Good Outcomes Hoped for China-U.S. Trade Consultations: Chinese Premier

Premier: China needs 'strong measures' to support economy

China announces plans to stabilise growth amid trade war with US

Good outcomes are hoped to be delivered out of the economic and trade consultations between China and the United States, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said on Friday.

China's top economic official says the country needs "strong measures" to counteract downward pressure on growth but Beijing plans to promote market-oriented reforms instead of relying on more lending and deficit government spending.

Tax and fee cuts announced by the government will take effect from April 1, while social security fees will be reduced from May 1, Li told reporters at a news conference at the conclusion of the annual parliament meeting.

"We face many uncertainties this year, so we have to take more preparations, and we have policy space", Li 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. Economic growth past year fell to a three-decade low of 6.6 percent.

This is an important thing China has to do in the next step to ensure that the law is implemented smoothly, Li said.

China will bolster its national coffers by collecting more of the profits earned by some financial institutions and centrally-owned firms, while general expenditure will be cut, Li said.

"In terms of policy support - we may provide public rental housing units to private actors to provide services such as mobility, daycare, etc. Tax breaks may be provided to these service providers in terms of expenses on water, electricity and natural gas", he said.

According to the statistics provided by China's General Administration of Customs, the volume of trade between Russian Federation and China for January-February increased by 1.7% year-on-year, reaching $16 billion: exports from China to Russian Federation for the specified period decreased by 4.8% and stood at $7.07 billion.

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 previous year.

With speculation that Chinese President Xi Jinping and U.S. President Donald Trump may hold a summit in the near future to end a trade war, Li expressed readiness to make the nation's market more open and transparent to foreigners.

Noting that both China and the EU are important poles in a multi-polar world, Li said a growing China-EU relationship serves the interests of both sides and the world.

In response, China, the world's second largest economy after the United States, imposed tit-for-tat tariffs on Dollars 110 billion of American goods.

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.

The country will encourage business start-ups and innovation to create more job opportunities, he said. The talks and tensions stretch far beyond trade and tariffs.

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