China will open itself wider to the world regardless of external changes: Premier Li Qiang
Published: Mar 13, 2023 02:23 PM
The skyline of Lujiazui in Shanghai Photo: CFP

The skyline of Lujiazui in Shanghai Photo: CFP

Chinese Premier Li Qiang delivered a message that China will stick to the policy of opening-up regardless of changes in external situation when he answered questions from journalists from China and abroad on Monday after the closing of the first session of the 14th National People’s Congress (NPC).

The routine press conference is always one of the main events folded into two sessions that receive the most publicity, as it offers insights into how the Chinese government approaches social and economic issues of the most concern. This year, Premier Li touched on a wide range of topics ranging from employment, agriculture to China-US relations and private economy.

Li particularly stressed that China will maintain its opening-up policies and welcome investors from all over the world.

“Opening-up is a basic state policy for China. No matter how the external situation may evolve, we will stay firmly committed to pursuing this policy,” he said, adding that the country will further expand opening-up in alignment with high-standard trade rules this year, and that China will only open itself wider to the world. 

Li also stressed that most foreign companies are still optimistic about their development prospects in China and backed this argument with numbers. According to Li, China utilized foreign investment totaling $189 billion last year, which is about $50 billion more than three years ago.

“This demonstrates that China remains a popular destination for global investment,” he said. 

Li also cited the uninterrupted holding of China International Import Expo as a proof of China’s opening-up policies. Data revealed by him showed that there were over 2,800 enterprises from 128 countries and regions attending the expo last year, which is proof that the Chinese market promises big opportunities for companies from around the world.

Besides vowing to continue opening-up, Premier Li also answered the question of China-US relations, saying that he knows some people in the US have been trumpeting the idea of decoupling with China, and sometimes it could become a hot topic on the media.

“But I wonder how many people can truly benefit from this kind of hype,” he questioned, stressing that China and the US are “closely intertwined” economically, and have both benefited from the other side’s development. 

Li in particular referenced that he had worked in Shanghai and had many opportunities to talk with senior managers of multinational corporations including those from the US. He learned from them that they all believe cooperation is the short path that will lead to win-win outcome.

“All this demonstrates that China and the US can and must cooperate,” he said, adding that there’s a lot that the two countries can achieve by working together. 

China-US trade rose by about 0.6 percent to $759 billion last year, customs data showed.

Global Times