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Full Text: Premier Li Keqiang Meets the Press(9)

2015-03-17 09:42 gov.cn Web Editor: Gu Liping

Here I would like to ask you to convey a message to all these people, which I believe will prove to be quite reassuring to them, that is the mainland will continue to protect the lawful rights and interests of Taiwan business people on the mainland and continue to pursue preferential policies towards them as appropriate. In terms of opening-up, we will give priority to Taiwan in terms of both depth and intensity of opening-up steps. We welcome people from Taiwan, including young people, to the mainland to do business. We also want to further enhance personnel interflow between the two sides so as to bring the hearts and minds of people across the Straits closer to each other.

KBS: In the last few months, China's CPI rise hovered at just about 1.5%, and in January this year, the figure was a mere 0.8%. So are we to conclude that China has entered deflation? And some people argue that China is exporting deflation and this has also affected the ROK. What is your response?

Li Keqiang: About deflation, there are multiple criteria in evaluating deflation. A major criterion is consecutive negative growth of overall consumer prices in a country. And when it comes to CPI in China, last January we had a positive growth and the figure for February further rebounded. So I don't think there is deflation in China.

Consumer prices in China have been quite low recently, but China is not exporting deflation. The truth is we have been on the receiving end of deflation. Let me give you one example. Last year, China bought some 310 million metric tons of crude oil and 930 million tons of iron ores on international markets. The physical volume has been on the rise, but the value contained has declined because of tumble in international commodity prices. And we are also prepared to cope with such a situation. What we hope to see is that there will be a quicker global economic recovery and the global economy will regain its momentum of robust growth.

China Daily: Some people conclude that China has become the number one economy in the world and now poses a challenge to the leadership status of the United States. But they also argue that China is still free riding in international affairs. What is your response to such a view and what are your views on advancing China-US ties?

Li Keqiang: The first part of your question is about whether China has become the largest economy in the world. I have heard such a view during overseas visits. But I always feel there are some elements of misleading exaggeration in it. According to those authoritative standards, China is still the second largest economy in the world and more importantly, our per capita GDP is still behind about 80 countries. Some time before this year's Spring Festival I paid visits to places in China's western region. I visited two rural homes. There are mother and a son in one family who live in a very shabby place where wind can easily be felt in the house. And because the family is so poor, the 40-year-old son has no money to get married. The other home has produced a college student. There is a boy and a girl in that family. To support her brother to go to college, the girl has to work in cities and even couldn't come home for family reunion during Spring Festivals. It pains me deeply to see our people living in such distress. I'm sure there are many more such families in China. By the standard of the World Bank, we still have 200 million people living in poverty. So I can say that China is still a developing country in every sense of the term.

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