China not interested in trade war with US - Premier Li Keqiang


China's second most powerful politician said Wednesday that North Korea's nuclear issue should be resolved through dialogue among all concerned parties. He argued that the renminbi's 7 per cent decline against the United States dollar a year ago was "quite modest" compared with that of other currencies.

China held out the olive branch to the U.S. today as its premier Li Keqiang hoped to avoid a damaging trade war with Donald Trump, despite likely "bumps" in the two nations' relations.

"The key is to continue generating jobs", Li said. Many believe a massive bank bailout may be inevitable.

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.

The premier returned to this point Wednesday, stating that such risks can not be ignored and that the government will "take prompt and targeted measures to prevent them from further spreading".

Li, in a question-and-answer session that lasted almost two hours, downplayed fears about structural risks to China's economy, pledged to "fight and win a battle on smog", and advocated for economic cooperation between the mainland and Hong Kong.

Of the latter, Li said that "this policy constitutes the political foundation of China-U.S. relations, and can not and must not be shaken by vicissitudes".

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang has dangled the prospect of more perks for Hong Kong and Taiwan even as he made clear that Beijing would not tolerate any breakaway moves.

Li said Trump has "supported the principle" and that it is an unchanging policy for China.

"Over the past four years we have created about 13,000 urban jobs", he averred, adding that the government had prioritised creating employment, and was prepared to receive the 7.5 million students graduating from universities this year 2017, among others, urging them to be self employed and not totally dependent on seeking the government for jobs.

"China will open its door wider and wider", Li added. The country has "ample foreign exchange reserves for meeting relevant needs like paying for imports or [repaying] short-term external debt", he said.

The blue-chip CSI300 index rose 0.2 per cent to 3,463.64 points, while the Shanghai Composite Index added 0.1 per cent to 3,241.76 points.

"China's economy had a pretty good performance in January and February. March data will be crucial as investors are anxious for any hint on whether the recovery is sustainable", said Mr Linus Yip, strategist at First Shanghai Securities.