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Good Outcomes Hoped for China-U.S. Trade Consultations: Chinese Premier

Good Outcomes Hoped for China-U.S. Trade Consultations: Chinese Premier

"The Chinese economy has indeed encountered new downward pressure, while the global economy is slowing down", Li said at the end of the annual session of the rubber-stamp National People's Congress.

The ruling Communist Party maintains that Taiwan is part of China and says it seeks "peaceful reunification". But President Xi Jinping did not rule out the use of force during a January speech on cross-strait relations.

China will "never" ask its firms to spy on other nations, Premier Li Keqiang said Friday, amid United States warnings that Chinese telecommunications behemoth Huawei poses security risks.

Li also said China can use such tools as the reserve requirement ratio of banks and interest rates to support the economy.

"I don't know if you are referring to the governments or individuals of other countries, but let me tell you explicitly that this is not consistent with Chinese law".

"We also hope that foreign governments can view in an objective light the cooperation between Chinese companies and their foreign partners based on contractual consent", he said.

The figures were the latest in a string of indicators pointing to an extended slowdown, with Beijing feeling the effects of a painful trade dispute with the US.

The enactment of a new foreign investment law by China's largely rubber-stamp legislature suggested that Beijing has made some concessions to Washington over contentious trade issues such as alleged intellectual property theft and forced technology transfer.

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As for growing fears about spying activities by Chinese companies, Li dismissed them, saying that is "not the Chinese way".

Since August past year, Trump's administration has banned the use of products and services of ZTE and Huawei, which was founded in 1987 by Ren Zhengfei, a former engineer in the Chinese military.

China's government voiced support last week for a lawsuit Huawei filed against the United States over legislation preventing American federal agencies from buying its equipment and services.

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.

To help finance the tax cuts, the government would need to tighten its belt, Li said.

But the new law will be followed up in the coming months with more measures to make it "truly operable", said Mr Li.

Last week Li laid out a lower growth target of 6.0-6.5 percent this year, from 6.6 percent growth in 2018, which was already the slowest pace for nearly three decades.

Despite twists and turns, Li said the overall relationship between China and the United States will forge ahead, as their shared interests far outweigh differences.