Chinese state media said on Monday that senior officials at China’s national legislature and a related government-advisory body have proposed delaying their annual meetings in Beijing, which would have drawn some 5,000 delegates from across the country for a roughly two-week gathering, reported the Wall Street Journal.
Known locally as the “Two Sessions,” uncertainty has loomed over the meetings as the outbreak of the virus, has sickened more than 70,000 people and claimed more than 1,770 lives. President Xi has declared a “people’s war” against the disease, calling on officials and ordinary citizens to spare no effort in containing the epidemic.
Top officials at the National People’s Congress, China’s legislature, believe postponing their annual session is necessary for ensuring that the proper focus is kept on fighting the epidemic and safeguarding public health and safety, according to Zang Tiewei, a spokesman for the legislature’s legal-affairs committee.
Many congressional deputies are regional and local officials who play important front-line roles in China’s efforts to contain the epidemic, Zang said in remarks carried by the official Xinhua News Agency.