We do not want trade war with United States, says Premier Li

Mar 20, 2017, 00:33
We do not want trade war with United States, says Premier Li

Premier Li Keqiang said on Wednesday that China vigorously advocates globalization and free trade.

His remarks, made at the annual press conference at the end of the National People's Congress, struck a positive note on Sino-US relations ahead of US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson's visit to Beijing this weekend, the first by a top Trump administration official. The impact would be felt mostly by foreign, especially USA, companies, he said, citing a report from an.

He has accused Beijing of being the world's greatest currency manipulator and during his campaign vowed to slap 45% tariffs on Chinese imports, a move China has warned would trigger a damaging trade war.

Complicating his mission to Beijing are China's strenuous objections to the initial deployment to South Korea of a USA missile defense system that have strained relations between Seoul and Beijing and sparked a snowballing economic boycott against South Korea among some Chinese.

When asked about the dilemma faced by Southeast Asian countries caught in the growing rivalry between Beijing and Washington in the Asia-Pacific, Li said China did not want to see its neighbours compelled to "pick a side".

"But I believe that our economic performance in the past several years. should suffice to put a full stop to such prophesies of a hard landing".

The Government is hoping to expand GDP by about 6.5 per cent this year - a slowdown from 6.7 per cent growth last year. The North conducted two nuclear tests and 24 ballistic missile tests past year, deepening concern in Washington that it could soon develop a nuclear-tipped missile capable of reaching the US mainland.

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Economists say that while Beijing suppressed the yuan's value in the previous decade, more recently market pressures are weakening the currency against the dollar and it would fall further without central bank intervention.

But Mr Li said previous doubts about China's economy had been disproved.

"I should point out that 6.5 percent growth is not low speed and will not be easy for us to meet". Despite that, China last month suspended imports of North Korean coal for the rest of the year, depriving Kim Jong Un's regime of a crucial source of foreign currency.

The government needs to exercise careful regulation in an open-minded and accommodating way to enable the healthy development of new business forms boosted by the initiative, he said.

"We need to take very seriously the risks we are facing on the domestic front, especially in the financial sector".

The RMB has solid presence in the global currency system and the RMB exchange rate will remain generally stable, he added. "The closed door and beggar-thy-neighbour policies can not resolve problems". "We still have a good reserve of policy options and instruments at our disposal".