What the Chinese Premier said on the opening of China’s economy

China remains committed to opening up the Chinese economy to the world and implementing reforms that will boost growth, Premier Li Chiang said, while estimating that geopolitical tensions are a drag on global economic growth.

Mr Li’s comments at the Boao International Economic Forum on the southern Chinese island of Hainan reaffirmed his intention to boost his country’s economic recovery amid escalating tensions with the US and its allies over various issues, from Russia’s war against Ukraine to Taiwan and technology.

Optimism about the course of the economy in China

“No matter what changes are recorded in the world, we will always implement policies of reform and opening up,” Li assured his audience at the forum.

“We will introduce a series of new measures, expanding market access and optimizing the business environment,” he continued, pointing out, however, that “peace is a necessary condition for development.”

According to China’s premier, there are signs that his country’s economy is starting to recover after three years of draconian measures to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus pandemic, which were abandoned in December.

China has set its GDP target to grow by around 5% this year, a somewhat subdued growth rate after falling short of its 2022 target. However, this rate is lower than what the International Monetary Fund and other financial analysts.

“Judging by the situation in March, things are going better than in January and February. In particular, important economic indicators such as those on consumption and investment continue to improve, while employment and prices remain broadly stable,” said Mr Li.

Peaks in the US

Addressing indirectly but clearly the US, which in coordination with its partners is making moves to deprive Beijing of access to technologies such as microchips, the Chinese premier reiterated that his country opposes protectionism and the logic of disengagement.

Relations between the two superpowers, strained for years, took a new turn for the worse last month after a US fighter jet shot down a high-altitude Chinese hot air balloon, which Washington said was spying, but Beijing denied, saying it was meteorological.

Another source of tension between the US and China is Taiwan, which Beijing considers a breakaway Chinese province destined to one day be reunited with the mainland, by force if necessary. The president of the island of 23 million people, Tsai Ing-wen, arrived in New York yesterday, on the first of her two “passages” from the United States, in which she is expected to meet with American officials.

Chinese diplomacy has called the two visits, in which Ms. Tsai may meet with the speaker of the House of Representatives, Republican Kevin McCarthy, a challenge.

Mr Li pointed out in his speech that there should be no “armed conflicts” and “chaos” in Asia, as opportunities for the future of the region would be lost, pledging that China would be an “anchor” for the international peace and security.

Source: RES-MPE

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