Full transcript:
Premier Li Keqiang meets the press

Comment(s)打印 E-mail China.org.cn 2015-03-17


Chinese Premier Li Keqiang speaks at a press conference after the closing meeting of the third session of the 12th National People's Congress (NPC) at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, capital of China, March 15, 2015. [China.org.cn]



China Daily:

Some people conclude that China has become the number one economy in the world and now poses a challenge to the leadership status of the United States. But they also argue that China is still free riding in international affairs. What is your response to such a view and what are your views on advancing China-US ties?



Li Keqiang:

The first part of your question is about whether China has become the largest economy in the world. I have heard such a view during overseas visits. But I always feel there are some elements of misleading exaggeration in it. According to those authoritative standards, China is still the second largest economy in the world and more importantly, our per capita GDP is still behind about 80 countries. Some time before this year's Spring Festival I paid visits to places in China's western region. I visited two rural homes. There are mother and a son in one family who live in a very shabby place where wind can easily be felt in the house. And because the family is so poor, the 40-year-old son has no money to get married. The other home has produced a college student. There is a boy and a girl in that family. To support her brother to go to college, the girl has to work in cities and even couldn't come home for family reunion during Spring Festivals. It pains me deeply to see our people living in such distress. I'm sure there are many more such families in China. By the standard of the World Bank, we still have 200 million people living in poverty. So I can say that China is still a developing country in every sense of the term.

中国把自己的事办好,保持合理的发展,本身就是对世界巨大的贡献。而且中国还在越来越多地承担应尽的国际责任和义务。要说中国搭便车,这么大的块头搭谁的便车?中国是和大家一起推车。China must manage its own affairs well and maintain development at a reasonable speed. That in itself is China's major contribution to the world. Actually, China is assuming greater due international obligations and responsibilities. Talking about free-riding, for such a big country as ours, how could it get a free ride on anybody's train? What China is doing is to work with other countries to pursue common progress.
中国以发展为第一要务,需要一个和平的国际环境。讲到中美关系,这是最大发展中国家和最大发达国家之间的关系。我们愿意构建相互尊重、合作共赢、互不冲突、互不对抗的新型大国关系。今年习近平主席将应邀对美国进行国事访问,相信会进一步推进中美关系的发展。Development will remain the top priority for China and we need a peaceful international environment for us to focus on domestic development. When it comes to the China-US relationship, this is a relationship between the largest developing country and largest developed country in the world. We have proposed that China and the United States work together to build a new model of major country relations featuring no-conflict, no-confrontation, mutual respect, and win-win cooperation. This year, President Xi Jinping will pay a state visit to the United States at the invitation of his US counterpart. It will give a strong boost to China-US ties.
毋庸讳言,中美之间存有分歧,但更有广泛的共同利益。妥善处理分歧,可以着力扩大利益的交汇点。这里面有个很大的亮点,就是我们正在推进中美投资协定谈判,它是以准入前国民待遇和负面清单为基础的,这本身就是打破合作的天花板,开辟发展的新空间。当然,谈判会有个过程,但它向中美、向世界发出了明确的信号,就是中美经贸关系会更加密切,这个中美关系的“压舱石”会更沉更稳。谢谢!Admittedly, there are differences between China and the United States, but what's more important is that the two countries share extensive common interests. When differences are properly handled, the two sides can channel more energy into expanding the convergence of their interests. One highlight in the China-US relationship is that the two sides are advancing negotiations of a bilateral investment treaty (BIT), and the BIT is built around the pre-establishment national treatment and a negative list. This is to break the ceiling on China-US business cooperation and will open up new dimensions for the growth of China-US ties. Naturally the negotiation will take time, but it has already sent a very clear message to both countries and the wider international community that China-US business ties will get even closer and put the overall China-US relationship on a more solid footing.



Hong Kong Economic Times:

My question is about the constitutional reform in Hong Kong, which is of keen interest to the people of Hong Kong. We are getting closer to the date of voting on the constitutional reform plan, but recently there have been some quite tough statements by the central leadership on this topic. This has made many people not optimistic about the prospect for the constitutional reform bill to be adopted. Also for the first time in the government work report, there is such wording that one needs to strictly comply with the Constitution and the Basic Law. Does this mean that the central government is tightening its policy towards Hong Kong and will that affect the relationship between the central government and the Hong Kong SAR and will that add more uncertainties to the cultural and business interactions between the two sides?



Li Keqiang:

It is China's basic state policy to adhere to the principles of "one country, two systems", "the people of Hong Kong governing Hong Kong", "the people of Macao governing Macao" and both regions enjoying a high degree of autonomy. Some people are worried if the central government is tightening its policy towards Hong Kong. Such a worry is not necessary. It's true that this year's government work report said that one needs to strictly comply with the Constitution and the Basic Law. This actually shows our commitment to ensuring the consistent and full implementation of the "one country, two systems" principle. This principle has been written into the Constitution and the Basic Law of the Hong Kong SAR. They together form the constitutional basis of the Hong Kong SAR. The Basic Law has also provided for what system should be practiced in Hong Kong. The "one country, two systems" principle reflects the will of the country and the people, and cannot be changed at will. Some may feel that I am picking words in answering your question. This is because you asked a question that relates to the law, so I need to answer it with utmost seriousness.

中央政府会继续支持香港特别行政区政府和行政长官依法施政,也会继续加大对香港的支持力度,继续发挥香港在国家改革开放和现代化建设中的独特作用,使香港、内地在交流合作当中都更多受益,进一步深化经贸和文化交流,使两地民众都满意,增进两地人民的福祉。谢谢!The central government will continue to firmly support the government of the Hong Kong SAR and its chief executive in governing the region in accordance with law. And the central government will give stronger support to Hong Kong for it to play its unique role in China's reform, opening-up and modernization drive. We hope that both the mainland and Hong Kong will benefit more from their exchanges and cooperation and people of both sides feel satisfied and see their wellbeing enhanced.

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