Graphics: Takeaways from Chinese premier's first press conference
Chinese Premier Li Qiang met the press on Monday after the closing of the first session of the 14th National People's Congress, and answered 10 questions from the media concerning China's economic development, international relations and people's livelihoods.
Li Qiang was endorsed as Chinese premier Saturday morning, at a plenary meeting of the NPC session. In his first address on Monday, Li pledged to focus on promoting high-quality development, especially on ordinary people's needs for housing, income, education and health care.
He voiced full confidence in the prospect of the country's economy while admitting China's GDP growth target of around 5 percent on the current high base is no easy task, which requires redoubled efforts.
CGTN went through the 10 questions asked at the premier's Two Sessions press conference to reveal the most concerned topics.
China's development is supported by multiple advantages, including a huge market, a complete industrial system, abundant human resources, solid development foundation, as well as institutional strength, Li noted.
China will make good use of a number of policy mixes in leveraging macro policies, expanding demand, advancing reform and innovation, and preventing and defusing risks, the premier said. The emphasis will be placed on ensuring stable growth, employment and pricing.
Li said private enterprises in China will enjoy a better environment and broader space for development, as the government will create a market-oriented, level-playing field and further support private enterprises in growing and thriving.
He added that China will further expand opening-up this year in alignment with high-standard international trade rules, and will open its door wider to the world with better business environment and services.
Noting that China's economy is picking up again in the past two months and some international organizations have raised their forecasts for China's 2023 economic growth, Li believed "the Chinese economy will brave the wind and waves and sail toward a brighter future."
China and the U.S. can and must cooperate, and there are a lot that the two countries can achieve by working together, said Premier Li. He noted that two-way trade between the two countries had amounted to a record high of nearly $760 billion last year.
Li said Hong Kong has strengthened its status as a global financial, shipping and trading center, while Macao has built itself into a world-renowned tourism and leisure center, since their return to the motherland. Both will enjoy an even brighter future with the full support from the central government and the institutional safeguards of the 'One Country, Two Systems' policy, according to Li.
The early restoration of normal exchanges and regular cooperation between the two sides of the Taiwan Straits is a shared aspiration and requires joint efforts of both sides, the premier said. The Chinese mainland will continue to promote economic and cultural exchanges and cooperation across the Straits on the basis of the one-China principle and the 1992 Consensus, the premier noted.
China will continue to pursue an employment-first strategy and increase government support to create more jobs, said the premier, who also promised to support and regulate the development of new forms of employment.
Premier Li said China will deepen reform of its rural sector to provide drivers for rural revitalization. He stressed the need to bring out the initiatives of farmers and let them take part in rural revitalization and share the benefits of reform and development.
China's food security is well guaranteed, and it will make sure that the rice bowls of its 1.4 billion people will always be firmly held in their own hands. It will further increase its grain production capacity by focusing on two key factors – arable land and seeds, according to the premier.
Li also said China's response to COVID-19 is completely right and has delivered highly effective outcomes. It is remarkable for China, a highly populous country, to achieve a smooth transition in COVID-19 response and resume normal economic and social order in less than two months.
Efforts will continue to be made to strengthen medical and health service systems at all levels, speed up the development of new vaccines and medicines, and keep communication and cooperation with the international community, Li added.
(Text and data edited by Yao Nian, Zhao Hong, Sun Yiwen; graphics designed by Mukesh Mohanan)