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China Daily / 2020-05 / 23 / Page005

NPC annual session shows country confident of overcoming all odds

China Daily | Updated: 2020-05-23 00:00

After being deferred for more than 10 weeks owing to the devastating pandemic, and despite speculation that this year's annual sessions of the top legislature and political advisory body may go completely virtual, the convening of the two sessions shows that the country is prepared to overcome all odds.

That message cannot be more obvious than in the fact that, even though for the first time in years the central government avoided setting an annual growth target because of COVID-19-induced uncertainties, Premier Li Keqiang's Government Work Report to the National People's Congress on Friday stuck to the deadline for bidding farewell to abject poverty and building a moderately prosperous society in all respects by the end of this year.

Latest official data show 52 counties, more than 2,700 villages and over 5.5 million people are still designated as "impoverished". And, thanks to the massive economic disruptions including the closure of businesses and the consequential job losses the pandemic has caused, another 5 million people could slip into poverty. This new contingent of unemployed people, financially vulnerable as they are, may add extra workload and difficulty to the poverty relief program.

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