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China eyes date for key parliament meeting postponed by virus

Reports suggest May gathering, with economic stimulus expected

The Great Hall of the People in Beijing: China could consider a teleconferencing option for the annual session of the National People's Congress.   © Reuters

BEIJING -- Chinese lawmakers have begun talks on when to hold their annual congress, which was delayed due to the coronavirus outbreak but now represents a chance for President Xi Jinping to reassert his authority and advance large-scale stimulus efforts.

The Standing Committee of the National People's Congress began a four-day meeting Sunday, in part to set a date for China's annual parliamentary session, the state-run Xinhua News Agency reported. The constitutionally mandated session had begun on March 5 every year since 1998, but it was postponed this year due to the coronavirus.

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