Voices of the world: Chinese "two sessions" have global significance
                 English.news.cn | 2014-03-02 17:49:56 | Editor: Lu Hui

BEIJING, March 2 (Xinhua) -- The blueprint for China's next-step reform was laid out last November at the 3rd Plenary Session of the 18th Communist Party of China Central Committee. As the world's second largest economy, China's implementation of the reform agenda is highly anticipated by people from around the world.

In the days leading up to the opening of China's "two sessions" -- the annual sessions of the National People's Congress (NPC) and the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) -- Xinhua reporters interviewed people from all walks of life in many countries to hear their views and expectations of China's reform ahead.

DIALOGUE 1

Xinhua: Have you heard of the "two sessions" in China?

Sam Njenga, a 26 year-old Cyber Cafe patron in the heart of the Kenyan capital of Nairobi, replied: "I learnt through China Central Television (CCTV) that China is going to hold the National People's Congress and the Chinese Political Consultative Conference."

"As a Kenyan, my hopes are that the two sessions will make landmark decisions like approving new development aid to help our country achieve prosperity for all citizens."

"I also hope the congress will redefine engagement with us," he said.

In Syria, 32-year-old Jiedy, who returned to his homeland two weeks ago after finishing a four-year doctor's program in China's Jilin University, shared his view.

"During the time I was in China, I heard about the meetings and noticed that Chinese society and people showed great interests in the meetings," he said. "So I started to follow the meetings myself through the media and came to realize that these meetings play an important role in Chinese society."

"As we all know, China has become the second largest economy in the world and this means that China has the capability to influence everyone in the world."

"Take economy and business as an example. New policies may change China's manufacture output, which in turn will cause ripples in the price of Chinese-made products. With so many people around the world relying on Chinese goods, China's changes are sure to be felt elsewhere."

DIALOGUE 2

Xinhua: The two sessions will discuss and formulate some key policies on China's domestic and foreign affairs. How do you think these decisions will directly or indirectly relate to your life? Do you think the policies coming out of the meetings bear any connection to your country?

Aida Cadogan, a 75-year-old retired nurse, told Xinhua at Toronto's Pacific Mall, the biggest indoor Chinese shopping mall in North America:

"We buy a lot of Chinese stuff," she said. "I think the economy is improving because of your Chinese exports here."

As for the new policies, "I think it'll improve the economy all the time," she said.

Makio Takada, a third-year Chinese major student from Daito Bunka University in Tokyo, told Xinhua: "China is the second largest trading partner for Japan. The Chinese economy is very important for Japan, and Japan attaches great importance to it."

"The economic policies to be put forward at the two sessions will certainly have the direct influence on the Japanese economy," he said.

"Although China and Japan have different systems, they both have their own strengths and weaknesses," he said. "We need to learn the good parts from each other, and not neglect our own weaknesses, so that both countries can have better systems."

DIALOGUE 3

Xinhua: If you were to deliver a message to the Chinese delegates attending the two sessions, what would you like to say?

Pierre Picquart, a French China expert who has visited China more than 40 times, told Xinhua at his home in the 13th arrondissement of Paris: "If I were a delegate at the Chinese two sessions, I would tell my colleagues: It is the wind of reform, not revolution, that is passing by us."

"Now, when we formulate new laws and regulations, we have to consider our people -- those working in the field, those without a job and those struggling in poverty," he said.

Ernesto Fernandez Taboada, executive director of the Argentine-Chinese Chamber of Production, Industry and Commerce, told Xinhua in Buenos Aires: "China and Latin American have economic complementarity and the two sides have enjoyed smooth cooperation."

"I hope the delegates will leave more time for discussion about Latin America, which is very relevant for China's development," he said.

"The Chinese people are hard-working and peace-loving," he said. "Their dream to pursue happiness should be understood and supported by the whole world."

"I hope the delegates will achieve great results at the meetings, and I will cheer for you in Argentina," he said.

David Quammen is a contributing writer to National Geographic Magazine. He traveled to China's Hong Kong, Guangzhou and Guilin three years ago.

"China's future is important to all of us," he said. "I think it's very important what the Chinese government decides to do on, for instance, carbon emissions, climate change."

"With the air like in Beijing on a bad day, we don't want all of China to be like that."

"I think they should listen to the very knowledgeable Chinese conservationists, Chinese environmentalists who are saying yes we can have modernized China, yes we can have China that everyone has a good standard of living but we need to do it in a careful way."

"It can be done. It's not easy and there are always opponents. I think it can be done," he said.

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