The second session of the 13th National People's Congress and the second session of the 13th National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference were held in March. The "two sessions" passed the foreign investment law, which will become effective on Jan. 1, 2020. The adoption of the law was an important step toward the country's plans to expand opening up and promote foreign investment.
The second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation, held in Beijing from April 25 to 27, saw the participation of over 6,000 foreign guests from 150 countries and 92 international organizations. The event opened a new chapter of high-quality cooperation for building the Belt and Road.
With the theme of "Live Green, Live Better," the 2019 Beijing International Horticultural Expo was held from April 29 to Oct. 7. Visitors to numerous parks of the expo were treated to a wide variety of horticultural arrangements and displays.
The Conference on Dialogue of Asian Civilizations was held in Beijing from May 15 to 22. With the theme of exchange and mutual learning among Asian countries, the conference included an opening ceremony and various sub-forums. More than 2,000 government officials and representatives of various circles from 47 Asian countries and other countries outside the region attended the opening ceremony and forums.
Shanghai enacted a set of regulations on household garbage sorting and recycling from July 1, followed by various cities across China. The country plans to establish a garbage sorting system in 46 major cities by the end of 2020 and expand it to cover all cities at the prefecture-level and above by 2025.
China's Migratory Bird Sanctuaries along the Coast of the Yellow Sea-Bohai Gulf (Phase I) and the Archaeological Ruins of Liangzhu City in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, were inscribed onto the UNESCO World Heritage list during the 43rd session of the World Heritage Committee in Baku, Azerbaijan, on July 5 and 6. China now has 55 entries to the World Heritage list, leading the world along with Italy.
On Aug. 26, China announced a master plan to establish six new pilot free trade zones (FTZs), as part of the country's continued efforts of reform and opening up. The six new pilot FTZs are located in the provinces of Shandong, Jiangsu, Guangxi, Hebei, Yunnan, and Heilongjiang, bringing the total number of the country's pilot FTZs to 18.
Chinese President Xi Jinping announced the official opening of the Beijing Daxing International Airport on Sept. 25. With four runways, 268 airport stands, and a vast terminal area covering 700,000 square meters, the new airport is expected to handle 45 million passenger trips a year by 2022 and 72 million by 2025.
A grand gathering to celebrate the 70th founding anniversary of the People's Republic of China was held on Oct. 1 at the Tian'anmen Square in Beijing. More than 200,000 people joined the celebrations featuring a military parade and mass pageantry. President Xi Jinping delivered a speech and reviewed the troops.
The second China International Import Expo (CIIE) was held in Shanghai from Nov. 5 to 10. With the theme of "New Era, Shared Future," the expo signaled China's determination to pursue high-quality opening up and work with other countries to build an open world economy.
China and the U.S. agreed on the text of a phase-one economic and trade agreement based on the principle of equality and mutual respect. The State Council Information Office of China held a press conference about China-U.S. trade talks on Dec. 13.
On Dec. 20, a gathering marking the 20th anniversary of Macao's return to the motherland was held in Macao. The fifth-term government of Macao Special Administrative Region was also inaugurated on that day.