Premier Li Keqiang meets the press after the closing of the fifth session of the 13th National People's Congress on March 11. (PHOTO / XINHUA)
Premier Li Keqiang stressed the need for greater dialogue and communication between China and the United States on Friday, saying that the door opened 50 years ago by the ice-breaking visit of then US President Richard Nixon should not be shut again, nor should there be any decoupling.
Getting the China-US relationship right serves the well-being of the people of both countries, and currently there are many global challenges that require their joint effort and cooperation.
Li Keqiang, Chinese Premier
"Getting the China-US relationship right serves the well-being of the people of both countries, and currently there are many global challenges that require their joint effort and cooperation," Li said as he took questions from the press following the conclusion of the fifth session of the 13th National People's Congress in Beijing.
The Premier said that disagreements are unavoidable given that China and the US have vastly different social systems and culture, and are at different phases of development, but China believes that cooperation should prevail because global peace and development hinges on it.
According to Li, China-US trade volume exceeded $750 billion last year, an increase of 30 percent over the previous year.
"This shows that there are extensive areas for China-US cooperation and huge potential. If the US chooses to ease its export restrictions on China, the two-way trade volume will grow even bigger, thus delivering more benefit to both countries and their peoples," he said.
Li said that China hopes that both sides act in accordance with the consensus reached between their two heads of state during their virtual summit in November; to respect one another, get along with each other peacefully, and pursue win-win cooperation.
"We hope both countries properly manage differences in a rational and constructive manner, and respect each other's core interests and major concerns", he said, adding that even if there is market competition between China and the US in terms of trade and economy, it should be healthy and fair competition.
"China is ready to work with the US to expand common ground and pursue long-term interests," Li said.
A family sit in the Kyiv subway, using it as a bomb shelter in Kyiv, Ukraine, Feb 25, 2022. (EMILIO MORENATTI / AP)
Li also said the situation in Ukraine is disconcerting and the top priority now is to prevent tensions from further escalating or even getting out of control.
We believe utmost efforts should be made to support Russia and Ukraine in carrying forward negotiations of ceasefire by overcoming difficulties in order to achieve peace
Li Keqiang, Chinese premier
"We believe utmost efforts should be made to support Russia and Ukraine in carrying forward negotiations of ceasefire by overcoming difficulties in order to achieve peace," he said, adding that China supports and encourages all efforts in this regard.
Li said that China calls for restraint to prevent the occurrence of a massive humanitarian crisis. China has put forward an initiative about the humanitarian situation in Ukraine and will continue to provide humanitarian assistance for the Ukrainian side, he said.
The premier said that while the world economy is already struggling amid the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, relevant sanctions will further hurt the world economic recovery and are not in any country's interest.
The premier stressed that China always follows the independent foreign policy of peace.
Regarding the situation in Ukraine, China maintains that the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries should be respected, the purposes and principles of the United Nations Charter should be observed, and the security concerns of all countries should also be taken seriously, he said.
"On this basis, China makes its own assessment and will work with the international community to play a positive role for an early return of peace," he said.
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