Photographer: How Hwee Young/EPA

China's Parliamentary Spectacle

Beijing will throw open the doors of the Great Hall of the People and host some 3,000 of the country's most powerful officials over the coming days. The parliamentary spectacle, known as the National People's Congress, gives a rare glimpse into the machinery of the Communist Party and draws thousands of journalists from China and around the world. The event runs alongside a meeting of China's top political advisory body, the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference. This year the focus will be on China's development over the next five years and all eyes will be on how Beijing plans to tackle the country's economic slowdown.

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    A People's Liberation Army soldier stands guard in front of a portrait of former China leader Mao Zedong at in Tiananmen Square.

    Photographer: Qilai Shen/Bloomberg

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    Tiananmen Square is patrolled before the NPC.

    Photographer: Qilai Shen/Bloomberg

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    A street vendor sells medallions featuring an image of Xi Jinping, China's president.

    Photographer: Qilai Shen/Bloomberg

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    Event hostesses pose for photographs outside the Great Hall of the People during the opening session of the NPC.

    Photographer: Qilai Shen/Bloomberg

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    An ethnic minority delegate arrives for the opening session at the Great Hall of the People.

    Photographer: Fred Dufour/AFP via Getty Images

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    CPPCC member and former NBA star Yao Ming is in attendance.

    Source: ChinaFotoPress via Getty Images

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    Members of the media line up to get into the Great Hall of the People.

    Photographer: How Hwee Young/EPA

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    Hostesses pour tea before the opening session of the NPC.

    Photographer: Qilai Shen/Bloomberg

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    Chinese President Xi Jinping and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang attend the opening session.

    Photographer: Qilai Shen/Bloomberg

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    A delegate photographs the stage inside the Great Hall of the People.

    Photographer: Qilai Shen/Bloomberg

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    Chinese General Mao Xinyu, the grandson of Mao Zedong, reads a book ahead of the session opening.

    Source: Imaginechina via Getty Images

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    Chinese Premier Li Keqiang walks past delegates at the opening session of the NPC.

    Photographer: Qilai Shen/Bloomberg

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    Security guards watch during the opening session of the NPC

    Photographer: Qilai Shen/Bloomberg

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    Hostesses carry tea for delegates at the NPC.

    Photographer: Qilai Shen/Bloomberg

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    A security guard stands outside the Great Hall of the People.

    Photographer: Fred Dufour/AFP via Getty Images