A British journalist's understanding of China's 'Two Sessions'

2017-03-16 10:48Xinhua Editor: Gu Liping ECNS App Download

Gregory Fountain, a British man working here with national English-language newspaper China Daily, stands on a desk in front of a huge calendar, talking, just like Gulliver has gone to the land of Brobdingnagians.

But instead of sharing his adventure, he is talking about the annual sessions of China's top legislative body and top political advisory body, according to a video, which has gone viral on Chinese Internet.[Special Coverage]

Fountain, a Yorkshireman, has managed to introduce China's "Two Sessions," known among Chinese people as "Lianghui," the National People's Congress (NPC) and the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) in the video.

"From where I'm from, people don't get the knowledge about China, and that's why we do this kind of things, to introduce the 'Two Sessions' to people who may not know about it," he told Xinhua in a recent interview.

Arriving in China in January 2016, Fountain participated twice in reporting the "Two Sessions."

The first came in March last year, together with his colleagues in China Daily's new media department. Fountain did a selfie video introducing the basics of the event.

Fountain has been impressed by the wide range of deputies representing all different walks of life attending the "Two Sessions."

"It's quite amazing to see these people coming together once a year to discuss what's the best of the country," Fountain told Xinhua.

The NPC, with its 3,000 or so deputies, has the power to supervise other national organs of state and ensure that the government runs in accordance with the will of the people, he said in the video.

From amending and supervising the enforcement of the Constitution, to electing the president, the NPC and its Standing Committee has guaranteed that state power is always held by the people, he added.

Wondering how China has unlocked great potential in the last four decades and become "a driver of world economy instead of a free rider," Fountain has made the buzzwords of "Two Sessions" over the past decades an answer in his video.

Noticing the changes of those buzzwords from special economic zones in the 1980s, to globalization around 2000 as well as the Chinese Dream in recent years, Fountain believes that behind the changes is China's success in reform and opening up.

"China is now taking its place on the world stage," he said, adding that compared with the United States which seems to be closing itself to the world, "China has been committed to staying open to the world and trading with the world."

China's success comes from staying open and promoting globalization, setting a good example for other countries in the world, said Fountain.

Among all the buzzwords that Fountain summarized in the video, including the Belt and Road Initiative, anti-corruption, supply-side reform, he is most interested in the targeted poverty alleviation.

"I think the rest of the world, especially the developing countries and emerging economies, are looking at China now to follow the example," he said.

"By any measure, China has made a great success in lifting people out of poverty, and countries like (in) Africa seem to look to what kind of tactic has been used there in China, and to try to learn from," he added.

Since China keeps developing and people are paying a growing attention to green and ecological civilization, Fountain believes the environment will be the general focus in the future "Two Sessions."

"Environment will be more and more important because people understand there is only one Earth and we have to keep it going," Fountain said.

Space program may also become a buzzword in the future "Two Sessions" since China has made huge progress in this area.

"If you look far enough into the future, may be 50 or 100-year time, space exploration may be something that China also leads the world in," he said.

He also introduces deputies of the "Two Sessions" in his video. They come from all walks of life, among whom are scientists, teachers, entrepreneurs, migrant workers, doctors, artists and civil servants, to name just a few.

With grass-root backgrounds, the deputies truly know what life is like in their respective regions, he added.

As a person with an open mind exploring new things and experiencing different culture, Fountain once worked for famous international news media in the Middle East and Britain.

"I've loved living there. It's been an amazing experience. It certainly has opened my mind a little bit because the culture and different holidays and things have been really interesting to learn about," said Fountain, adding that it's so fascinating to learn all those new things.

"Hopefully I think we're going to make some more videos because it's a really enjoyable process and every new video has been a learning experience," he said.



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