Chinese Premier Li Qiang promised new measures to re-connect the country's recovering economy with the rest of the world on Thursday while stating that Beijing will steadfastly oppose decoupling and trade fragmentation.
Li's remarks at the Boao Forum for Asia, sometimes known as Asia's Davos, are a clear indication that the second-largest economy in the world intends to play a stabilizing role in the world's trade, which is beset by geopolitical unrest and financial instability.
In an address to hundreds of guests, including visiting Singaporean and Malaysian leaders, ex-officials, and business leaders, he said, "We’ll join hands to build a more dynamic growth centre and inject more certainty into the global economic recovery."
"We oppose trade protectionism and supply chain decoupling, and want to ensure smooth global industrial and supply chains."
One of China's most well-known venues for communicating economic and diplomatic policy with external stakeholders is the annual conference on the tropical island of Hainan. This role is more important than ever given the decline in foreign business trust in China.
"No matter how the world changes, we will always adhere to reform and opening up and be driven by innovation," Li said. "It will not only inject new impetus and vitality into global economic development, but allow countries to share the opportunities of China’s development."
Li, a seasoned advisor to President Xi Jinping, was appointed China's premier and second-ranking official at the beginning of this month. He has been courting foreign investment ever since assuming the position, which is primarily in charge of the Chinese economy. He recently met with executives at the China Development Forum in Beijing.
He stated at the Boao Forum that China wanted to engage in more free trade discussions and deepened cooperation in the digital and green economies with the ASEAN's 10 members.
After the removal of the Covid limitations in December of last year, China has experienced a significant uptick in consumption, tourism, catering, and hospitality. Retail sales improved from a decline of 0.2% for the entire year of 2022 to a growth of 3.5% from the same period the previous year in January-February.
Some economic indicators, on the other hand, have gotten worse, signaling difficulties ahead. In the first two months of the year, the country's fiscal revenue decreased by 1.2%, land sales revenue—a crucial source of income for financially constrained local governments—plummeted by 29%, and industrial profits fell by 22.9%.
After problems at Silicon Valley Bank and Credit Suisse sent shockwaves through international financial markets, Li also attempted to reassure the rest of the world that the Chinese economy was improving and that his cabinet was addressing systemic risks - "especially to ensure a steady financial market."
He declared, "China's economic growth momentum is strong."
"March has been even better than the first two months. Notably, market expectations have improved markedly as indicators like consumption and investment have become better, while job market and consumer prices remained stable."
China will likely provide one-third of the increase in the global economy this year, according to managing director of the International Monetary Fund Kristalina Georgieva.
On April 18, the National Bureau of Statistics is anticipated to present first-quarter economic figures. On Friday, when the manufacturing purchasing managers' index is released, a first look at March's activities will be provided.
While Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen made a contentious stopover in the US the day before, the Chinese premier similarly denounced "group confrontation" and a "new cold war."
He made reference to US sanctions against China and said, "We oppose the misuse of unilateral sanctions and long-arm jurisdiction."
By fLEXI tEAM