China's new premier says 'high-quality development' a priority

Following the first session of the 14th National People's Congress (NPC) in Beijing, Chinese Premier Li Qiang highlighted the new government's focus on promoting high-quality development, continuing to deepen reform, and reaching the 'ultimate goal' of a better life for the people.

At the news conference, the premier expressed full confidence in China's economic outlook, saying that its institutional strength is an advantage for economic development. He added that reaching the 2023 GDP growth target would require "redoubled efforts".

Li said that China will continue supporting private enterprises according to market-based, law-based standards. He said China will also continue pursuing an employment-first strategy and increase government support to boost employment.

The premier stated that China's COVID-19 response has been highly effective. "We have adjusted and improved our COVID response measures. Medical services will be strengthened," he assured.

China will focus on economic, ecological, social and cultural values in promoting rural revitalization, Li said, guaranteeing food security in the country.

Speaking about Hong Kong and Macao, the premier said that the central government will fully implement the One Country, Two Systems policy.

In reference to Taiwan, Li said that the "Chinese on both sides of the Taiwan Straits are members of one family," adding that early restoration of normal exchanges across the straits will require joint efforts.

Addressing the current China-US relations, the premier said that a consensus needs to be translated into policies and actions. Li said that China and the US "can and must cooperate".

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In his speech at the closing meeting of the first session of the NPC, President Xi Jinping pledged to faithfully fulfill his responsibilities and prove worthy of the trust of all NPC deputies and the people of China.

He called for due contributions to build a "great modern socialist country," advance national rejuvenation and accelerate Chinese modernization in accordance with the strategic decisions made at the 20th Communist Party of China (CPC) National Congress.

Stressing the importance of advancing high-quality development, Xi said efforts should be made to effectively upgrade and appropriately expand the economy by continuously increasing the country's economic strength through scientific and technological capabilities.

The president also underscored the need to pursue a holistic approach to national security, improve the national security system and safeguard China's new development pattern with a new security architecture.

Further, he called for efforts to advance the "one country, two systems" policy and the cause of national reunification. Xi stressed adherence to the one-China principle and the 1992 Consensus, actively promoting the peaceful development of cross-Straits relations.

He urged efforts to actively develop whole-process people's democracy and uphold the unity of the leadership of the CPC, the running of the country by the people and law-based governance.

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