Premier: China to continue with current support strategy for economy
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang meets the press after the conclusion of the second session of the 13th National People's Congress (NPC) at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, capital of China, March 15, 2019. [Photo: Xinhua/Xing Guangli]
China's Premier Li Keqiang has strongly rejected accusations from the US and some other Western governments that China tells its tech companies to spy abroad
He addressed a news conference at the end of the annual National People's Congress session in Beijing.
Li Keqiang also said China will continue with its current support strategy of the economy instead of using a large-scale stimulus to counteract the downward pressure.
The curtain came down on the annual National People's Congress session in Beijing with pronouncements made on some of the key outcomes of the gathering. Speaking on the economy, Premier Li Keqiang said the country needs strong measures to counteract the downward pressure on growth. A growth target range of between 6-6.5 percent has been set for 2019, after the economy grew by 6.6 percent last year. Li Keqiang pointed out that the downward adjustment of the world's second largest economy was made against the backdrop of a slowing global economy.
"We encountered economic slowdown in the past few years and the measures we have taken is to boost the vitality of the market because when we have more vitality in the market, there will be stronger dynamism for development."
He also stressed the government's focus on preventing large-scale job losses, projecting the economy to create between 11 and 13 million jobs this year. He said the tax and fee-cut measures under the fiscal policy, as well as cutting real interest rates are all designed to ensure employment in the country.
"Therefore, this year, for the first time, we list the job-first policy as a macro-policy together with our fiscal policy and monetary policy."
In response to accusations that China uses its tech companies to spy on other countries, Li Keqiang made it clear that Beijing would never engage in such activities.
"It is not in compliance with Chinese laws, and it is not how China behaves. We don't do that and will not do it in the future for sure."
On the ongoing China-US trade talks, Li Keqiang expressed hope that positive outcomes that are of benefit to both sides and the world will emerge from the ongoing consultations.
"China and the United States, as two large economies, have become closely entwined through years of a growing relationship and years of cooperation. It is neither realistic nor possible to decouple these two economies. I believe we need to continue to follow the principles of cooperation before confrontation, mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit to continue to grow the China-US relationship, including their economic and trade ties."