Li Zhanshu, chairman of the National People's Congress (NPC) Standing Committee, presides over the first plenary meeting of the ninth session of the 13th NPC Standing Committee in Beijing, capital of China, Feb. 26, 2019. (Xinhua/Liu Weibing)
China's top legislature on Tuesday began a bimonthly session, with a focus on making preparations for the upcoming annual legislative session in March.
Li Zhanshu, chairman of the National People's Congress (NPC) Standing Committee, presided over Tuesday's meeting, which was attended by 171 members of the committee.
During the two-day session, lawmakers are expected to review the committee's work report in 2018 as well as drafts on the agenda and the name lists of presidium, secretary-general and non-voting delegates of the second session of the 13th NPC.
The session, an annual legislative event, is scheduled to open on March 5.
On Tuesday, two reports, focusing on pollution control and poverty relief respectively, were submitted to the top legislature for deliberation.
The first report was delivered by Minister of Ecology and Environment Li Ganjie. It is the State Council's feedback on how it responded to the legislature's inspection report and comments.
In 2018, the top legislature launched an inspection to check local compliance with the Air Pollution Prevention and Control Law and held a legislative meeting to deliberate a report made by the top legislator on the matter.
In its feedback report, the State Council said it paid high attention to issues highlighted by the NPC inspection and had tasked the Ecology and Environment Ministry to work with 22 departments and eight provincial-level governments to overhaul problems.
These efforts are made to yield notable achievements in the fight against pollution, the report said.
Poverty relief is another area the top legislature paid close attention to. Between May and December, three NPC Standing Committee vice chairpersons led teams to 16 provinces and regions to study poverty alleviation efforts on the ground.
Wu Weihua, vice chairperson of the NPC Standing Committee, made a report based on the investigation to the legislative session on Tuesday. He noted that "decisive progress" had been made in the anti-poverty fight but also acknowledged that circumstances remained challenging.
The report suggests adopting extra-ordinary measures and gathering the strength of the whole nation to make sure the anti-poverty goals be met on time.
Chinese authorities aim to lift all rural residents living below the current poverty line out of poverty by the year 2020.
On Tuesday, lawmakers also heard a report on the qualification issues of certain deputies, and deliberated appointment and dismissal matters.