China's Premier Li appeals to US to 'act rationally' over trade

Clay Curtis
March 20, 2018

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said this morning that China is happy to see signs of easing tensions on the Korean peninsula and China will continue to play its role.

"What we hope is for us to act rationally rather than being led by emotions".

After announcing tariffs on global steel and aluminium imports, Trump is now mulling new actions against China over its "theft" of USA intellectual property.

"No one will emerge a victor from a trade war", said Li, the No. 2 Chinese leader, at an annual news conference held during the meeting of China's ceremonial legislature.

As the world's largest developing and developed countries, China and the US are highly complementary in economy, and a stable China-US relationship is in the interests of both countries and the whole world, he said. The NPC is the national legislature of China.

For his part, Xi now has a clear path to ruling the country indefinitely as the parliament voted last week to abolish the two five-year terms limit for the president. But the United States (US) and Europe say foreign firms still face hurdles to break into and thrive in China's huge market, as they are forced to work in joint ventures with local firms and share their technology. "We hope trade will be balanced". "There will be no mandatory requirement for technology transfers and intellectual property rights will be better protected".

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Washington has long accused Beijing of forcing USA companies to turn over proprietary commercial information and intellectual property as a condition of operating in China. In his own comments, Li added, "We must not tolerate any attempt or proposition for Taiwan independence.and any external force using Taiwan as a card to cause difficulties in cross-strait relations". "We hope this important means for balancing China-U.S. trade will not be missed, otherwise we will lose a chance to make money".

"If there is one thing that will be different from the past, that will be that China will open even wider", said Li.

Before the press conference, Li introduced China's four new vice premiers, including Liu He, widely regarded as China's new economic tsar.

Chinese regulators also will take resolute measures to tackle financial risks, Li told reporters in Beijing, adding that China's financial sector in good shape and banks have enough provisions. China's GDP growth target was set at around 6.5 percent for 2018.

Asked whether Beijing might use its large holdings of United States government debt as leverage in a dispute, the premier said China's investments are based on market principles and "China will remain a responsible long-term investor".

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