BEIJING: China has scrapped one of the most widely-followed events on its economic and policy calendar, the premier’s post-parliament news conference, a move seen by some observers as a sign of the country’s increasingly inward focus and centralised control.

For three decades, during a period when China was opening up, the briefing had offered foreign investors and governments insights into how Chinese policymakers regard the challenges of managing what is now the world’s second-largest economy.

In a surprise announcement on Monday, a spokesman said China’s Premier Li Qiang will not brief the media at the close of this year’s annual parliamentary meeting, which begins on Tuesday in Beijing.

Moreover, barring special circumstances, Li will hold no such annual press conferences for the remaining term of China’s parliament ending in 2027, National People’s Congress spokesman Lou Qinjian said.

Since 1993, China’s premiers have met the media after the annual parliament gathering, taking wide-ranging questions from Chinese and foreign journalists in news conferences broadcast live globally.


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