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China's annual parliament meeting at risk of delay

Municipalities postpone preparations ahead of March gathering due to virus

The annual National People's Congress and Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference bring together tens of thousands of people in Beijing every March.   © Reuters

BEIJING -- The coronavirus outbreak in China has prompted over two dozen cities and provinces to postpone local assembly meetings, raising questions as to whether the National People's Congress will meet in March as planned.

Provincial and municipal congresses typically meet around the same time in January or February to prepare for the annual gathering of China's parliament, scheduled to begin March 5 this year. They set local economic growth targets and choose delegations to attend group meetings at the national congress to deliberate bills and government work reports.

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