Chinese Premier Li Keqiang takes questions from Chinese and foreign reporters after the conclusion of the fourth session of the 13th National People’s Congress at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, March 11, 2021. The press conference is being held virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
On GDP growth target for 2021
On China’s 2021 GDP target of over 6 percent, the premier said that the number was “not set in stone” but to “guide expectations”.
“We would certainly be happy to see a robust growth,” said Li in a press conference. In response to a question that the target seemed low per market expectations, he added, “but we are also keenly aware of the many uncertainties involving the economic rebound in China as well as global economic growth and development.”
Li announced the growth target last Friday, which is almost 4 percentage points higher than the 2.3 percent economic growth in 2020.
On China-U.S. relations
Regarding the China-U.S. relations, Li expressed hope that China and the U.S. can hold dialogues “in multiple areas and at various levels,” as top officials from both sides are due to meet next week in Alaska for the first time in person since U.S. President Joe Biden took office.
“China-U.S. relations in recent years have encountered great difficulty,” said Li. “As major economies, both countries stand to gain from cooperation and lose from confrontation,”
China and the U.S. have great differences in history, culture and stage of development, but “what matters most is how these differences and disagreements are handled,” said the premier.
“Even if a consensus is not reached for a while, we can exchange views, increase trust and clear doubts, which is conducive to managing and resolving differences,” Li continued. “China and the U.S. share a wide range of common interests and there are many areas where we can cooperate.”
On March 18-19, a high-level strategic dialogue will be held in Anchorage, Alaska, between top Chinese diplomats and their U.S. counterparts at the invitation of the U.S. side, according to the Chinese Foreign Ministry.
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