Leader to present 'real China'

Updated: 2014-06-17 02:34

By ZHAO YINAN in Beijing, ZHANG CHUNYAN and CECILY LIU in London (China Daily)

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Leader to present 'real China'

A vendor packs the Union Jack that will be shipped for sale in the United Kingdom in Yiwu, Zhejiang province. The UK has become an important trade partner of China with fast-growing bilateral ties. [Photo by Zhang Jiancheng/For China Daily]

 What premier says

My visit has a threefold purpose: first, to discuss ways to deepen cooperation in various fields and thus spur the growth of our respective economies; second, to present the real China so as to change misperceptions and ease misgivings; and third, to draw on British perspectives and experience.

China's economy needs to grow at a proper rate, expected around 7.5 percent this year. It is slower than the past, but normal. We are confident that this year's growth target will be met.

Reform and opening-up remain key to realize modernization ... This will give foreign investors the same level playing field and greater space for development, just like their Chinese counterparts.

China has substantially improved the livelihoods of its people within a generation. Personally, I do recall vividly my experience of poverty and hunger in my youth, having been sent to work as a farm boy.

Nation on steady course to achieve growth target of 7.5% this year

Premier Li Keqiang said on Monday that China will meet this year's economic growth target of around 7.5 percent and the government is ready to make policy adjustments when necessary.

In an article carried by British newspaper The Times, Li said the Chinese economy was "slower than the past, but normal".

"We are well-prepared to defuse various risks ... Despite the considerable downward pressure, China's economy is moving on a steady course," he wrote.

The article was published on Monday upon Li's arrival in London to kick off his visit to the United Kingdom and Greece.

China's economy expanded by 7.4 percent in the first quarter of this year. The consumer price index, the main gauge of inflation, rebounded to a four-month high of 2.5 percent in May from a year earlier, climbing from an 18-month low in April, indicating that the sluggish economy is slowly stabilizing.

To secure the growth target, Li wrote in the article that anticipatory and moderate adjustments are ready.

China has made a series of moves to stabilize the economy by offering policy fine-tuning. In the latest step, China's central bank cut the reserve requirement ratio by half a percentage point for qualified commercial banks on Monday, easing the liquidity shortage for the agricultural sector and micro and small enterprises.

"One should always be aware of the strength of others and the shortcoming of oneself," Li said in the article. He said the world's second-largest economy is far from achieving its development goals, despite making a quantum leap in its development.

Reform and opening-up will remain key to realizing modernization, in which Li promised to give foreign investors the same level playing field and space for development as their Chinese counterparts.

Describing one of his missions as presenting the "real China" and changing misperceptions and misgivings about the country, Li said he sees opportunities to draw on the complementary strength of both sides.

"The United Kingdom has a strong economy, dynamic financial sector, advanced science and technologies. And it leads the world in energy conservation and environmental protection. China, on its part, has a huge market, large foreign exchange reserves and a competitive manufacturing sector," he wrote.

Ding Chun, a professor of European studies at Fudan University in Shanghai, said China and the UK have many common interests, and there is a lot of potential for cooperation between the two countries.

Tom Delay, chief executive of The Carbon Trust, said the UK has experience and expertise in energy efficiency and offshore wind technology. "We have a lot to offer to help China address environmental targets, which will not only have massive positive impact in terms of the environment, but also will send a message to the world this is what China is engaged with," he said.

Delay said China is an enormous market, so new technology will have to be deployed at an enormous scale in the country. "In due course I'm hoping technology will be deployed, and come down in cost and be available for many people to use. I think by sharing the expertise and experience with China, China will benefit and develop its own market, and will benefit the world," he said.

Contact the writer at zhaoyinan@chinadaily.com.cn