China Forum held a discussion with Carnegie's Douglas Paal and Professor Bruce Dickson of George Washington University on the 12th National People's Congress and what it means for China's future: new leaders, new policies, and new priorities for China's government.

The Chinese government faces significant challenges in redirecting the economy, sustaining growth, and addressing social, demographic, environmental, and energy challenges, Paal said. China watchers are looking at new government figures, such as Premier Li Keqiang and Vice President Li Yuanchao, to assess their possible commitment to political and economic reforms. Institutions like the family planning commission and the household registry system may be pegged for reform, while China’s foreign policy is more likely to reflect the status quo, Paal and Dickson agreed.