New leaders, growth target to be unveiled at China's National People's Congress

China's National People's Congress is set to begin on Sunday. Attention is focused on the event, as a new leadership lineup and economic growth target are scheduled to be unveiled.

Many members of the leadership, including the premier, four vice premiers and other ministers, are likely to be replaced. This comes after President Xi Jinping kicked off his third term as Communist Party leader last year.

Li Qiang is expected to succeed Li Keqiang as premier. The former top Communist Party official of Shanghai is a member of the Politburo Standing Committee and currently ranks second in the party's leadership.

The incumbent premier is expected to report to congress on the government's activities. Observers believe his speech will focus in part on the country's economic growth target for this year. The new target comes after the country ended its zero-COVID policy.

China's gross domestic product grew 3 percent year-on-year in 2022. That was lower than the government's target of about 5.5 percent.

Attention is also focused on the defense budget. This comes as Beijing's military buildup continues to cause concern in light of the Taiwan situation.

Security has been tightened around the Great Hall of the People in the capital Beijing. Many police vehicles have been deployed there.

The event will run until March 13.