Live: Premier Li Keqiang meets the press
China.org.cn presents you with live coverage of the press conference held by Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on March 15, 2015, immediately after this year’s NPC session concludes.
Please stay tuned for our live updates on this event.
All time is Beijing Time (GMT+0800).
[12:38] That’s it for the live blog. Thanks for following along with us.
[12:37] Premier Li Keqiang: The Chinese government, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and military have made a formal representation with Myanmar. We have the responsibility and the ability to uphold the stability of border relations with Myanmar and protect the lives and property of our citizens.
[12:36] Premier Li Keqiang: What happened was deeply distressing. Chinese lives and property were lost on the border with Myanmar, I would like to express my condolences to the families of the victims.
[12:32] HKS TV: How do you respond to the events on the border of China and Myanmar?
[12:30] Premier Li Keqiang: Many people have suggested that the government should support a love of reading among the people and write it into the work report. They are concerned that reading per capita is only a tenth of the level of other countries. Books are the carrier of human civilization. I enjoy reading in my spare time. I hope that people can have a full spiritual life, not just a material one. I hope that reading in China can increase every year. This is an important indicator of social progress.
[12:26] People’s Daily: My question is about books. We know that the government work report has to cover a lot of ground but for two years encouraging people to read has been written into the report. Why do you care about this? Can you share your experiences of reading?[12:24] Premier Li Keqiang: We hope that this problem can be solved through negotiation. The Crimea issue is complex and we hope it can be solved politically through dialogue. We hope to see common development and win-win relations between all countries of the world.
[12:23] Premier Li Keqiang: China follows an independent foreign policy of peace. We respect Ukraine’s territorial integrity. I also said this to the President of Ukraine.
[12:20] Austrian Radio and Television: We have seen that the Russian army is stationed in Ukraine. Is this against international law? Putin has said how he planned the invasion of the Ukraine. Is Ukraine a part of Russia?
[12:17] Premier Li Keqiang: The central government will continue to support the Hong Kong SAR government and Chief Executive. We hope there will be closer ties. Hong Kong and the mainland will both benefit from exchanges.
[12:15] Premier Li Keqiang: It is the basic state policy of China’s government to adhere to the ‘One Country Two Systems’ policy and Hong Kong people ruling Hong Kong. It is not necessary to tighten policies towards Hong Kong because the ‘One Country Two Systems’ policy is written into the constitution. It is also stipulated in the Hong Kong Basic Law what system should be practiced. This cannot be changed.
[12:12] HK Economic Times: Question about the constitutional reform of Hong Kong. We are coming close to the deadline, but tough statements have been made by the central leadership on this topic. Many people are not confident that the reform bill will be adopted. Is the central government tightening its policy towards Hong Kong and will this affect relations?
[12:11] Premier Li Keqiang: There are differences between China and the United States, but there are extensive common interests, which can converge. One highlight is that both sides are advancing a bilateral investment treaty to break the ceiling for China-U.S. business cooperation. The negotiation will take time but it has sent a clear message to the international community.
[12:10] Premier Li Keqiang: We need a peaceful international environment so we can focus on our development. We proposed that China and the United States work together to build a new type of great power relationship. Xi Jinping is going to visit the United States this year and this will boost China-U.S. ties.
[12:07] Premier Li Keqiang: China needs to run its own affairs and maintain its own speed. It is assuming greater international responsibilities. How could China get a free ride? China is working with other countries for common progress.
[12:05] Premier Li Keqiang: China is still the second largest in the world. Our per capita GDP is still behind 80 countries in the world. There are still 200 million people living in poverty in China. China is still a developing country in every sense of the word.
[12:04] China Daily: Some people say China is the number one economy in the world and is competing against the United States and some people say China is free-riding in the international system. How do you see China-US relations?
[12:03] Premier Li Keqiang: Consumer prices have recently been low in China. We are not exporting deflation, we are being deflated. We hope to see a quicker global recovery.
[12:01] @Sina Weibo“Household 3756544831”:
Even though I am not a representative at the Two Sessions, my concern about the annual meetings never decreases. I sincerely hope that the state leaders can hear the true voices of the poverty-stricken people in far-flung mountainous areas. We are longing for the implementation of their policies so much, because they sound really good and promising. But the policies are not usually strictly followed and seriously implemented. So is it true that the policies of the central government can barely reach as far as the gate of Zhongnanhai, [the administrative compound of the central government in the center of Beijing]?
[12:00] Premier Li Keqiang: We cannot say that China has entered a period of deflation.
[11:59] KBS: In the last few months of 2014, China’s CPI rise hovered at about 1.5 percent. Has China entered a period of deflation, and is this affecting other parts of the world including the Republic of Korea?
[11:57] Premier Li Keqiang: To boost the economic cooperation between the two sides, two wheels will be in motion at the same time. The first is to boost institutional building and uphold ECFA and the second is to increase opening-up. The mainland will continue to support the rights of Taiwan businesses and maintain favorable policies. We will continue to open up. We welcome Taiwan businesspeople to the mainland to set up businesses.
[11:55] TVBS: As the Chinese economy slows and undergoes restructuring, business people from Taiwan on the mainland have faced difficulties. What policies will be introduced to help Taiwan businesspeople gain priority access to the mainland’s development opportunities?
[11:53] Premier Li Keqiang: Individual cases of financial risk will be allowed. This year we will introduce a deposit insurance system.
[11:52] Premier Li Keqiang: Financial risks are at the center of this question. There have been individual cases of financial risk but we are fully capable of stalling systematic financial risks because the economy is operating within a proper range and there is a high savings rate. Most of the local debts are in investments, which may bring returns. Chinese banks have a high capital adequacy ratio. The level of NPL in China is quite low internationally.
[11:50] Xinhua News Agency: Since the beginning of 2014, the NPL (non-performing loan ) ratio of banks has been increasing, as well as the risk from shadow banking. Local governments will have to pay large amounts of debt. How do you view the build-up in financial risk?
[11:48] Premier Li Keqiang: The crux of the issue is how the war and that part of history are viewed. We need to take history as a mirror and look to the future. The war of aggression imposed on the Chinese by the Japanese militarists brought so much suffering. This year will be a test and an opportunity for China-Japan relations. If the Japanese leaders can face history squarely there will be new opportunities for the growth of China-Japan relations and trade growth.
[11:46] Premier Li Keqiang: This year is the 70th anniversary of the end of the War Against Japanese Aggression and the world anti-fascist war. Many countries will hold commemorations to bear in mind the lessons of the past and ensure history will not repeat itself. We want to uphold the post-war order and international order and maintain peace for mankind.
[11:45] The Asahi Shimbun: This year is the anniversary of the end of the World War II. What is your outlook on history? Chinese people are buying products in Japan, but investment has been in decline. How do you see this?
[11:44] Premier Li Keqiang: Currently we are carrying out a review of the policy last year to allow some married couples to have a second child. We will take into account China’s social and economic development and the economic structure.
[11:40] CCTV: As China’s economic development enters a ‘new normal,’ people are thinking about how the demographic trend can be compatible with this. Married couples can now have a second child if one of them is a single child. Some are calling for the restrictions to be fully removed. Is this one of the government’s goals and is there a timeline for this?
[11:35] Premier Li Keqiang: Tackling pollution is a systemic project. We put our environmental target together with our other social and economic targets. Many parts of the report relate to environmental improvement. It may be difficult to change the system soon but you can always change the way you behave.
[11:34] Premier Li Keqiang: We will continue to track down and pursue polluting companies. We will give greater support to enforcement authorities. Environmental authorities must not suffer interference from industry, and should be brave enough to take on responsibility. We will punish abuses of office. The law should be an effective tool in fighting pollution.
[11:32] @Sina Weibo“A tranquil flower, not a snowflake”:
Since environmental protection has been continuously stressed in the Two Sessions, the people running companies should not be so silly to overlook it. They must have already noticed it. But why do they continue to ignore the policies made by the state?
[11:31] Premier Li Keqiang: The Chinese government is determined to tackle smog and pollution. Progress is falling short of the people’s expectations. Last year in my report I said that we would be declaring war on smog. We are determined to continue our efforts.
[11:30] Huffington Post: In “Under the Dome” by Chai Jing, she complained that oil companies like Sinopec have blocked policies on environmental protection for example in the gasoline production. Is it true that these companies are blocking the implementation of such policies?
[11:29] @Sina Weibo “Scarf of Rirao guangjun”:
Five years in one stride, with scrupulous planning and implementation. Our country will definitely become prosperous and our people wealthy and powerful.
[11:27] Premier Li Keqiang: There need to be more business opportunities and choices. We will allow more people to achieve their personal value. We will give young people and those from poor families greater opportunities for upward mobility.
[11:25] Premier Li Keqiang: The government needs to clear obstacles and build a platform to boost market vitality. Business licenses and certificates will be integrated in some areas of the service sector. The government will foster a more favorable environment for micro and small enterprises, to give wings to innovation.
[11:23] Premier Li Keqiang: Last year I met a woman who wanted to start a wedding service company. I also made visits to start-up cafes. There are a lot of people with brilliant talent and we should bring these talents to the best use.
[11:21] Premier Li Keqiang: This is something the government must do. It is a major reform endeavor.
[11:20] China Business News: You stress the importance of mass entrepreneurship and innovation as the new engine in China’s economic growth. But people say it is personal decision to start a business, so why should the government worry about this?
[11:18] Premier Li Keqiang: Under the ‘new normal,’ we will find a balance between stable economic development and structural adjustments.
[11:16] Premier Li Keqiang: I sense concern in your questions about China’s economic growth. We will make sure the Chinese economy continues to operate within a proper range. If growth falls to the lower end of the range, we will increase targeted policy adjustments to anchor market expectations. In the last few years, we have not resorted to stimulus measures so we have ample room for stimulus measures.
[11:14] Premier Li Keqiang: China’s development has entered a ‘new normal.’ It will not be easy to meet our goal. The size of the Chinese economy is about $US 10 trillion. A 7 percent increase is about the same as the size of the economy of a medium-sized country. We want to pursue growth with improved quality and performance. This is our contribution to global economic growth.
[11:10] The Straits Times: The government has set the 2015 economic growth goal to about 7 percent and has introduced the ‘new normal.’ What will be the benefits of this, and how will it affect the world? Are you confident that the ‘new normal’ can be sustained?
[11:09] Premier Li Keqiang: In enhancing institution building, we will fight the symptoms and causes. First, we will run the country according to the rule of law. Second, we will carry out system reform. Streamlining administration and delegating powers to leave no ground for corruption. Third, we will strengthen supervision and education, exercise government power transparently and subject it to public supervision.
[11:06] @Sina Weibo “Towards ‘Li’ and seeing ‘Qi’”:
The “tigers” and “flies” in the community- or county-level governments can only be warned, controlled and restrained by a fair, just and independent judicial system within which pragmatism and diligence are promoted to correct every false or misguided judgment on each ordinary individual.
[11:05] Premier Li Keqiang: The Communist Party is committed to fighting corruption. High ranking officials have been investigated and deal with, gaining the people’s support.
[11:04] CNR: The anti-corruption campaign brought down several ‘big tigers’ in 2014. How will the government continue to improve institution building to fight corruption? What steps should we take to solve the problem of ‘do-nothing officials’?
[11:01] Premier Li Keqiang: First, all non-government review items will be cancelled. There are more than 1,200 review items in local governments. We want to cut this by 200 by 2015. Second, we will introduce a power list and responsibility list for local governments this year. Third, we will explore a new supervision model.
[11:00] Premier Li Keqiang: Some measures have yet to be fully implemented. There are new problems. There was a proposal in the Two Sessions that said up to 100 steps were needed in government to get a project approved. Now it is about 50 or 60. But the government will step up efforts.
[10:57] @Sina Weibo“Houzi 3008”:
The premier has told us that those in power should not be indulged and we need to lock up power in the cage of institutions.
[10:55] Premier Li Keqiang: The reform of streamlining administration and delegating government powers will increase market vitality and allow us to cope with the slowdown. Last year we added new jobs. We have cut a third of state council approval items within two years.
[10:54] Premier Li Keqiang: You asked about the pain caused by reform. The pain is still there and is becoming more acute. The government is reforming itself. Vested interests will be upset. It’s not nail-clipping. Instead, it’s like taking a knife to cut one’s own wrist. We are determined to keep going until the job is done.
[10:50] Bloomberg: You said the government needs to be determined in reforming itself and that this will be a long process. As Chinese economic growth is slowing, are you still as determined as before and will the economy continue to slide? What is your prediction for the Chinese economy?
[10:46] Premier Li Keqiang: I have heard about the threat to physical stores. There is greater space for entrepreneurs to set up businesses online. A shop owner told me he had set up an online store, it was more competitive. The online and offline world are becoming more integrated, robust and competitive. The tailwinds by the Internet+ policy will be able to stimulate the Chinese economy.
[10:45] Premier Li Keqiang: I have bought some books online, but I won’t say the names, because people will think I am doing an advert. I would be happy to advertise new forms of business like e-commerce and delivery services because they boost consumption and people are very enthusiastic about them.
[10:44] Beijing News: You have expressed support for businesses like e-commerce and delivery services. Have you ever bought anything online? What did you buy？Some people are afraid that shopping will affect physical stores. What do you think about this?
[10:42] Premier Li Keqiang: China is large developing country. Housing is not just an economic issue, it concerns the people’s livelihood. We need to meet the needs of low income people. We plan to increase construction in dilapidated and run down areas by 1m houses each. Housing policy should be adjusted according to local conditions.
[10:40] Premier Li Keqiang: China is enhancing the convertibility of the RMB. More evaluation needs to be done about home buying by Chinese citizens abroad. China is the largest destination for foreign investment, the figure currently stands at $US120bn. We encourage Chinese citizens to make investments abroad and start companies but they must abide by the local laws. Your Chinese is very good and you are welcome to buy a house in China.
[10:36] Financial Times: Last year, the real estate market was in decline, many Chinese nationals bought houses abroad last year. Chinese buyers are the largest group of homebuyers in New York and London and Sydney, which has pushed up prices. Are you concerned about a possible backlash to home buying overseas and will the government introduce measures to stimulate the domestic housing market this year?
[10:33] The Premier is making a few opening remarks before answering questions from journalists. He thanks journalists for their hard work during the two sessions.
[10:30] Premier Li Keqiang has entered the press conference.
[10:10] The press conference to be given by Premier Li Keqiang will begin at 10:30 a.m. (02:30 GMT) today.[09:58] They endorsed the work reports of the NPC Standing Committee, the Supreme People’s Court and the Supreme People’s Procuratorate.
They adopted the revision to the Legislation Law.
The lawmakers also approved the resignations of two NPC Standing Committee members, Chen Jining and Chen Hao, at the closing meeting.
[09:57] The NPC deputies approved a number of important documents, including the government work report, the national economic and social development plan and the central budget.
[09:53] The premier’s press conference, which follows the NPC closing ceremony each year, started in 1991, when Premier Li Peng accepted the invitation from Zhou Jue, spokesperson for the Fourth National Plenary of the Seventh NPC, to meet the press. In the press conference, media from Hong Kong, Macao, Taiwan, and international agencies were granted with one question each.
[09:47] The Great Hall of the People in Beijing is filled to capacity with journalists vying to raise questions to Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on Sunday in a media war.
[09:41] Zhang Dejiang announced the conclusion of the third session of the 12th National People’s Congress (NPC).
[09:30] Zhang Dejiang, chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress (NPC), is delivering a speech at the NPC closing meeting.
[09:18] China’s national lawmakers approved a revision to the Legislation Law.
[09:17] Zhang Dejiang, chairman of the NPC Standing Committee, presided over the meeting.
[09:10] @Sina Weibo “Falling in love with Thomas”:
Good representatives at the Two Sessions are those with proposals focusing either on how to enhance national strength or raise people’s living standards.
[09:05] The National People’s Congress, China’s top legislature, is holding the closing meeting of its annual session.[08:45] Following are the eight documents:
- — draft resolution on the government work report;
- — draft resolution on the national economic and social development plan;
- — draft resolution on the central and local budgets;
- — draft resolution on the work report of the NPC Standing Committee;
- — draft resolution on the work report of the Supreme People’s Court;
- — draft resolution on the work report of the Supreme People’s Procuratorate;
- — draft revision to the Legislation Law;
- — draft resolution on the resignation of two NPC Standing Committee members.
[08:44] The presidium of the third session of the 12th National People’s Congress (NPC), China’s top legislature, decided to put eight documents for the vote at the session’s closing meeting on Sunday.
[March 15 08:35] The Closing meeting of the third Session of the 12th National People’s Congress (NPC) will be convened at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing at 9am.
[20:50] China now has 15 high plateau airports, about 36 percent of the world’s total, according to the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC). In 2014, high plateau airports handled 5.8 million passengers, up 18.7 percent year on year, and 59,000 flights, up 19.1 percent year on year.
[20:24] Chinese economy changing gears
[19:12]“Bright and beautiful sunshine:”
We yearn for blue sky and green water. I think the government should pay more attention to garbage classification, which could start from the government departments and institutions, enterprises, schools and then be gradually popularized among citizens.
[18:21] Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Liu Zhenmin summoned Myanmar ambassador Thit Linn Ohn in Beijing Friday night, lodging solemn representations to him after four Chinese people were killed by a bomb dropped by a Myanmar warplane in southwestern Yunnan province.
[17:05] Nowhere to hide for corrupted officials
[16:23] China is cutting the number of industries in which it restricts foreign investment, in a move to further open up the market.
[16:15] @Sina weibo “Absurd Ice Fire 517”:
Highlighting the rule of law is one of the most shining characteristics of this stage of the anti-corruption drive. It is a necessary condition for the scientific development of society and a precondition for achieving the Chinese dream.
[15:40]@Sina weibo “Qian Weidong” from Suzhou:
The rise and fall in housing prices doesn’t seem to have much practical significance at present. Rich people have already bought properties, while poor people still cannot afford to buy no matter how much the price falls. Now, the key problem is how to improve the people’s income level so that the balance between their incomes and housing prices can be closer to the world average level as soon as possible.
[14:31] @ Sina weibo “Liang Bin 19701212”:
“When comprehensively deepening reform, we need to take our time and make a great effort to accomplish the mission. But when accomplishments are made, we should bear in mind the saying that ‘success does not need to benefit me.’“ Thumbs up for the resolution and confidence of the NPC deputies and CPPCC members
[13:50] China’s top prosecutor, the Supreme People’s Procuratorate, is to step up the fight against corruption among officials this year by setting up a super anti-graft bureau.
[13:24] @ Sina weibo”BUPT-SICE”:
It seems that there are lots of breakthroughs listed on this year’s reform agenda.
[11:59] Netizens upbeat about govt’s pollution-fighting resolve
In his annual Government Work Report to China’s lawmakers at the opening of their 2015 plenary session, the premier called pollution a “blight on people’s quality of life and a trouble that weighs on their hearts”.
[11:56] @ Sina weibo “How spicy the scallion head is”:
Thumbs up to “The Opinion on the Handling of Domestic Violence Criminal Cases in Accordance with Law”! It is so impressive! This is the real way to govern the country in accordance with laws. I hope the circular’s implementation will be as pragmatic and efficient as it is supposed to be.
[11:52] “Rule of law” now a buzzword
According to statistics from Baidu Index, the search for “rule of law” has increased every year from 2011. In 2014, it climbed to 367,807 searches, up from 229,007 in 2013, or a jump of 60 percent.
[11:51] The draft of the revised version of the Legislation Law was delivered to the National People’s Congress for discussion on March 8.
[11:45] Among different items on the agenda of the two sessions, the economic model of “new normal”, along with deeper reforms in various sectors, has become a focus of world attention.
[11:43] The third session of the 12th National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), the country’s top political advisory body, concluded Friday in Beijing.
[11:40] China’s two top judicial bodies, the Supreme People’s Court and the Supreme People’s Procuratorate, delivered their work reports to the National People’s Congress on March 12, 2015.
[11:34] @ Sina weibo “Crossing the earth with one stride”:
Facing the real problems based on the actual situation without hiding from or dodging the issues, [the NPC deputies and CPPCC members] are actively discussing and deliberating the path leading to the future of the country. Thumbs up for this year’s Two Sessions!
[11:27] People from various walks of life and the world media have kept a close eye on and highly praised the government work report delivered by Chinese Premier Li Keqiang.
[11:23] Infographic: The Chinese government’s 2015 goals
[11:15] At the opening meeting of the third session of the 12th National People’s Congress(NPC) on March 5, Premier Li Keqiang delivered the government work report to nearly 3,000 legislators in the Great Hall of the People.
[11:05] Chinese Premier Li Keqiang will host a press conference immediately after this year’s NPC session concludes.
[11:00] The third session of the 12th National People’s Congress (NPC), China’s top legislature, will hold its closing meeting on March 15, according to the agenda.