Chinese Premier Li says ‘no’ to trade wars and Chinese expansion


CHINA-POLITICS-Li-KeqiangChina’s Premier Li Keqiang gestures during a press conference after the closing session of the National People’s Congress at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on March 20, 2018. (AFP PHOTO / Greg BAKER)

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and the newly-elected vice premiers spoke to reporters at the end of the National People’s Congress in Beijing.

CGTN’s Su Yuting has more.

From politics to the economy, social welfare to diplomacy, Premier Li answered 15 questions during the two-hour press conference.

Li said China will open up even more to the world, stressing that it is a two-way street.

“Opening up is a basic state policy. If there’s one thing that’s going to be different from the past, it will be that China will open even wider,” he said. With our economy so integrated with the world’s, closing our door would only block China’s own way.”

Beijing aims to further bring down import tariffs, according to Li, especially when it comes to prescription drugs and cancer treatments. He added, however, that opening up is a “two-way track,” and requires everyone involved work together.

Premier Li also told those assembled that China has no intention of pursuing expansion.

“China will not seek expansion,” the leader said. “It is now a developing country, and it has no intention to pursue expansion. What China wants is to develop relations with all other countries and regions on the basis of mutual respect and mutual benefits, and to work with others to build a community with a shared future.”

As for relations between the Chinese mainland and Taiwan, Li said he would pursue peaceful cross-strait relations, but would not tolerate any attempt to separate Taiwan from China.

Questions concerning International affairs were also addressed, such as the progress made on the Korean Peninsula. All parties involved, Li said, should take concrete actions toward denuclearization.

And when it comes to U.S.-China trade relations, Li said ‘no’ to a trade war.

“We believe a ‘trade war’ does nobody any good. There are no winners in a trade war. And if one does have to use this word ‘war’ to describe trade, it will be going against the rules of doing trade. Because you do trade through negotiation, consultation and dialogue. So what we hope is for us to act rationally, instead of being led by emotions.”

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