Deliberations on China's next five year development plan hinged on economic reforms kicked off on Thursday with the opening of the annual session of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) National Committee.
The Committee is the country's top political advisory body composed of representatives from the ruling Communist Party of China.
Its members are political parties, prominent personalities, organizations and all ethnic groups, whose role is to make an input in government plans and supervise service delivery.
Speaking at the opening session, the CPPCC chairperson, Yu Zhengsheng told delegates that the body had made proposals regarding the country's 13th five-year plan, to be reviewed at the upcoming session of the National People's Congress (NPC) the country's legislative organ.
Chinese President, Xi Jinping and several top ruling party officials attended the opening session held in the Great Hall of the People in China's capital, Beijing.
Zhensheng said the proposals focus on ensuring China's economic stability by enhancing growth by instituting economic, political and social reforms, and improving living standards.
Over the next 14 days, at least 2,500 CPPCC members will deliberate on China's new development blueprint that targets to double economic growth by 2020 through agriculture, manufacturing and promoting entrepreneurship and research.
Proposals made by CPPCC to government are advisory in nature, are not legally binding but involve input of the other political parties that cannot contest for power under China's political system.
Over the same period, at least 3,000 legislators (NPC) will be discussing the reform proposals and new development at a conference that starts on Saturday.
Last year, China enjoyed an 8.9% growth in its economy, in spite of weak performance across global markets partly resulting from a fall in oil prices, analysts say.
Last year, CPPCC received over 6,000 proposals and 5,000 were regarded forward to government ministries and agencies and some have since been adopted, Wang Guoqing, spokesperson for the CPPCC National Committee said at a press conference earlier on Wednesday.
Hundreds of journalists pitched camp outside the Great Hall of the People as they waited to interview delegates at the opening of the annual session of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) in Beijing
Earlier, ushers were seen outside the Great Hall of the People
News crews clad in traditional attire waited outside The Great Hall of the People to interview delegates
This TV news anchor was among the many news crews
Retired Chinese basketball legend Yao Ming towers above reporters as he makes his way to the opening session of the CPPCC conference
The 35-year-old, who stands at 7ft 6in (2.39m), played for the Houston Rockets of the National Basketball Association (NBA)
At the time of his final season as a player, Yao was the tallest active player in the NBA
The new plan proposes key reforms pertaining to the national economy and social development sectors between the years between 2016 and 2020, planned areas including judicial reforms, green development, fighting corruption and curbing pollution.
With a population of about 1.4 billion people, China still has at least 70 million people living below the poverty line, according to government figures, although the UN has previously put the figure at over 200 million.
China expects to significantly reduce poverty and expand its modernisation programme through innovation, education, opening up markets to foreign investment, coordination and sharing with key partners at a global stage.
Apart from being one of the biggest political events, the CPPCC conference attracts global media attention with the ensemble of influential figures including celebrities who are members of the advisory body of over 600,000 people.
A cross-section of delegates attending the opening session of the CPPCC inside the Great Hall of the People
Security teams monitor proceedings during the opening session of the conference