Premier Li Qiang Seeks to Reassure the Private Sector and Strengthen US-China Cooperation
China's newly appointed Premier Li Qiang has emphasized the importance of cooperation between China and the United States, stressing that both countries benefit from each other's development. He was officially named as premier on Saturday after being appointed by the 14th National People's Congress (NPC).
At a press conference held after the NPC session, Li said that meeting China’s economic growth target of 5 percent in 2023 would be “no easy task” and would require officials to “redouble our efforts”. He also said that employment is the foundation of people's livelihood, and the fundamental way to tackle employment issues is to develop the economy.
Li, a long-time aide of Chinese President Xi Jinping, also sought to fire up the private sector, which has been scarred by a years-long regulatory crackdown and has grown concerned about Beijing's increasingly statist approach. He promised to create a market-oriented, legalized and internationalized business environment and treat enterprises of all types of ownership equally, protect the property rights of enterprises and the rights and interests of entrepreneurs.
He also said that the new government will “promote fair competition among various business entities, and support the development and growth of private enterprises,” adding that Beijing will “unswervingly” move forward with its policy of opening up to the outside world.
Analysts are concerned that due to President Xi's favoring of personal loyalty over technical expertise, policy could take a more ideological route, which would likely lead to a decrease in private sector growth and further strain the relationship between Beijing and Washington. Li sought to reassure the private sector that their rights and interests would be protected, and that the government would promote fair competition and support the growth of private enterprises.
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