|Foreigners in the meeting. (People's Daily Overseas Edition/ He Kan)|
Key Words: foreigners; two sessions
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Edited and translated by Li Qian, People's Daily Online
French Consul General in Wuhan Serge Lavroff attended the session of People's congress in Hubei on Jan. 22, 2013.
"I have been in Wuhan for more than three years, and already take myself as half-citizen in there as early,” he said. GDP growth of 11.3 percent in the province is much higher than the average level in China. Hubei is the province receiving the largest amount of French investment in China. The French government and enterprises will continue to support the development of the province, he said.
"Last year, Air France opened flights from Paris to Wuhan, which make us closer and may bring more investment opportunities,” he said.
Vlad Lipschutz, U.S. Consul General in Wuhan also listened carefully, and occasionally took notes on the government work report. This is his first time to attend the two sessions in Wuhan, but he is very concerned about the economic development of Hubei, and wants to seek closer communication and cooperation.
In these days, Lipschutz's colleagues frequently appeared in the local two sessions in Yunnan, Chongqing and Zhejiang.
Diplomats from Britain, Germany, France and Canada have become regular attendees to the local two sessions. Attending the local two sessions is becoming one of the most important activities of the embassies. Most of them are invited by the local governments, but some embassies also take the initiative to apply.
Foreigners are generally concerned about China's economic growth and policies. Their attending of local two sessions reflects the local governments’ efforts to strengthen opening and transparency.
Read the Chinese version: 外籍人士旁听地方两会, source: People's Daily Overseas Edition