Premier Li Qiang Meets the Press: Full Transcript of Questions and Answers文章源自英文巴士-https://www.en84.com/14298.html
The First Session of the 14th National People’s Congress held a press conference at the Great Hall of the People on the morning of March 13, 2023. Premier of the State Council Li Qiang met with Chinese and foreign reporters and answered their questions at the invitation of Spokesperson Mr. Wang Chao. Vice Premiers of the State Council Ding Xuexiang, He Lifeng, Zhang Guoqing and Liu Guozhong were present at the press conference.文章源自英文巴士-https://www.en84.com/14298.html
In his opening remarks, Premier Li Qiang said that he was delighted to meet friends from the media and thanked the journalists for their hard work in covering China’s NPC and CPPCC sessions. On behalf of himself and the Vice Premiers, he thanked the Party and the people for their trust and noted that they are deeply aware of the important responsibilities and glorious mission upon their shoulders. He underscored that they will follow the strong leadership of the CPC Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core, rely closely on the people, and faithfully perform the duties entrusted by the Constitution and laws with an enterprising spirit and a strong sense of responsibility. He said they will press ahead with grit, stay honest and upright, exert their utmost and live up to their mission.文章源自英文巴士-https://www.en84.com/14298.html
China Central Television: First of all, congratulations to you, Mr. Premier, and the four Vice Premiers. The coming five years will be crucial for getting the efforts to build a modern socialist country in all respects off to a good start. People both at home and abroad are following closely the work of the new government. My question is, what are the goals and priorities of the new government? How will the government carry out its work?
Premier Li: Thank you for your congratulations, and I also want to thank you for your interest in the work of the government.
The 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China held last October laid out a comprehensive and strategic plan for the country’s development in the next five years and beyond. Regarding the important issues that are of interest to the people, the 20th Party Congress report has provided clear answers.
The task of the new government is to implement and deliver on the important decisions and plans laid out by the Party Central Committee, turn the inspiring blueprint drawn up at the 20th Party Congress into an implementation scheme, and work with our people to step by step turn this blueprint into a beautiful reality.
In carrying out our work, we will focus on the following priorities:
First, we will firmly follow a people-centered development approach. The ultimate aim of the work of the Party and the government is to improve the well-being of the people. As General Secretary Xi Jinping pointed out, people’s aspiration for a better life is our goal. We will always bear in mind that ours is a people’s government, and we will make solid efforts on every piece of work concerning people’s livelihood.
Honestly speaking, most people do not keep their eyes on GDP growth all the time. What they care more about are the things that happen in their everyday life, like housing, employment, income, education, medical services and the environment. Therefore, the government must always plan and carry out its work according to the people’s wish.
Second, we will focus our efforts on promoting high-quality development. You may have noticed that when attending the deliberations by the NPC deputies from Jiangsu Province during the two sessions, General Secretary Xi Jinping stressed the importance of focusing on the top priority of high-quality development. Indeed, China has made great progress in economic and social development. We are now the second largest economy in the world. This said, China’s development is still unbalanced and inadequate. Any aggregate volume, when divided by the 1.4 billion population, will become a small per capita figure.
Currently, our development is focused on providing for people’s basic needs. Going forward, the focus will be shifted toward delivering a life of better quality for the people. In particular, we will enhance our capacity for scientific and technological innovation, build a modern industrial system, and transition toward green development.
All in all, we will make greater efforts to fully and faithfully apply the new development philosophy on all fronts, move faster to create a new development paradigm and concentrate on promoting high-quality development.
Third, we will remain steadfast in deepening reform and opening-up. As we often say, reform and opening-up is a crucial move that has made China what it is today. In the historical process of advancing Chinese modernization and realizing the second centenary goal, we must continue to firmly pursue the path of reform and opening-up. We will keep to the direction of socialist market economy reform, promote high-level opening-up, and inject stronger vitality into China’s development by deepening reform.
CNBC: Premier Li, this year marks the first since the peak of COVID in China, and many expect the economy to rebound in the near term. What policies will China enact to achieve its full-year growth target? What drivers of growth and drags on the economy does China expect in the year ahead and in the next five years? What kind of policies does China plan to pursue in the next five years to support sustainable, high-quality growth? Finally, how effective have policies been in the last few years in reducing debt, disorderly expansion of capital and other systemic risks in China?
Premier Li: You have really made the most of this opportunity. I counted four questions on six subjects. Due to time limit, let me answer your questions briefly.
The prospect of the global economy this year is indeed not optimistic. We see many factors of uncertainty and instability, and unpredictable factors. Stabilizing economic growth is a challenging task for all countries in the world. This year, we have set the GDP growth target at around five percent, which is based on consideration of various factors. Currently, China’s total economic output has already exceeded 120 trillion RMB yuan, a very high base figure. We also face quite a number of new challenges this year. To achieve around five percent growth on such a high base figure is not an easy task, and it would require redoubled efforts.
As for the specific economic policies, the Central Economic Work Conference last year already laid out a comprehensive plan. Basically, we will keep to the general principles of prioritizing stability and seeking progress while maintaining stability, and push for a turnaround in overall economic performance. On stability, the emphasis will be placed on ensuring stable growth, stable jobs and stable prices. On progress, the key will be making new progress on high-quality development.
As for our specific work going forward, we will introduce a number of policy combinations as follows: a combination of macro policies, a combination of policies for expanding demand, a combination of policies for advancing reform and innovation, and a combination of policies for preventing and defusing risks. These policy combinations will all be supported by concrete implementing steps. We will enrich, adjust and improve these policy combinations in the course of implementation.
The journalist also asked about the drivers of and drags on the Chinese economy. Indeed, China’s economic development has quite a number of advantages. For example, we have a super-sized market, a well-functioning industrial system, rich supply of human resources and a strong development foundation. More importantly, we have notable institutional strength.
Talking about difficulties, I think all countries are confronted with some difficulties, and we see no less difficulty for China this year. But think about it. Is there any single period or any single year where we had no difficulty at all? The Chinese people have always pulled through difficult times and achieved new progress. People of my generation are familiar with such Chinese fabled stories, like Da Yu taming the floods, Yu Gong moving the mountains, Jing Wei filling the ocean with pebbles, and Kua Fu chasing after the sun. These inspiring stories are testament to the spirit of resilience, tenacity and perseverance that has defined the Chinese nation. We, the Chinese people, have never been crushed by any difficulty.
As the economic performance in the first two months of this year demonstrates, the Chinese economy is stabilizing and picking up. Some international organizations have revised upward their projections for China’s economic growth this year. To sum up, I believe the Chinese economy will break winds and waves, and sail toward a brighter future. I have full confidence in that.
Phoenix TV: In recent years, Hong Kong has restored order and stability, marking a major turnaround in the situation. Now development in Hong Kong has captured the attention of many. But due to changes in international political and economic landscapes, some believe that the international competitiveness of Hong Kong and Macao is weakening. What is your assessment of the future prospects of Hong Kong and Macao, and how will the central government support Hong Kong and Macao in leveraging their strengths and unique features, and achieve better development?
Premier Li: The central government has all along attached high importance to helping Hong Kong and Macao leverage their unique strengths and features. Since the return of Hong Kong and Macao to the motherland, with the support of the country, Hong Kong’s position as a global financial, trading and shipping center has been consolidated and elevated. Macao has also built itself into a world-renowned tourism and leisure center.
In recent years, due to various factors, both Hong Kong and Macao have experienced some difficulties in their economic development. But I believe these are temporary difficulties that have arisen in the course of development. The central government will fully, faithfully and resolutely implement the policy of One Country, Two Systems. We will give full support to Hong Kong and Macao in integrating into the country’s overall development. We will give full support to the two regions in growing their economy and improving people’s livelihood. We will give full support to the two regions in further building their global competitiveness. I am confident that with the strong backing of the motherland and the institutional safeguards of the One Country, Two Systems policy, the standing and role of Hong Kong and Macao will only strengthen, not weaken. Hong Kong and Macao will enjoy an even brighter future.