as well as fiscal and monetary policies.

-- LOCAL GOVERNMENT DEBT & OVERCAPACITY

China's mounting local government debts and overcapacity are deemed as major threats to the country's economic health.

The tone-setting Central Economic Work Conference in December included tackling problems in the two areas among six work priorities for 2014. Analysts largely expect detailed policies at the two sessions to address the issues.

-- ENVIRONMENT

Just ahead of the two sessions, smog has once again blanketed the Chinese capital for at least a week, highlighting the urgency for the government to take serious actions to curb pollution.

As the public grows increasingly aware of the health hazards, environmental protection will be a heated topic at the two sessions.

-- URBANIZATION

China's ongoing urbanization process, if proceeded successfully, is deemed as a major growth driver to the economy.

In a high-level urbanization meeting last year, the country pledged proactive yet steady moves in pushing forward human-centered urbanization.

Although China's urban population exceeded its rural population for the first time last year, with city-dwellers accounting for 51.27 percent of the population, a considerable portion of them have no official city hukou.

-- RURAL REFORMS

China's rural reforms are of great significance in narrowing urban-rural divide and ensuring food security.

A key decision released after the Third Plenum of the 18th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China outlined a broad range of reforms in rural areas, including building a unified market for urban and rural construction land.

But the policy direction has stirred widespread misunderstandings. Analysts expect more detailed measures at the two sessions.

-- SOE REFORM

China's gigantic yet inefficient state-owned enterprises have long been complained of by the public. The key reform meeting last year has pledged to actively develop a mixed ownership economy to give private capital more access.

-- TRADE, FOREIGN POLICIES

China will hold several press conferences during the "two sessions", on which officials will clarify and elaborate the country's stance in various fields, including trade and foreign policies.

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