Published: Sun, March 17, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

March 2019 - China ready to help economy under 'pressure' - News - SHOWCASE

March 2019 - China ready to help economy under 'pressure' - News - SHOWCASE

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang waves as he arrives for a press conference held after the closing session of China's National People's Congress (NPC) at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, Friday, March 15, 2019.

"The Chinese economy has indeed encountered new downward pressure", Li said, adding Beijing will take steps to invigorate its market that contains over 100 million households.

"We face many uncertainties this year, so we have to take more preparations, and we have policy space", Li said.

Li expressed confidence Beijing can achieve its annual growth target of 6 to 6.5 percent. Economic growth previous year fell to a three-decade low of 6.6 percent.

In 2018 China lowered banks' reserve requirement ratios five times to release more funding into the economy and further cuts are expected this year.

China will bolster its national coffers by collecting more of the profits earned by some financial institutions and centrally-owned firms, while general expenditure will be cut, Li said.

Policymakers huddled in Beijing have talked up plans to support the economy, announcing billions of United States dollars in tax cuts, fee reductions and financing support for small businesses.

It will prevent zero-employment families and provide more policy support to companies that hire more people.

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According to the statistics provided by China's General Administration of Customs, the volume of trade between Russian Federation and China for January-February increased by 1.7% year-on-year, reaching $16 billion: exports from China to Russian Federation for the specified period decreased by 4.8% and stood at $7.07 billion.

The supply of nursing services for the elderly and infants in China is insufficient and can not meet demand, and this situation deserves the highest attention, Li said.

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on Friday made a conciliatory gesture to the United States as the world's second-largest economy continues to slow down against the backdrop of a trade dispute with Washington, saying the two countries should cooperate to create "mutual interests".

Innovative measures are needed to address the shortages of such services to meet public demand, Li said, adding that developing community-based nursing services for the elderly and infants can help as nursing facilities in communities can be more accessible to people. But President Xi Jinping did not rule out the use of force during a January speech on cross-strait relations.

Washington and Beijing have been locked in a tit-for-tat tariff battle as US presses China for an end to practices and policies it argues have given Chinese firms unfair advantages, including subsidizing of industry, limits on access for foreign companies and alleged theft of intellectual property.

Li said China would follow through on its reform pledges, including the implementation of regulations for a new foreign investment law.

China's new foreign investment law, which was first tabled for reading last December, states in broad terms that foreign firms will receive the same treatment as local ones when it comes to government procurement, and that the authorities will not force technology transfer in exchange for access to China's markets. The talks and tensions stretch far beyond trade and tariffs.

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