Li: China eyeing rates, other policy steps to help economy

Postado Março 17, 2019

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang waves as he arrives for a press conference held after the closing session of China's National People's Congress (NPC) at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, Friday, March 15, 2019.

Premier Li Keqiang's comment at a news conference was the communist government's highest-level rejection of accusations Chinese companies might spy on foreign customers.

"Russia and China should take all the necessary measures to chiefly provide a stable volume of bilateral trade of $100 billion and to double it in the future", Li Keqiang said.

In a report mapping out policy direction for this year, released on March 5, the Chinese government lowered its gross domestic product growth target to 6.0-6.5 percent for 2019 from last year's target of about 6.5 percent.

China is targeting a GDP growth range of 6 to 6.5 per cent this year, down from 6.6 per cent in 2018 - the slowest pace in 28 years.

The main job of the government is to ensure fair market access and enhanced market oversight to ensure these services are both safe and reliable, Li added.

"China's economy will remain an important anchor of stability for the global economy", Li said.

Beijing's tax cut efforts have focused on the manufacturing sector and small businesses that are vital for economic growth and employment.

Even if we accelerate building elderly nursing homes and multi-functional kindergartens, the supply shortage may not be completely eased due to the rapid population ageing in China, he said.

The US and China, the world's two largest economies, are locked in a trade war since President Donald Trump imposed heavy tariffs on imported steel and aluminium items from China in March a year ago. But President Xi Jinping did not rule out the use of force during a January speech on cross-strait relations.

Innovative measures are needed to address the shortages of such services to meet public demand, Li said, adding that developing community-based nursing services for the elderly and infants can help as nursing facilities in communities can be more accessible to people.

Li also said China can use such tools as the reserve requirement ratio of banks and interest rates to support the economy.

The enactment of a new foreign investment law by China's largely rubber-stamp legislature suggested that Beijing has made some concessions to Washington over contentious trade issues such as alleged intellectual property theft and forced technology transfer.

Washington and Beijing have been locked in a tit-for-tat tariff battle as USA presses China for an end to practices and policies it argues have given Chinese firms unfair advantages, including subsidizing of industry, limits on access for foreign companies and alleged theft of intellectual property.

"This law will regulate government behaviour, requiring the government to perform its functions in accordance with the law", he said.

His comments came after increased worldwide scrutiny of Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei Technologies Co Ltd, which has been caught in the cross-fire as trade tensions ratcheted up.