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Text of Premier Li's press conference


Updated: 2015-03-15 14:07:30


Q: I am with Taiwan's TVBS: There have been certain developments in Taiwan last year, which have affected the business cooperation between the two sides of the Taiwan Straits.

As the mainland adjusts its economic structure and as mainland economy slows down, the businesspeople operating on the mainland also run into difficulties.

So my question is what steps will the mainland take to boost the cross-Straits business cooperation, to ensure that the businesses and people from Taiwan can continue to have priority access to the mainland's development opportunities?

A: Peoples on both sides of the Taiwan Straits are members of one big family as long as we continue to adhere to the One-China Principle and 1992 Consensus, oppose 'Taiwan Independence', and uphold peaceful development of cross-Straits relations.

We will be able to lay more solid foundation for cross-Straits business cooperation and expand the room for such business times.

To boost the economic cooperation between the two sides, we need to get both wheels in motion: the one wheel is to enhance institution building, for example, to continue to pursue the follow-up consultations on ECFA (Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement); the other wheel is about further mutual opening-up, as far as the mainland is concerned, a closer attention will be paid to the investment made by Taiwan businesspeople on the mainland.

Here I would like to ask you to convey a message to all these people, which I believe will prove to be quite ensuring to them, that the mainland will continue to protect lawful rights and interests of Taiwan businesspeople on the mainland, and continue to pursue preferential policies toward them as appropriate.

In terms of opening-up, we will give priority to Taiwan in terms of both the depth and the intensity of such opening-up steps. We welcome people from Taiwan businesses, including these young people from Taiwan, to come to the mainland to pursue their own careers and business opportunities.

We also want to further enhance personnel interflow between the two sides so it can bring the hearts and minds of the two sides' people even closer to each other.Text of Premier Li's press conference

Q: I am with KBS. Last few months of 2014, China's CPI rise was at just about 1.5 percent and in January this year the figure was near 0.8 percent.

So are we to conclude that China entered deflation? Some people also argued that China is exporting deflation to other parts of the world and this has also affected the Republic of Korea, what is your response to it?

A: About deflation, there are multiple criteria in evaluating deflation in the world. A major criterion is the consecutive negative growth of overall consumer prices in the country. Regarding CPI, last January we had positive growth and the figure for February further rebounded. So I don't think we are facing deflation in China.

Recently consumer prices in China have been quite low but China is not exporting deflation to other parts of the world. The truth is, it is at the receiving end of deflation.

Let me give you an example. Last year China imported 310 million metric tons of crude oil and about 930 million tons of iron ores from the international markets.

The physical volume has been on the rise but the value contained has declined because of the tumble in the international commodity prices and we are prepared to cope with such a situation and at the same time what we hope more to see is a quicker global economic recovery and the global economy will regain momentum for robust growth.

Text of Premier Li's press conference

Q: I am with China Daily. Some people have come to the conclusion that China has become the No 1 economy in the world and it is posing a challenge to the leadership status of the United States.

At the same time, they argue that China is still free-riding in some international affairs. What is your response to such views and what is your consideration for the China-US ties?

A: The first part of your question is about whether China has become the largest economy in the world. Actually I have heard such views when I travel abroad on foreign visits.

But I always feel that there are some elements of misleading exaggeration in this conclusion. Because according to authoritative standards, China is still the second-largest economy in the world and more importantly our per capita GDP is still behind about 80 countries in the world. Some time before this year's Spring Festival, I paid visits to places of China's western region. I visited two rural homes.

One, there is a mother and son living in a very shabby place where wind can even be felt when you are in the home. And because the family is so poor, the son has yet to get married. The other home has produced a college student. There is a boy and a girl in that family.

For the tuition fees to go to college for the boy, his younger sister has to work in the cities to support the college fees and she couldn't even come home for family reunions during Spring Festivals. It truly pains me to see our people live in such distress. I am sure that there are many such families in the vast land of China. By the standard of World Bank, we still have 200 million Chinese live in poverty. So I can say that China is still a developing country in every sense of this term.

China needs to run its own affair well and maintain its development at a reasonable speed. I believe that in itself is China's major contribution to the whole world. Actually at the same time, China is assuming greater due international obligations and responsibilities. Talking about China's free-riding, for such a big country as ours, how could it be easy for it to get free ride on anybody's train? I think what China is doing is working with other countries in pursuit of common progress.

So development will remain a top priority for China and we need a peaceful international environment for us to focus on our domestic development.

When it comes to the China-US relationship, this is the relationship between the largest developing economy and the largest developed country in the world.

We have proposed that China and the United States to work together to build a new model of major country relationship featuring mutual respect and no conflicts and no confrontations. This year, President Xi Jinping will pay a state visit to the United States at the invitation of his US counterpart. I believe this will give a strong boost to China-US ties.

Admittedly, there are differences between China and the United States. But what's more important is that the two countries share extensive common interests.

When differences are properly held, the two sides can have more extra energy to further expand the convergence of their interests. One highlight in the China-US relationship is that the two sides are advancing negotiations of bilateral investment treaty.

And this BIT is built around previous establishment of national treatment and a negative list. This is to break the ceiling over China-US business cooperation and will open up new dimensions for the further growth of the China-US ties. Naturally, the negotiations will take some time.

But it had already sent out a very clear message to the whole international community that the China-US business ties will get even closer and it will put the overall China-US relationship on a more solid footing.