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Beijing's annual political bash to offer a glimpse of the future

Observers will be looking for clues about the economy and Xi's grip on power

The National People's Congress meets at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing in March 2016. (Photo by Akira Kodaka)

HONG KONG For the past few weeks, Beijing has been busy clearing its skies of smog, ramping up security and heightening its surveillance of the internet. All of this is in preparation for China's upcoming political extravaganza, which each year brings together thousands of delegates, costumed ethnic minorities and a veritable United Nations of journalists.

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