National People′s Congress convenes | Asia| An in-depth look at news from across the continent | DW | 05.03.2013
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Asia

National People's Congress convenes

Long derided as a rubber-stamp parliament, China's National People's Congress is convening in Beijing to "elect" the country's new leadership. There is no doubt as to who it will be.

Red flags flutter in front of the Great Hall of the People prior to the annual sessions of the NPC

Volkskongress China 2013

Known for votes of near-unanimity on almost every issue, the National People's Congress (NPC) of China serves as the country's parliament and takes place annually in the Great Hall of the People on Tiananmen Square in Beijing.

With about 3,000 members, it is the world's largest parliament - but without an opposition, as nearly three-quarters of delegates are members of the Communist Party of China, and the rest are members of the allied United Front.

NPC delegates are indirectly elected - generally unopposed - to a five-year term. And while the real decisions may be made elsewhere, the NPC is still an important gauge of the direction of China's ruling party and its response to current events.

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