Lianghui (simplified Chinese: 两会; traditional Chinese: 兩會; pinyin: Liǎnghuì; Wade–Giles: Liang3 Hui4; literally: 'two meetings') is a common Mandarin Chinese abbreviation for a pair of organizations which have close relations.
In the Chinese government, the term refers to the annual plenary sessions of the national or local People's Congress and the national or local committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference. It is used also by the officially sanctioned Protestant and Catholic churches in China, and has been used by some to avoid Internet censorship in the People's Republic of China.
When referring to politics of the People's Republic of China, "national lianghui" (全国两会) refers to annual plenary sessions of the two organizations that make national-level political decisions: the National People's Congress (NPC) and the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC).
A less common political usage of lianghui is abbreviating the Republic of China's Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) in Taipei, and the PRC's Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS) in Beijing.
Uses in ChristianityEdit
Protestantism in China uses lianghui to name the two Chinese government-sanctioned Protestant organizations: the Three-Self Patriotic Movement (TSPM) and the China Christian Council (CCC). Due to the close relationship between these two organizations, they are sometimes mistaken as the same organization.
Roman Catholicism in China uses lianghui, or yihuiyituan (一会一团 or "one association and one conference"), referring to the Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association (中国天主教爱国会) and the Bishops Conference of Catholic Church in China (中国天主教主教团). These two state-approved Catholic organizations do not accept the primacy of the Roman Pontiff, in contrast to the Chinese Catholic Bishops Conference (天主教台灣地區主教團) in Taiwan.
During the 2011 Chinese pro-democracy protests, the word lianghui became a covert means of avoiding Internet censorship. When PRC censors attempted to limit news of the Arab Spring by disabling internet searches for Chinese words such as "Egypt," "Tunisia," and “jasmine", protest organizers urged bloggers and activists to call planned protests lianghui. If the government were to censor this dissenters' circumlocution, it would effectively block internet news about the governmental NPC and CPPCC meetings.
- Jeremy Page, New Chinese Call for 'Jasmine' Protest Circulates Online, Wall Street Journal, February 24, 2011.
- Jo Ling Kent, Organizers call for second round of demonstrations across China, CNN World, February 25, 2011.
- Lianghui, Schott's Vocab, New York Times, March 2, 2011.
- Jargon Watch, Wired Magazine, May 31, 2011.
- All China Lianghui Report 2008 (in Chinese: NCP and CPPCC)