Asking, knowing, reminding

Source:China Daily
Updated:2017-03-05 13:44:24

  The annual two sessions of the National People's Congress and the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference are underway, and for journalists it's time to ask, know, understand and remind.

  At the opening news conference of the fifth session of the 12th CPPCC National Committee on Thursday, I had the opportunity to ask a question about poverty reduction.

  I asked it bearing in mind that there are still 43 million Chinese who are still struggling against poverty in the world's second-largest economy.

Asking, knowing, reminding

  Nationwide, China is on track for more sustainable development in what President Xi Jinping has called the "new normal", so it's the right time to spread the benefits of growth more evenly.

  CPPCC spokesman Wang Guoqing replied with his trademark capacity for storytelling. He spoke of the poor farmers in northwestern Shaanxi province who are planting apples to get rich.

  Last year, Wang, who used to be a journalist himself, shared stories at the same news conference of China's fight, alongside Columbia University's East Asian Institute, to combat echinococcosis, a parasitic disease affecting both animals and humans.

  Even though he had two computer screens in front of him, I was still impressed by Wang's preparation for the conference.

  Reporters like me also have to prepare ourselves beforehand.

  As I waited for almost three hours for the conference to start, I thought of a journalist's most important tasksto help with the long term care of the country and its people, and to hold a firm belief in the positive changes that journalism can bring about.

  I often remind myself to stay aware of who I am writing stories for and why. There should always be a reason for our work, which every journalist needs to comprehend.

  This has been reinforced each year I look around the packed conference hall at the two sessions.

  This year there were 400 reporters but only about 220 seats. During the 80-minute-long conference, 18 questions were asked on subjects ranging from the economy, the CPPCC's role, poverty relief efforts, the relationship between government and business, ongoing healthcare reform, and the Belt and Road Initiative.

  As the moderator announced the end of the conference, reporters swarmed the platform, trying to ambush Wang for more questions.

  There are other questions in my mind that have yet to be answered. These focus on the long-awaited Civil Code, the legal protection of private property, the anti-corruption campaign, the Sino-US relationship in the Trump era and the universal second-child policy.

  I will do my duty to research and to ask, and look forward to the thoughtful responses of the CPPCC's members.