Chinese Premier Says Government Will Use Monetary Policy to Boost Economy

Sergio Conner
March 17, 2019

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, speaking at a press conference, said Friday that new initiatives will be implemented to invite people from Taiwan to access "the same development" and "work hand-in-hand to realize the dream for our shared nation".

China's top economic official says the country needs "strong measures" to counteract downward pressure on growth but Beijing plans to promote market-oriented reforms instead of relying on more lending and deficit government spending.

Li said China will further cut taxes and fees, simplify administrative regulatory procedures, facilitate market entry and foster new growth engines and fair competition environment to boost market vitality.

He made the remarks at a press conference in Beijing after the conclusion of the annual national legislative session.

China is targeting a GDP growth range of 6 to 6.5 per cent this year, down from 6.6 per cent in 2018 - the slowest pace in 28 years.

The government should take more measures to encourage private investment to develop the services, but effective supervision is needed to ensure such services are safe, Li added.

The central bank has cut banks' reserve requirement ratios (RRR) five times over the past year, with a two-stage RRR cut in January releasing a total of 1.5 trillion yuan ($223.23 billion) into the financial system.

Beijing's tax cut efforts have focused on the manufacturing sector and small businesses that are vital for economic growth and employment.

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang arrives for a press conference after the closing session of the National People's Congress in Beijing's Great Hall of the P

China's normally steady unemployment rate rose to 5.3 percent last month, from 4.9 percent in December a year ago.

China must "prevent a tide of unemployment", Li said.

China and the united states have become closely intertwined through years of development and cooperation, it is neither realistic nor possible to decouple the two economies, he said.

President Donald Trump and China's leader Xi Jinping were originally expected to meet at the end of March to sign an anticipated deal, but now that has reportedly been pushed back to sometime in April.

"We hope that the consultations will be fruitful and will achieve mutual benefit and win-win".

In response, China, the world's second largest economy after the USA, imposed tit-for-tat tariffs on United States dollars 110 billion of American goods.

Li said the government hopes to create 13 million jobs this year, the same as last year.

"This law will regulate government behaviour, requiring the government to perform its functions in accordance with the law", he said. The talks and tensions stretch far beyond trade and tariffs.

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