China's certainty is a mainstay of world peace, development: premier
In a world of uncertainties, China's certainty is a mainstay that safeguards world peace and development, said Chinese Premier Li Qiang on Thursday, calling it "a fact that was true in the past, and even more so at present and in the future."
"No matter how the world will change, China will adhere to reform and opening up and innovation-driven development," Li told the opening ceremony of the Boao Forum for Asia Annual Conference 2023 on Thursday.
In doing so, China will not only inject new impetus and vitality into the world economy, but also enable the world to share the opportunities and dividends from China's development, he emphasized in a keynote speech.
China's economic bounce
China's retail sales, a gauge of consumption growth, increased 3.5 percent year on year in the January-February period, reversing declines seen in the previous three months, data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed.
In the first two months of the year, China's value-added industrial output went up 2.4 percent year on year, while the index gauging the country's service industry output rose 5.5 percent, according to the NBS.
Li noted the good trend in China's economic recovery from the looming effects of the COVID-19 pandemic over the previous few months, saying March is seeing an even better performance than January and February, with key indicators continuously improving and robust growth momentum.
China's economy is resilient, with great potential and vitality, the premier said in Boao, a coastal town in China's island province of Hainan.
He added that China will introduce a series of new measures to expand market access, optimize the business environment and facilitate project implementation.
"We have the confidence and ability to advance the Chinese economy to break waves, maintain steady and sustained growth and make greater contributions to world economic development."
Speaking at the same forum, Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said China has become the largest trading partner for almost every country in Asia, and welcomed China-proposed regional and global initiatives, like the Belt and Road Initiative and the Global Development Initiative.
"We look forward to participating in new growth opportunities in China's dynamic economy," said Lee.
Peaceful, stable environment for development
The Chinese premier on Thursday also urged efforts to jointly safeguard a peaceful and stable environment for development and inject more certainty into the volatile global environment.
"Asia must not have chaos or wars if it wants to achieve greater development in the future," Li said.
China stays committed to resolving differences and disputes between countries through peaceful means and jointly safeguarding world peace and stability, he reiterated, adding that the country opposes the abuse of unilateral sanctions and long-arm jurisdiction, picking sides, bloc confrontation or "a new Cold War."
Countries should uphold mutual respect and trust, openness and inclusiveness, respect other countries' independently-chosen development paths, and oppose the narrative of "clash of civilizations" and ideological confrontation, said Li.
China has set its central task as building itself into a great modern socialist country in all respects and advancing the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation on all fronts through a Chinese path to modernization.
For the world, China's task to modernize a country of 1.4 billion people, or nearly one-fifth of the global population, is unprecedented.
China is committed to achieving modernization through peace and development, which will create a strong driving force for economic growth in Asia and the world at large, said Li.
"China will never seek modernization through war, colonization or plunder."
(Cover: Chinese Premier Li Qiang delivers a keynote speech at the opening ceremony of the Boao Forum for Asia Annual Conference 2023 in Boao, Hainan Province, March 30, 2023. /Xinhua)