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MNI (London)
--Despite No Formal Target, GDP Expected To Grow In 2020
     BEIJING (MNI) - China will likely see positive growth this year even if
there isn't a quantifiable GDP goal, Premier Li Keqiang said Thursday in his
annual address to the media. China has set six tasks instead of a hard growth
target, including protecting jobs, people's welfare and businesses. Achieving
these goals will lead to positive and high growth, he said.
     According to Li, China has fiscal, financial and social welfare policies in
reserve to manage future crisis and will enact them in a timely fashion, Li said
at the conclusion of the National People's Congress.
     On relationships with the U.S., Li struck a conciliatory tone. Recognizing
new problems and challenges, Li said the relationship is "very important" as the
two are both the permanent members of the United Nations Security Council. With
wide-ranging mutual interests, there are areas for cooperation, he said.
     Any decoupling between the two major economies is good for neither and will
harm the world, he said. While differences and conflicts are inevitable, the two
sides should respect each other's core interests and major concerns while
embracing cooperation.
     There has been a significant fall in cooperation among nations after the
Covid-19 outbreak, Li said. China will keep to its opening-up policies and
further expand cooperation. Adjustments in global industrial supply chains are
market-driven, Li said, urging nations to keep their doors open.
     Here are further highlights from Li's annual meeting with the press:
     - China is committed to signing the RCEP at end of this year. China also
promotes free trade with Japan and South Korea. China is "positive and open"
towards joining the CPTPP, or Comprehensive Progressive Trans-Pacific
Partnership, the successor to TPP after the U.S. withdrew from the planned pact.
     - China will not flood its economy with liquidity and has refrained from
policies that may create froth; it instead will continue to keep measures
targeted and timely, Li said in response to question that the government
measures have been relatively moderate.
     - Without positive growth, the pandemic will be difficult to control, Li
said. Nations should further open up to promote liberalisation of trade and
facilitate investment to minimise the impact of the pandemic, Li said.
     - China will impose measures, such as repayment relief of insurance fees,
enhanced unemployment insurance, interests concession of state-owned banks and
prices reduction of monopolized industries. The support from all above measures
will be twice as big as the total CNY2 trillion released by the rising fiscal
deficit and the special treasuries bonds for Covid-19, he said.
     - China will issue CNY1.6 trillion special local government bonds this
year, and CNY2 trillion in treasury bonds, making up 20-30% of the new stimulus
be introduced over the next 12 months, Li said. These investments will be for
new infrastructure, new organizations and improving people's lives.
     - China is open to international cooperation on research and development on
vaccines, effective medicines and testing reagents and the deliverables of the
RD will be global public good, Li added. China will continue to adopt
science-based, open and transparent approach in dealing with Covid-19 as the
country is still seeing sporadic cases and no coverup will be allowed, Li said.
     - Accounting for the effect of the outbreak, China will ensure to create
more than 9 million jobs, lower than last year's level, and it must drive
certain economic target. China will provide measures to help meet job needs of
new graduates, ex-military service personnel and rural migrant workers, he said.
     - "One Country, Two Systems" is China's basic state policy. The Hong Kong
security law is to ensure the long-term prosperity and stability.
--MNI Beijing Bureau; +86 10 8532 5998; email: william.bi@mni-news.com
--MNI Beijing Bureau; +86 (10) 8532 5998; email: marissa.wang@marketnews.com
--MNI Beijing Bureau; +86 (10) 8532-5998; email: archie.zhang@marketnews.com
--MNI London Bureau; tel: +44 203-586-2225; email: les.commons@marketnews.com
[TOPICS: M$A$$$,M$Q$$$,MC$$$$,MI$$$$,MT$$$$,MGQ$$$]
MNI London Bureau | +44 203-865-3812 | les.commons@marketnews.com

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