One-China policy foundation of Sino-US relations, says Li

Indo Asian News Service

Beijing, March 15 (IANS) Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang said on Wednesday that the one-China policy will remain as the foundation of Sino-US relations and discussions are on about a meeting between Chinese President Xi Jinping and US President Donald Trump.

Addressing a press conference after the conclusion of the annual session of China's National Legislature, Li said that the two leaders had agreed to push forward China-US relations after Trump took office and his administration stated that it will follow the one-China policy.

Li said "diplomatic authorities of the two countries are already engaged concerning a face-to-face meeting" between the two Presidents, reported Xinhua news agency.

The China-US relationship is crucial not just to the two countries themselves, but also to regional and global peace, security and stability, said Li.

"Though there are still differences between the two countries over issues such as jobs, the exchange rate, and security, it is important for both countries to uphold strategic interests, sit down to talk to each other, so as to enhance mutual understanding and trust," he said.

Li also said that China does not want to see a trade war between the world's biggest and second biggest economies.

"That would not make our trade fairer and it hurts us both," he said. If there were a trade war, it would be foreign-funded companies, particularly US firms, that would first bear the brunt, Li said, citing an article written by an authoritative international think tank.

Li also struck a confident tone in the country's financial stability, ruling out the possibility of systemic risks as "the country has plenty of policy options at its disposal".

"China's financial system is generally safe," he said at the press conference.

China's budget deficit to GDP ratio stands below three per cent, the capital adequacy ratio of commercial banks is 13 per cent and their provision coverage ratio is at 176 per cent, all above the international standards for financial security, Li cited a set of data to support his view.

Acknowledging potential risks in the financial sector, Li said the government will take them seriously and adopt prompt and targeted measures to prevent them from spreading.

China will "fasten the seat belt" and prevent any "acute outburst" of financial risks on the track for maintaining medium-high growth speed, Li said.