China's Premier Li Keqiang says unilateral trade actions will not resolve problems

China will not engage in competitive currency devaluations, Premier Li Keqiang stressed, hours after China hit back, with a softer punch than the one landed by the United States, in an escalating tariff war between the world's largest economies.
China's Premier Li Keqiang said the trend of globalisation is unstoppable, even though there are flaws in the process, and the basic principle of free trade should be maintained.
China's Premier Li Keqiang said the trend of globalisation is unstoppable, even though there are flaws in the process, and the basic principle of free trade should be maintained.PHOTO: AFP

TIANJIN (REUTERS) - China's Premier Li Keqiang said on Wednesday (Sept 19) that multi-lateralism should be upheld, and that unilateral trade actions will not solve any problems.

The trend of globalisation is unstoppable, even though there are flaws in the process, and the basic principle of free trade should be maintained, Mr Li said in a speech at the World Economic Forum in Tianjin.

China's process of opening up will only quicken, he added.

China and the United States plunged deeper into a trade war on Tuesday after Beijing added US$60 billion (S$82 billion) of US products to its import tariff list in retaliation for US President Donald Trump's planned levies on US$200 billion worth of Chinese goods.

Mr Li also said maintaining China's steady growth is increasingly difficult amid significant changes in the external environment, but China will not resort to massive stimulus.

China has ample policy tools to cope with difficulties and challenges, and it will keep macro-economic policies steady, Mr Li said in his speech.

China will not engage in competitive currency devaluation and will not weaken the yuan to boost exports, he added.

 
 
 

Reducing taxes and fees will be the focus of China's more pro-active fiscal policy and easing funding difficulties for firms will also be key while keeping monetary policy prudent and liquidity reasonably ample, he said.

He also said China will widen market access for foreign companies and ensure fair competition.

Mr Li also said that China will boost effective investment but will not rely on investment to spur economic growth.

China will stabilise infrastructure investment, boost household incomes to support consumption and continue to cut import tariffs on some goods, he said.

China must resolutely protect intellectual property and will crack down on violations of domestic and foreign IP, he said.