19th CPC National Congress: A visit with the Sichuan delegation
By John Terrett
Twenty-four hours after General Secretary Xi unveiled his breakthrough "New Era" theory to guide China through the next five years and beyond, the Great Hall of the People is calm and peaceful once more.
Calm and peaceful – but far from empty – because in rooms around this famous complex sit groups of people from all over the country.
They're delegations from China's provinces and they're in town for the 19th CPC National Congress but they're also here to stick up for their regions.
Sichuan Province delegation. /CGTN Photo

Sichuan Province delegation. /CGTN Photo

Giant panda region

I've chosen to drop by the session being hosted by the delegation from Sichuan Province, in the southwest of the country – one of China's largest.
Ning, from the Sichuan People's Government, invites me to come see her home province anytime I'd like – "It's about two hours away by plane," she says.
The rest of the world knows Sichuan for its spicy food and as home to the lovable giant pandas. Indeed there are stuffed panda toys dotted around the room.
Newborn pandas in Chengdu, November 4, 2016 /CFP Photo

Newborn pandas in Chengdu, November 4, 2016 /CFP Photo

Poverty in rural areas

But while Chengdu – the capital – is modern and relatively wealthy, I'm afraid poverty is a real issue in the more rural parts of the province.
So, speaking through my producer Brenda, who is fluent in English and Mandarin, I asked what kind of new policies for poverty alleviation where the delegates likely to achieve here at the National Congress?
Qumu Shiha, a delegate from Sichuan Province told me: "We must achieve to remove poverty issues by the end of 2020, and we will continue to advance poverty reduction by drawing on the joint efforts of government, society and the market."
And so the session continued, with more questions from the floor from other journalists.
There were meetings such as this going on all over the Great Hall of the People while I was there.
It's not the first time delegations like this have been open to the media, but it was my first time witnessing it, and it was interesting to see local Chinese people having their say in the nation's capital – democracy in action – with a Chinese twist!