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Wed 5 Mar 2014 11:39 AM

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China opens National People’s Congress

The National People’s Congress has begun in China, with nearly 3,000 members from across the vast country arriving in Beijing’s Great Hall of the People for the nine-day assembly. The NPC meets every spring to discuss and approve legislation, as well as carry out a variety of other duties. On the opening day, Premier Li Keqiang gave the annual work report, amid a media scrum to document what has become a colourful spectacle, and one of the most important dates in China’s political calendar.

China opens National People’s Congress
Delegates listen to Li Keqiang speak during the National People's Congress (NPC) at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on March 5, 2014. China's annual show of political theater, the NPC is the first under the new Communist Party leadership and is facing intractable problems including endemic corruption, slowing economic growth and tensions with neighboring countries. (AFP/Getty Images)
China opens National People’s Congress
Tung Chee-hwa (front C), Vice-Chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), gestures during the opening session of the 12th National People's Congress (NPC) in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on March 5, 2014. China's annual show of political theater, the National People's Congress, the first under a new Communist Party leadership facing intractable problems including endemic corruption, slowing economic growth and tensions with neighboring countries. (AFP/Getty Images)
China opens National People’s Congress
Chinese ethnic minority delegates in their traditional costumes arrive for the opening session of the 12th National People's Congress (NPC) at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on March 5, 2014. China's annual show of political theatre, the National People's Congress, the first under a new Communist Party leadership facing intractable problems including endemic corruption, slowing economic growth and tensions with neighbouring countries. (AFP/Getty Images)
China opens National People’s Congress
NPC delegates leave after the opening session of the 12th National People's Congress (NPC) at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on March 5, 2014. China's annual show of political theatre, the National People's Congress, the first under a new Communist Party leadership facing intractable problems including endemic corruption, slowing economic growth and tensions with neighbouring countries. (AFP/Getty Images)
China opens National People’s Congress
Military delegates arrive for the opening session of the 12th National People's Congress (NPC) at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on March 5, 2014. China's annual show of political theatre, the National People's Congress, the first under a new Communist Party leadership facing intractable problems including endemic corruption, slowing economic growth and tensions with neighbouring countries. (AFP/Getty Images)
China opens National People’s Congress
Chinese hostesses pose before the start of the National People's Congress (NPC) at the Great Hall of the People (back) in Beijing on March 5, 2014. China's annual show of political theater, the NPC is the first under the new Communist Party leadership and is facing intractable problems including endemic corruption, slowing economic growth and tensions with neighboring countries. (AFP/Getty Images)
China opens National People’s Congress
Chinese president Xi Jinping applauses during the opening session of the 12th National People's Congress (NPC) in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on March 5, 2014. China's annual show of political theatre, the National People's Congress, opens this week -- the first under a new Communist Party leadership facing intractable problems including endemic corruption, slowing economic growth and tensions with neighbouring countries. (AFP/Getty Images)
China opens National People’s Congress
Chinese premier Li Keqiang delivers a report during the opening session of the 12th National People's Congress (NPC) in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on March 5, 2014. China's annual show of political theatre, the National People's Congress, opens this week -- the first under a new Communist Party leadership facing intractable problems including endemic corruption, slowing economic growth and tensions with neighbouring countries. (AFP/Getty Images)
China opens National People’s Congress
A group of security guards walk past the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on March 4, 2014. China's annual show of political theatre, the National People's Congress, opens this week -- the first under a new Communist Party leadership facing intractable problems including endemic corruption, slowing economic growth and tensions with neighbouring countries. (AFP/Getty Images)
China opens National People’s Congress
Two minority delegate leave the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on March 4, 2014.China's annual show of political theatre, the National People's Congress, opens this week -- the first under a new Communist Party leadership facing intractable problems including endemic corruption, slowing economic growth and tensions with neighbouring countries. (AFP/Getty Images)
China opens National People’s Congress
A Uighur delegate from the farwest Chinese region of Xinjiang talks to the media as he arrives for the opening session of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on March 3, 2014. China's annual show of political theatre, the National People's Congress, opens this week -- the first under a new Communist Party leadership facing intractable problems including endemic corruption, slowing economic growth and tensions with neighbouring countries. (AFP/Getty Images)
China opens National People’s Congress
Chinese hostesses pose for a photograph as they wait for the delegates during the opening session of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on March 3, 2014. China's annual show of political theatre, the National People's Congress, opens this week -- the first under a new Communist Party leadership facing intractable problems including endemic corruption, slowing economic growth and tensions with neighbouring countries. (AFP/Getty Images)
China opens National People’s Congress
A Chinese policewoman stands guard during the opening session of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on March 3, 2014. China's annual show of political theatre, the National People's Congress, opens this week -- the first under a new Communist Party leadership facing intractable problems including endemic corruption, slowing economic growth and tensions with neighbouring countries. (AFP/Getty Images)
China opens National People’s Congress
Buddhist Master Xuecheng arrives at the opening session of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on March 3, 2014. China's annual show of political theatre, the National People's Congress, opens this week -- the first under a new Communist Party leadership facing intractable problems including endemic corruption, slowing economic growth and tensions with neighbouring countries. (AFP/Getty Images)
China opens National People’s Congress
A Chinese paramilitary police stands guard on Tiananmen Square during the opening session of the 12th National People's Congress (NPC) at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on March 5, 2014. China's annual show of political theatre, the National People's Congress, the first under a new Communist Party leadership facing intractable problems including endemic corruption, slowing economic growth and tensions with neighbouring countries. (AFP/Getty Images)