Published: Mon, March 20, 2017
Global Media | By Garry Long

China Doesn't Want a Trade War With US, Premier Declares

China Doesn't Want a Trade War With US, Premier Declares

Foreign companies stood to lose the most from any such battle between the world's two largest economies, Li warned.

China does not hope to be involved in any trade war either, because that is not good for the stability of the worldwide trade and currency systems, Li added.

"China hopes that no matter what bumps this relationship may encounter it will continue to forge in the right direction", Li added.

Trump has also castigated China for its military presence in the South China Sea.

American President Donald Trump had repeatedly accused China of carrying out trade policies that have led to massive American job losses and threatened to slap tariffs of up to 45 per cent on Beijing's goods.

While it was true that China and the USA had differences, "it is important for both countries to uphold strategic interests to enhance mutual understanding", he said.

Mr Li, China's second most senior leader, is in charge of economic issues and was speaking at a news conference following the close of the annual legislative meeting.

"We don't want to see any trade war breaking out between the two countries".

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While many analysts doubt the strength and consistency of Chinese official data, even some veteran China sceptics agree that economic activity did pick up past year, buoyed by heavy government stimulus in the form of record bank lending and billions in government infrastructure spending, as well as a speculative housing boom. He added that according to the evaluation on business environment in China made by the World Bank, China jumped 18 places a year ago compared with 2013.

"Almost every year I have heard a prediction of the Chinese economy having a hard landing", Li said at the highly staged event, where journalists are pre-selected to ask questions.

"I should point out that 6.5 percent growth is not low speed and will not be easy for us to meet".

Dismissing claims from Trump and other senior U.S. administration officials that China was stealing American manufacturing jobs, he said trade with China created more than 1 million jobs in the USA previous year alone. "China's financial system is generally stable and there are no systemic risks".

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang gives a press conference at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, capital of China, March 15, 2017. "We still have a good reserve of policy options and instruments at our disposal". "The closed door and beggar-thy-neighbour policies can not resolve problems".

Li said it is China's consistent position to champion globalization and support free trade.

He said China believes the people of both countries have the wisdom to properly manage their differences, adding that "there is a need and there are also conditions for us to continue to expand our common interests".

A high-standard BIT between China and the European Union will aid bilateral opening-up, said Li.

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