BEIJING - The National People’s Congress (NPC) of China is all set to start its 12-day session at the Great Hall of the People here on Thursday (today). Around 3,000 NPC deputies will attend the session which has discussion on the Silk Road among the agenda items.

President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang will also attend the plenary session.

The yearly session is held in March. In addition to the NPC deputies, members from across the mainland of China and autonomous and special administrative regions, including Hong Kong, Macau, Xinjiang and Tibet, hundreds of media personnel will attend.

According to the spokeswoman for the country’s parliament some 3,000 media personnel from China and foreign countries are registered for the ‘big media event’.  There will be a number of press conferences on the sideline of the session, including one to be given by Premier Li Keqiang at the end of the session.

The Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), which kicked off its session on Tuesday, will continue its business parallel to the NCP.

The CPPCC has no law-making authority.  Its 2,153 delegates are drawn from a variety of occupations, ethnic groups and backgrounds. 

Addressing a news conference here on Wednesday, spokesperson Fu Ying told China’s defence budget this year was expected to increase by about 10 percent compared with 2014. She said that the final figure would be released today, when the annual session of NPC opens. Last year, China’s defense budget rose by 12.2 percent.

On Wednesday, China’s national legislators elected a presidium and set the agenda for the legislature’s annual session. A 172-member presidium was elected to take charge of the procedures of the third session of the 12th NPC, which is scheduled to conclude on March 15.

The spokesperson said that an anti-terrorism law requiring foreign companies in China to reveal security-related data will be in line with international practice and will not harm the legal interests of businesses. The law is still under review, Fu said.

She noted that it is good to see US President Barack Obama paying attention to China’s anti-terrorism legislation but there are misunderstandings.

She said in order to combat corruption there was a need to treat the symptom as well as the roots. The job of the standing committee of the NPC national committee is to treat the root by pushing forward the building of anti-corruption institution and thus creating an environment in which officials dare not breach the laws and regulations, she said.

Fu said besides amending our laws and regulations to give a heavier strike on corruption, they were also making efforts to build an international network to cooperate with other countries and regions to combat against corruption. No matter where the corrupt officials flee to, they have to face the law’s punishment, she said.

President Xi Jinping recently emphasized that Party cadres must abide the principle that the constitution and laws were the highest and all people were equal before the law. All the Party members must study the law, understand the law, abide by the law and learn the use of the law.

Beside discussion on annual budget, the congress will also take up Food Safety law to safeguard people’s table.