The annual session of China's top political advisory body started on Thursday in Beijing after a two-month-plus delay due to the coronavirus pandemic. The session will end on May 27, four-and-a-half days shorter than previously planned.
Except for the opening and closing meetings, this year's session of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) includes two plenary meetings, one of which will be convened through videoconferencing, and six group meetings.
CPPCC held a press conference on Wednesday afternoon, ahead of the session. Guo Weimin, spokesperson for the third session of the 13th CPPCC National Committee, briefed the media on the session and took questions through videoconferencing amid COVID-19 pandemic.
With regard to media coverage, some Beijing-based Chinese and foreign journalists have been invited to the Great Hall of the People for interview.
Three corridor interviews of CPPCC members will be conducted via online video and journalists are welcome to interview by video or in writing, Guo said.
At this year's meeting, CPPCC members represent wide cross-sections of society and many of them have taken part in China's COVID-19 response, Guo told reporters, saying all political advisers and CPPCC organisations at all levels have played a positive and important role.
The political advisory body has also worked for improving the public health emergency response by conducting videoconferences, online workshops and seminars to discuss key issues that emerged during the pandemic and offer advice, including the strengthening of the construction of specialised hospitals for infectious diseases and expert teams.
In response to a question from Reuters, Guo said China's virus response and its global aid have achieved positive results rather than criticism or a "fight for global leadership."
Guo said blaming and smearing China by certain politicians from a number of countries, including the US, is out of political needs to shift the blame at home and will not succeed.
"I want to emphasise that China is sincere in providing assistance to the countries in the fight against COVID-19 epidemic," Guo noted.
"We've provided all possible assistance including medical supplies, experience sharing and sending expert teams, all are hoping these countries could control the situation as soon as possible to save more lives and in hopes of restoring order of the international society as soon as possible ... It reflects humanitarianism and sense of responsibility."
Guo said COVID-19 pandemic has indeed caused problems for international economic cooperation and imposed great impact on global industrial and supply chain, but it also underlines the importance of globalisation and multilateralism.
He said the layout and structure of global industrial and supply chain are formed over years and they are stable and dependent.
"In the face of the impact of coronavirus, all countries should strengthen unity and cooperation to help maintain the stability of global industrial and supply chain and to prevent world economy from falling into recession."
Guo reiterated China's stance on multilateralism, global free trade and investment, adding that his country will unwaveringly advance reform and opening up and ease market access.
Guo added that the fundamentals of China's economic and social development have remained stable despite unprecedented impact of the COVID-19 epidemic.