Published: Sun, March 17, 2019
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

China Upbeat on Trade Talks, Denies Huawei Spying Allegations

China Upbeat on Trade Talks, Denies Huawei Spying Allegations

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said Friday the country will ensure the creation of more than 11 million new urban jobs this year.

He noted that the tax and fee cutting measures under the fiscal policy and the lowering of the real interest rates under the monetary policy are all created to ensure employment.

As working-level and ministerial-level talks continue, Washington said late last month that it has extended the March 1 deadline, but the world's two biggest economies have remained at odds over what Washington calls Beijing's "unfair" trade practices.

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang speaks during a press conference after the closing session of the National People's Congress at Beijing's Great Hall of the People, on March 15, 2019.

The Chinese stock market closed higher, with the Shanghai Composite Index up 1 percent at 3,021.75, while the blue-chip CSI300 index was up 1.3 percent.

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The plan to cut value-added tax for manufacturers - which would help the struggling sector - would take effect on April 1, with social insurance fee reductions coming May 1, Li said.

"This year, for the first time, we are elevating the status of employment-first policy to a macro policy together with the fiscal policy and monetary policy", Li said.

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.

"I believe this is also what the whole world would like to see", he said.

China can use tools such as lowering interest rates and the reducing amount of cash banks must keep in reserve to support growth, he said.

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

It "shows that we will not let the economy slip out of a reasonable range", Li told reporters of the growth target.

Beijing is counting on its millions of consumers and renewed investment to stabilise the economy as slowing global growth and a trade war with the United States hit its export machine.

Even if we accelerate building elderly nursing homes and multi-functional kindergartens, the supply shortage may not be completely eased due to the rapid population ageing in China, he said.

In an attempt to boost exports by bolstering economic cooperation with its neighboring countries, Li said China will make efforts to realize a free trade agreement with Japan and South Korea, warning against rising protectionism across the globe.

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