Graphics: Economy post-COVID-19 takes spotlight at Premier Li's presser
Updated 22:52, 28-May-2020

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang met the press on Thursday after the conclusion of the third session of the 13th National People's Congress (NPC).

In the first virtual press conference amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the premier took questions from domestic and foreign media, addressing issues of concern including economic agenda, people's livelihoods, policies on Taiwan and Hong Kong, China-U.S. relations and international cooperation.

CGTN went through the keywords and topics covered in the 11 questions – the least asked at China's Two Sessions since 2013, during the premier's two-hour briefing.

Economic issues loom large this year in light of the global downturn due to the COVID-19 pandemic. China's plans to address these challenges took the spotlight after the world's second-biggest economy abandoned its annual GDP target for the first time.

Acknowledging the pandemic's unprecedented shocks and the difficulties China faces in the aftermath, Li reiterated this year's goals and tasks in six key areas set out in the government work report and stressed quality development ensuring job security, basic living needs, and market entities to achieve positive economic growth.

China's role in the global response to the COVID-19 pandemic, including a possible international inquiry to trace the coronavirus' origins, stood out among regular mentions like economic reforms.

The epidemic has overshadowed discussions on the domestic agenda as it poses new challenges to China's ambitious goal to eradicate poverty in the country in 2020. More focus is placed on stabilizing employment and supporting enterprises and making sure that stimulus measures benefit businesses and the public directly.

Li expressed confidence for the country to emerge victorious in its battle against poverty, stressing that it is the Party's solemn commitment to the people.

Read more: Premier Li puts jobs, livelihoods and businesses at center of recovery

With the approval of a national security law for Hong Kong by the NPC earlier on Thursday, China's "One Country, Two Systems" policy in the SAR sparked renewed international interest. Li promised continued "high degree of autonomy" in HKSAR in accordance with the Constitution and the Basic Law.

With regard to other countries, strained relations between China and the United States over the pandemic dominated the exchange on Thursday. Talks of "decoupling" and a new "Cold War" between the two major powers have been making waves for some time, raising concerns over the follow-through of last year's phase-one trade agreement.

China has long opposed the Cold War mentality, Li said, pointing out that decoupling between major economies is harmful to both sides and the world.

On a final note, Li said China is a massive market and fertile soil for investment opportunities, welcomes multilateral cooperation and is committed to fulfill its international responsibilities. With consistent pledges to deepen reform and open up further, Li said he hoped to see a more open, prosperous world post-COVID-19.

Data editors: Hu Yiwei, Zhao Hong

Editor: Zhou Minxi

Graphics: Du Chenxin