mandag 13. mars 2023

Li Qiang: New premier tries to boost confidence in Chinese economy

China's new Premier Li Qiang has sought to restore confidence in the country's economy in his first public address since taking up the role. He said that a growth target set last week - 5% - would "not be easy" to meet, but added that the "economy is stabilising and picking up again". The world's second-largest economy is still reeling from the effects of Beijing's zero-Covid policy. Challenges also loom because of a declining population and job losses.

Investors' confidence too has taken a hit in recent years as China's leader Xi Jinping consolidated his power, cracking down on private businesses, from tech companies to the tutoring industry. In an attempt to allay those concerns, Mr Li said: "During a period last year, there was some incorrect opinion on the development of the private economy which worried some entrepreneurs... The environment for the private economy would get better and better and there would be more space for it."

Mr Li also struck a more conciliatory tone towards the US: "China and the United States should co-operate, and must co-operate. When China and the US work together, there is much we can achieve. Encirclement and suppression are not advantageous for anyone."