Li vows to better balance growth, response to virus

Premier Li Keqiang vowed to better coordinate the country's epidemic response and socioeconomic development, as Covid control measures are eased.


December 9, 2022

BEIJING – China’s economic growth will steadily pick up with the implementation of the 10 newly adopted measures on further optimizing the COVID-19 response, Premier Li Keqiang said on Thursday, vowing to better coordinate the country’s epidemic response and socioeconomic development.

Li made the remark when meeting with David Malpass, president of the World Bank Group, in Huangshan, Anhui province. Malpass and other heads of major international economic organizations are in China for the “1+6” Round Table Dialogue, which will open on Friday.

Li also met on Thursday with Kristalina Georgieva, managing director of the International Monetary Fund, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, director-general of the World Trade Organization, and Mathias Cormann, secretary-general of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

When asked about China’s economy and the COVID-19 response, Li told Malpass that given the epidemic’s impact, it was no small feat that China has achieved stable employment and prices, maintained overall economic stability and kept major economic indicators within a proper range.

In the first nine months of the year, China created 10.01 million jobs in its urban areas, according to the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security.

China will work to better protect people’s safety while maintaining the normal order of life and work, Li said.

He also expressed China’s willingness to deepen its relations with the World Bank to improve global economic governance and jointly tackle the complex issues facing the world economy.

Malpass commended China’s adjustment of the epidemic response policy, saying that the World Bank welcomes China’s continuous efforts to expand opening-up and is ready to deepen cooperation with the nation in areas such as trade and knowledge to promote common global development.

Li told Georgieva that China will continue to strengthen macro policy coordination with all parties, including the IMF, to tackle debt, climate change and other global challenges to make greater contributions to promoting global economic recovery and sustainable development.

China will implement the Debt Service Suspension Initiative of the Group of 20 in all respects and will take part in and work with relevant G20 members to formulate fair and equitable debt-restructuring plans, he said.

Li said that the country will advance the opening-up of its services sector on the basis of the full opening of its manufacturing sector.

The IMF chief said she believed that China’s recalibration of its COVID response policies will help boost economic growth. The IMF is ready to work closely with China to prevent fragmentation of the world economy and jointly respond to common challenges, she said.

When meeting with Okonjo-Iweala, Li said that China is ready to deepen cooperation with the WTO and work with all parties to promote WTO reform in the right direction and toward balanced and development-oriented results.

As the largest developing country in the world, China will adhere to the principle of balancing rights and obligations at the WTO and shoulder its responsibilities consistent with the level and capacity of its economic development, he said.

In his talks with Cormann, the premier stressed the need for greater international solidarity and cooperation under the current circumstances.

It is hoped that the OECD will leverage its role as a bridge and encourage countries to focus on common interests, enhance dialogue and cooperation, work together to tackle global challenges and pursue mutual benefits and win-win outcomes, he said.

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