(BEIJING) — China has decided to hold the annual meeting of its ceremonial parliament late next month after postponing it for weeks because of the coronavirus outbreak.
The official Xinhua News Agency on Wednesday said the National People’s Congress would open in Beijing on May 22, according to a decision made by its standing committee, which handles most legislative affairs outside the annual two-week session of the full body.
The convening of the full session, which would encompass about 3,000 members, indicates China’s growing confidence that it has largely overcome the pandemic that was first detected in China late last year.
The meeting normally held in March involves bringing delegates from across the country by plane and train to Beijing, where they first meet to hear a state of the country address from Premier Li Keqiang, seated shoulder-to-shoulder in the colossal auditorium at the Great Hall of the People.
It wasn’t clear from the report whether delegates would be meeting in person or virtually and there was no word on any meeting of the congress’ advisory body that meets around the same time.
China on Wednesday reported a jump in imported cases of coronavirus, but no new deaths from the disease it causes.
Out of 22 new cases, 21 were brought from abroad and one was a result of local transmission in the southern industrial province of Guangdong, the National Health Commission said. China, where the pandemic began, has registered 4,633 deaths from the virus among 82,858 cases.
Authorities have relaxed social distancing restrictions, but have maintained strict quarantine rules on those coming from abroad or other parts of the country to ward off a second wave of virus cases as summer approaches.