21/5000 Premier li keqiang answers questions from Chinese and foreign journalists
Chinese premier li keqiang answers questions at a press conference in the golden hall on the third floor of the great hall of the people after the closing of the third session of the 13th National People's Congress (NPC) in Beijing, capital of China, May 28, 2020.
First of all, I would like to thank friends of the media for their coverage of the NPC and CPPCC at a special time and despite special difficulties. Because of the epidemic, we held a press conference via video link. I don't think this distance will affect our communication. Time is limited. Questions are invited.
Reuters: the covid-19 outbreak has had a severe impact on the economies of countries around the world. Many governments have put in place trillions of dollars of fiscal and monetary measures to deal with the economic impact of the covid-19 outbreak. I noticed that the Chinese government work report this year is not set GDP growth this year, according to Reuters estimates, the government work report fiscal measures about 4% of China's gross domestic product (GDP) in 2019, the scale is lower than some economists' expectations, since the first quarter of this year China's economy for the first time in decades. Will China introduce more stimulus measures in the coming months? In the longer term, does China have enough policy tools to cope with the continued spread of the global epidemic and the growing tensions between China and the United States?
Premier li: the covid-19 outbreak has inflicted a severe impact on the world economy. It is rare in history. A number of major international organizations have recently predicted that the global economy will grow by minus 3 percent or more this year. China's economy is so deeply integrated into the world economy that it cannot stay out of it. Therefore, we have not set a quantitative target for GDP growth this year, which is also realistic. However, we have set the goals and tasks of ensuring people's employment, basic livelihood and market participation, which are directly related to GDP growth. Economic growth is not unimportant. In doing so, we are also making economic growth more directly felt by the people and making it of higher quality. Development is the key and foundation for solving all China's problems. If we can make a comprehensive calculation and achieve the "six guarantees", especially the "three guarantees", we will achieve positive economic growth this year, and we will strive to achieve a certain level of growth so as to promote the steady development of the Chinese economy.
You said just now that the scale of our policy is lower than expected, but I have heard from many quarters that the scale of our policy is still strong. To cope with the impact, we should grasp both the intensity and the timing. When the covid-19 epidemic was spreading, we also introduced some policies, but the resumption of work and production was still in progress, and the resumption of business and market was still blocked. Some policies could not be fully implemented, and many people stayed at home. However, we have also accumulated experience in this process. Based on our previous experience and judging the current situation, we have introduced a policy measure on a large scale in the government work report, which should be said to be strong.
In the past, we said we would not carry out flood irrigation, and this is still the case. However, special policies should be adopted in special times. We call it releasing water to raise fish. Fish can't live without enough water. But if the flood, it will form a bubble, will be arbitraged from it, fish also can not be raised, there will be people fishing in troubled waters. So we take measures to be targeted, that is to say, to feel the quasi - pulse quasi - drug. Whether it's to raise money or where it comes from or where it goes, take a new path.
The funds raised by this large-scale policy can be divided into two parts. One is to increase the deficit and issue special national bonds to fight the epidemic, totaling 2 trillion yuan. In other countries, social insurance premiums are reduced or exempted. Some countries call it payroll tax and use the surplus of unemployment insurance to push state-owned commercial Banks to give up their profits. This one, when you add it up, is about twice as big as this one. What's more, we will encourage these funds to be used to ensure employment, improve people's livelihood and support market entities, so as to support people's income. That's more than double digits compared to our current total household income of more than $40 trillion.
More importantly, where does the money go? We have adopted a policy of this scale to help businesses and stimulate market vitality. The main purpose of this policy is to stabilize employment and ensure people's wellbeing, so as to enable people to spend more, so as to promote consumption and boost the market. This can be said to be a path of market-oriented reform.
Money can generate money, and the money that is spent on the people can create new wealth, conserve tax sources, and make finance sustainable. We must keep the current economy stable and move forward steadily, but we must also avoid lifting our feet and throwing up dust that will lead us astray. However, if there are major changes in the economy or in other areas, we still have policy space. We have fiscal, financial and social security policy reserves, and we will launch new policies in a timely manner. We will not hesitate to do so.
We firmly believe that under the strong leadership of the CPC central committee with comrade xi jinping at its core and with the concerted efforts of the Chinese people, we will overcome the current difficulties, achieve the goals and tasks set for this year and complete the building of a moderately prosperous society in all respects. Keeping the Chinese economy stable is in itself a contribution to the world, and it will make a positive contribution to the recovery of world economic growth and development. thank you
Bloomberg: the covid-19 epidemic remains a mystery, and scientists believe that finding answers to this question could help prevent future pandemics. There have been calls for an international review of the source, and in fact this month's who assembly agreed to investigate. What is China's position on the investigation? What do you think such an investigation should accomplish? What problems should be avoided?
Li keqiang: China and many other countries advocate tracing the virus to its source. The who general assembly recently adopted relevant resolutions, with the participation of China. It is for the health of people all over the world that science can help prevent and control the epidemic.
This outbreak is so sudden that it is a new infectious disease for human beings. Up to now, we can say that the unknown is still greater than the known. The virus knows no borders. It is an enemy of the whole world and mankind. All countries are carrying out prevention and control and making progress in their exploration. On the one hand, we need to control the development of the epidemic and accelerate the development of vaccines, effective drugs and detection reagents, which will be powerful weapons for mankind to defeat the virus. China and many other countries are making investment, and we are ready to carry out international cooperation. These products are global public goods that we are willing to share and ultimately enable mankind to jointly defeat the virus as an enemy.
Through arduous efforts, the Chinese people have effectively brought the epidemic under control. At the same time, we have actively participated in international cooperation and released relevant information to the international community in an open, transparent, responsible and timely manner. However, the epidemic is still spreading all over the world, and it is not over in China. There are still sporadic cases. Many scientists have stressed that vigilance should be maintained to prevent a rebound. We will continue to adhere to the principle of seeking truth from facts and being open and transparent. Once the epidemic is discovered, we will resolutely control it and do not allow any concealment.
Now many people are saying that the epidemic may not end soon, but will continue for some time. As a matter of fact, the international community is already facing a dual challenge. We need to do two papers. On the one hand, we need to bring the epidemic under control, and on the other hand, we need to restore economic and social development and restore normal order. This is a contradiction, if only do one side of the thing is not the same. Now we need to balance the contradictions and move forward through exploration, and we need international cooperation in particular. Whether it is fighting the epidemic or developing the economy, we need to work together to enable mankind to surmount the impact of this huge wave.
China media group: I am with China central television. In your report on the work of the government, you elaborated on China's economic policies and the scale of assistance this year. So what is the government going to do to make sure that this money actually reaches businesses? Avoid idling? Also can let us ordinary people really feel.
Li keqiang: this is an unprecedented impact. It is impossible for us to take a well-traveled road. Therefore, we should pay attention to innovation in policy. As I said just now, the large-scale policies we have introduced are called "rescue and invigorate the market". They focus on ensuring employment and people's well-being, rather than relying on infrastructure projects. Because China's economic structure has undergone great changes, consumption plays a major role in driving economic growth, and micro, small and medium-sized enterprises account for more than 90 percent of the total employment. The large-scale policies we adopted this time used about 70% of the funds to directly support people's income, because by doing so, we can promote consumption and drive the market. And because of the epidemic, we face a big problem, which is that epidemic prevention and control measures will curb consumption. Our policy implementation in this direction is also market-oriented reform.
Second, we emphasize that policy funds should be directed to local governments, the community level and the people's livelihood. All the newly increased deficit and anti-epidemic national debt funds have been transferred to local governments, which are the "god of wealth" in the province, and directly to the grass-roots level. One might ask, can the grass roots use the money? We will now adopt a special transfer payment mechanism. All of this money will go to enterprises, especially small, medium and micro businesses, and to social security, subsistence allowances, the unemployed, the elderly and people in extreme poverty. We will establish a real-name system, which has accounts to check. We will open wide eyes to check, also welcome social supervision. The ultimate effect of the measures we take should be recognized by market entities and the people. This time, the central government is taking the lead in tightening the belt. We have cut the central government's non-urgent and non-rigid expenditures by more than half, and allocated funds to community-level enterprises and people's wellbeing. Governments at all levels must tighten their belts and never allow formalism or extravagant spending.
I have talked a lot about expanding consumption, but I do not mean that we should not invest. We should increase effective investment. A total of 1.6 trillion yuan of new local government bonds, plus some government bonds, will add up to 2 trillion yuan, accounting for 20 to 30 percent of all policies on a large scale. The focus of our investment will be on the "two new areas and one major area", namely, new types of infrastructure, new types of urbanization and major projects related to the national economy and people's livelihood. We will use these funds to leverage the input of social funds through reform. Projects should have benefits and returns. They should go through scientific demonstration and act according to the law without leaving any sequelae. thank you
China times of Taiwan: dear premier, This year's two sessions were postponed to may due to the epidemic, which is very close to 5 20. After "5 20", what is the overall consideration of the mainland's Taiwan policy in the future with the DPP in power? How will we continue to promote cross-straits relations in the future?
Li keqiang: as I said in my report on the work of the government, China's major policies and policies towards Taiwan are consistent and well known to the world. We must adhere to the one-china principle and the 1992 consensus, and at the same time resolutely oppose "Taiwan independence". On this political basis, we are ready to engage in dialogue and consultation with all political parties, organizations and people in Taiwan on cross-straits relations and the future of the nation, so as to promote peaceful development across the straits and peaceful reunification of the motherland. The Taiwan question is China's internal affair. We have always opposed outside interference. The Chinese nation has the wisdom and ability to handle its own affairs well.
We regard our Taiwan compatriots as brothers and sisters. Blood is thicker than water, and we have always attached great importance to their well-being. Just like after this outbreak, we worked together and no Taiwan compatriots lost their lives to covid-19 on the mainland. We pray for the safety and health of our compatriots on both sides of the straits. thank you
China Daily: in your government work report this year, you lowered the target for creating new urban jobs and raised the surveyed unemployment rate. Facing the grim employment situation, how will the government curb unemployment this year? How to help college students and migrant workers find jobs?
Over 9 million new urban jobs will be created this year, which is indeed lower than last year's figure. To achieve this goal, we must rely on economic growth. We have set the surveyed urban unemployment rate at about 6%, which was already 6% in April this year. So we are seeking truth from facts.
Employment is the biggest livelihood, for a family it is a big thing. When I read the comments on the Chinese government's website these days, about a third of them are about employment. One migrant worker said he was in his 50s and had worked outside for more than 30 years every year, but this year he had not found a job and his family was in trouble. Some individual businesses have been out of business for months. Some foreign trade enterprises now have no orders, affecting the employment of employees. We need to help them with their problems, but basically we need to help them find jobs. China has a workforce of 900 million. Without employment, it is only 900 million mouths to eat. With employment, it is 900 million pairs of hands that can create great wealth.
In order to stabilize the existing jobs, it can be said that the policy is able to use up the most money. Our large-scale policy funds are allowed to be used for tax reduction and fee reduction at the grassroots level, as well as rent reduction and interest payment for enterprises. The measures to be taken are to stabilize the enterprise and ensure employment, but they should be fair and reasonable. This year and next, 35 million people will receive job training through the surplus of unemployment insurance, giving them a cushion. Even if you lose your job, you should have a chance to get another one in a short period of time.
And we need to create more new jobs. With the rapid development of new forms of business, about 100 million people are now employed, as are 200 million people in the gig economy. Not only do we need more supportive policies, but we also need to take steps to break down the rules that don't make sense, so that more new jobs are created. Last year, on average, we had a net increase of more than 10,000 enterprises every day. This year, we will do the same.
There is boundless creativity among the people. Recall the beginning of the reform and opening up, a large number of educated youth returned to the city, on a "big bowl of tea" to solve the employment of how many people. Two weeks ago, I read a report that a city in the west of China had set up 36, 000 booths for itinerant traders according to local regulations. As a result, 100,000 people were employed overnight. The Chinese people are hardworking, and the Chinese market is constantly expanding and upgrading. Of course, we have targeted policies to support employment of key groups of people. For example, this year's record high of 8.74 million college graduates, we will continue to provide employment services to them this year and next. For migrant workers, whether they are staying in their hometowns or returning home, we will provide them with a service platform to create jobs. We will effectively implement the resettlement policy for ex-servicemen. thank you
Phoenix satellite TV: we are following closely the "national security law" in Hong Kong. During this session of the National People's Congress, a decision was made on establishing a sound legal system and enforcement mechanism for maintaining Hong Kong's national security. The standing committee of the National People's Congress will enact a special law in this regard. We would like to ask whether this shows that the central government has adjusted its policy towards Hong Kong and abandoned the principle of "one country, two systems". How do you see the current response of all parties? thank you
The central government has consistently stressed the need to fully and faithfully implement the principles of "one country, two systems", "Hong Kong people administering Hong Kong" and a high degree of autonomy. We will act in strict accordance with the constitution and the basic law and support the SAR government and the chief executive in governing Hong Kong in accordance with the law. You mentioned the decision on safeguarding national security just adopted by the National People's Congress, which is also aimed at ensuring the stability of "one country, two systems" and maintaining Hong Kong's long-term prosperity and stability. thank you
NBC news: as the us continues to blame China for the covid-19 pandemic, there is more talk of a "new cold war" between China and the us. At the same time, U.S. and Chinese officials are discussing ways to create favorable conditions for the implementation of the first phase of the economic and trade agreement between the two countries and promote the steady development of china-u.s. relations. Mr. Premier, given China's own economic difficulties, do you believe that China's economic reform and concessions are sufficient to address the us side's concerns? If co-operation fails, can China's economy withstand the threat of a "new cold war" and decoupling?
Li keqiang: there are indeed some new problems and challenges in china-us relations. China and the United States are both permanent members of the United Nations security council. There are many areas where we can and should cooperate in addressing traditional or non-traditional challenges. We also have extensive exchanges in economy, trade, science, technology and culture. China and the United States stand to gain from cooperation and lose from confrontation. This not only concerns the interests of the two peoples, but also concerns the whole world. As for your reference to the "new cold war", we have always advocated abandoning the cold war mentality. As for the so-called decoupling, it can be said that the decoupling of the two major economies will not benefit anyone and will hurt the world. We should, in accordance with the important consensus reached by the two heads of state, promote the establishment of a china-us relationship based on coordination, cooperation and stability.
You focus on the economic side. The economies of China and the United States are intertwined. It has been a long journey, but we have benefited from it. This reminds me that just a few days ago, an American high-tech company announced the commencement of a substantial investment project in wuhan, China. I'm not doing a commercial, but I approve of its behavior, so I sent a letter of congratulations. This example shows that the business communities of China and the United States need each other and can achieve win-win cooperation.
Business cooperation between China and the United States should follow commercial rules, be selected by the market, and be judged and decided by entrepreneurs. The government should play the role of a platform. As the world's largest developing country and the world's largest developed country, China and the United States have different social systems, cultural traditions and historical backgrounds. China-us relations have gone through many ups and downs over the past decades. On the one hand, we have been forging ahead with cooperation, on the other hand, we have stumbled and stumbled. It is indeed complicated. In a word, we should respect each other on an equal footing and for mutual benefit, respect each other's core interests and major concerns, and seek win-win cooperation. It is good for ourselves and good for others and good for the world. thank you
Xinhua news agency: in this year's economic work, the most frequently heard words are "stability" and "protection". What is the relationship between this and the market-oriented reform? What are the government's priorities in this regard?
China's experience in the past 40 years of reform and opening up has shown that the more difficult it is, the more important it is to stick to reform. The stability and protection proposed in our macro policies are supported by market entities and are based on the difficulties and concerns of market entities. This is in itself the practice of market-oriented reform.
We first need to keep market players alive. The real money of policy is mainly in bailing out market entities and stimulating their market vitality. Real money and silver will fall on enterprises and individual businesses. We have 120 million market entities. They are the green hills. If we keep them, we will win the future.
Not only should market entities be kept alive, but more importantly, they should be activated through the reform of "regulation, regulation and service". We need to create a market, law-based and international business environment, eliminate unreasonable regulations and regulations, and make them compete on a level playing field. Such a measure may seem invisible, but it can create tangible wealth, which, when done well, is no less than the investment of real money.
Another is to let more new market players grow out. As we all know, some new businesses, such as online shopping, express delivery and cloud office, have bucked the trend and their revenues have increased by two-thirds. In recent years, we have deepened supply-side structural reform, promoted high-quality development, promoted new drivers of development, and carried out mass entrepreneurship and innovation.
We already have experience, so we should spread that experience to promote the growth of new growth drivers and new market players. This year, we will strive to achieve an average of 20,000 new businesses registered every day. This is an important indicator of China's economic vitality.
We attach more importance to small, medium and micro enterprises than to large ones. We still hope that small, medium and large enterprises can co-exist and prosper together, and we hope that some small, medium and small enterprises will grow into large ones in the future, so as to form a situation of integrated development. This year we will not only see how well the bail-out policies are used, but also whether there is a significant improvement in the business environment, which can have a multiplier effect. thank you
Asahi shimbun of Japan: hello, premier. My question is, the world economy is being hit hard by the spread of covid-19. China has brought the epidemic under control. Does China have plans for economic cooperation with its neighbors, including Japan? How does China plan to move forward on the china-japan-rok free trade agreement (FTA) and the establishment of a free trade system? Is China planning to join the trans-pacific partnership?
Li keqiang: at the east Asian leaders' meetings last year, leaders of the 15 countries made a joint commitment to sign the regional comprehensive economic partnership (RCEP) on schedule this year. I hope and believe that this commitment will not fall through. We are also actively promoting the building of the china-japan-rok free trade area. China, Japan and the rok are close neighbors. We are willing to build a small cycle in the context of the major economic cycle. For example, China and the rok have recently opened a fast track for smooth exchanges between business and technical personnel.
As for the TPP, I understand you may be referring to the comprehensive and progressive trans-pacific partnership (CPTPP). China holds a positive and open attitude towards participating in the CPTPP. thank you
People's Daily: dear premier, This year is a decisive year for the fight against poverty. However, due to the impact of the epidemic, the income of many families has declined, and some people are even facing a return to poverty. So I would like to ask you, under such circumstances, will this year's fight against poverty still be successfully completed? And how will our government ensure the basic livelihood of our people? thank you
China is a developing country with a large population. Our per capita annual income is 30,000 yuan, but 600 million people earn only 1,000 yuan per month. It may be difficult for them to rent a house in a medium-sized city. How to protect the basic livelihood of those in need and those newly affected by the epidemic should be given top priority. A considerable part of the rescue policies we have adopted are aimed at protecting the basic livelihood of people.
This year, the CPC central committee with comrade xi jinping at its core has made a solemn commitment to the whole society to complete the task of combating poverty as scheduled. According to the original accounts, there are still more than 5 million people living in poverty. Affected by the epidemic, some people may return to poverty. The task of getting rid of poverty will be even heavier. We will take multiple measures at the same time. In particular, we will take measures to ensure that poverty is lifted out of the bottom line.
Governments at all levels should put the interests of the people first and the sufferings of thousands of people first. This year, in our response to the impact of the epidemic, we will give special and careful consideration to protecting people in need and expanding the scope of subsistence allowances and unemployment benefits. At present, there are about 60 million people living on subsistence allowances, unemployment benefits and assistance to people in extreme poverty. We expect that the number will increase considerably this year. We also call for careful accounting and effective use of our money to ensure people's wellbeing. We still have nearly 300 million pensioners. This year, we raised the standard of pension benefits.
Deeds speak louder than words. We now have enough social security balances and reserves to ensure that pensions are paid in full and on time, but not at work. A careless mistake in this matter will make people have no confidence in the future, not to mention the Chinese nation has a tradition of respecting the elderly, we should let all aspects of society feel hope. We need to put all these safeguards in place in a coordinated way. This will also support people's stability and promote economic development. People for the country, the solid state ning. We have done a good job, and we are confident that the Chinese people will lead a better life. thank you
Lianhe zaobao of Singapore: dear prime minister, In your report on the work of the government, you mentioned that due to the global epidemic and the uncertainties in the economic and trade situation, China is facing some unpredictable factors affecting its development. What is your assessment of China's current external situation? How will China respond to changes in the external environment? And what role will China play in the global response to the challenges of public health and the severe economic downturn?
Premier li: let's take a look at the changes in the world today. The covid-19 pandemic has indeed had a severe impact on the world. Now, due to the epidemic prevention and control, the exchanges and cooperation among countries have been significantly reduced. If it continues, the world economy will suffer a more severe recession, which is dangerous. If the world economy does not return to growth, it may be difficult to prevent and control the epidemic in the future. Public goods are particularly needed in the fight against covid-19, and industrial and supply chains need to be kept stable. In fact, it is even more important to open up and promote trade and investment liberalization and facilitation. Only in this way can we jointly overcome the impact of the epidemic on the world and minimize the loss.
Development behind closed doors does not work. It goes back to the impergium. China is firmly committed to opening up to the outside world. This will not and cannot be changed. We will continue to expand cooperation with the rest of the world and take more measures to open up on our own initiative. Openness to all countries is like air to people. It cannot be separated from them for long, or it will suffocate them. In the course of opening up, we need to maintain the stability of the international industrial and supply chains. Of course, some people will say that we should adjust the industrial and supply chains. As for the adjustment of the layout of enterprises, this is done according to the law of the market, the law of the market is in and out, living and dying. We should not design out of thin air in violation of market rules. Instead, we should make the market more open to each other.
To maintain two-way openness, we must be friendly to each other. First, we hope to treat each other with mutual respect and equality. All countries, big or small, rich or poor, strong or weak, should follow this rule. If there are some imperfections in the rules that need to be adjusted and reformed, we should discuss it together. Second, mutual benefit. Since it is cooperation, we need win-win results. Winning alone will not last long, and eating alone will not work. Only in a win-win situation can we grow together. Another is to help and learn from each other. All countries have their own strengths and should shoulder their due international responsibilities and work together to meet various difficulties and challenges. As a major developing country, China will shoulder its due international responsibilities.
As a final question, I'd like to take this opportunity to say that China is a huge market, and the bailouts we've taken and the large-scale measures we've taken to stimulate the market will further expand the consumer market. We hope that China is still a promising place for investment. We are willing to import more foreign goods and become a big market for the world.
As for how to tackle the public health challenge of the epidemic and pull the world economy out of the doldrums, I have repeatedly said that we need to work together to overcome difficulties. I hope and believe that when people of all countries work together, there will be greater openness after the epidemic and new prosperity after the recession. thank you