BEIJING, March 13 Following are comments from
China's Premier Li Keqiang at his news conference on the final
day of China's yearly meeting of parliament on Thursday:
"We've said that the expected target of GDP growth is around
7.5 percent. 'Around' means there is some flexibility and we
have some tolerance. As you ask what is the acceptable lower
limit, it is that GDP (growth) must ensure relatively full
"China's economy still faces severe challenges this year and
probably will face a more complicated situation."
"The biggest challenge last year was still increased
downward pressure on the economy."
"We believe we have the ability, and all the means, to
ensure that economic growth will stay within a reasonable range
"We will not only need to stabilise growth and ensure a
stable job market, but also to control inflation and risks. We
will also need to improve the quality of the economy and improve
efficiency while resolving pollution problems. To achieve these
multiple targets, we need to find a reasonable equilibrium."
"I do not deny that we will face more complicated factors
this year. The reason why we have set GDP growth at around 7.5
percent is that we are considering the need to keep stability in
the labour market, to benefit people's livelihoods, and to
increase the income of urban and rural residents."
"We pay more attention to people's livelihoods behind the
figures, and to employment behind the growth."
"The acceptable lowest limit of GDP growth needs to ensure
enough employment and that people's incomes are increasing."
"We are not pursuing GDP growth alone."
"On the risks of shadow banking, we are enhancing oversight
and have already set a timetable to push forward the
implementation of Basel III rules."
"We are reluctant to see defaults of financial products, but
some cases are hard to avoid. We must enhance oversight and
solve problems in a timely way to ensure no systemic and
"We have been paying great attention to risks from financial
sectors and debt."
"The result of a government audit showed that debt risks are
generally under control, and the debt/GDP ratio of government
debt is below the international warning line."
"But we cannot overlook risk, and we are enhancing our
efforts on regulatory measures."
"We will make breakthroughs in reform on important issues
this year. This year we will continue to push forward
simplifying administration and the decentralisation of
government power, allowing market forces to take effect."
"We will make fiscal and financial reforms the priority this
year, including unveiling new measures to cut taxes for small
"I'm reminded of my experience over 30 years ago when I was
a village official. During that time, we worked from dawn to
night and we officials tried to work out what every labourer
needed to do each day. But the result turned out to be that we
didn't have enough food."
"Afterwards we let farmers decide what to do and how to do
it by themselves, and the problem of food and clothing was
resolved within several years."
"We need to apply differentiated property measures in
different cities based on different types of demand and local
"We will push forward the construction of affordable housing
and make sure these are distributed fairly."
"For reasonable buyer-and-occupier demand, we will have
relevant supporting policies, including increasing the supply of
"We will curb speculative housing demand and set up a
long-term mechanism to ensure stable and healthy development of
the property market."
"Recommending Chinese products, protecting the rights and
interests of Chinese companies overseas - this is the job of the
premier. Last year, when I was in Europe and the Middle East, I
asked leaders, if you need to build a high-speed railway,
nuclear power, then, for an equal level of quality, using
Chinese equipment will probably be the fastest and have the
lowest costs. In this, I have confidence."
"China's economy will go up a level, and our exported
products will also go up a level. We cannot always sell shoes
and socks, clothes and hats, and toys. Obviously we need those,
but Chinese goods can also withstand the test of international
"Nevertheless, I still want to say something to Chinese
companies: you must put in the utmost effort. I've made a
promise about the quality about Chinese equipment, so you can't
let this promise come to nothing. I ask foreign journalists to
"We will establish a complete safety network for social
security including compulsory education, basic medical and
pension systems as well as a public housing system."
"We will increase the standard for the basic pension this
year at appropriate time."
"The central government's policy toward Hong Kong and Macau
is consistent and clear cut. The central government will
continue to support Hong Kong in maintaining and elevating its
status as an international financial, trading and shipping
"We will show zero tolerance for corrupt behaviour and
corrupt officials. China is a country ruled by law. No matter
who it is, or how senior their position, everyone is equal
before the law. If they violate party discipline or national
law, they will be seriously dealt with and punished according to
"We must apply the rule of law in thinking and action to
fight corruption and put the exercise of power and the use of
public money under institutional check. This year we will
continue to streamline administration and delegate government
powers. We are going to release to the public the list of powers
as quickly as possible, and set down clear boundaries for the
exercise of power to ensure that power will not be abused."
MISSING MALAYSIA AIRLINES FLIGHT MH370
"This is an international and large-scale search operation
involving many countries. The Chinese government has asked the
relevant party to enhance co-ordination, investigate the cause,
locate the missing plane as quickly as possible and properly
handle all related matters."