Cooperation at the heart of win-win, Li tells world

Updated: 2014-03-14 01:39

By ZHAO SHENGNAN in Beijing and Zhang Yuwei in New York (China Daily USA)

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Cooperation at the heart of win-win, Li tells world

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang waves to reporters at a press conference after the closing meeting of the second annual session of China's 12th National People's Congress (NPC) at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on March 13. XU JINGXING / China Daily

Premier Li Keqiang said on Thursday that China and the United States should enlarge shared interests while respecting each other's core interests and properly managing differences to further improve the ties.

The common interests between China and the United States far outweigh their differences, Li told a press conference after the close of the annual national legislative session.

"There is much more that we can do to further unleash the potential of Sino-US cooperation. We need to make the most of our complementarities," he said.

Li acknowledged that China and the US are different in history, culture and the stage of development, so it is natural that the two countries have some differences or frictions during their growing cooperation.

"But as long as the two sides respect each other's core interests and major concerns, properly manage their differences and engage into equal consultations, and particularly continue to expand their common interests, these two countries will be able to further raise the level of their relationship," he said.

Li said President Xi Jinping and his US counterpart Barack Obama have reached the important consensus about building a new model of major country relationship between the two countries last year in California.

"This relationship has the defined feature of non-conflicts and win-win cooperation," he said.

Trade with the US, China's second-biggest trade partner, rose 7.5 percent year on year to $521 billion. China's exports to the US amounted to $368.4 billion, while imports from the country stood at $152.6 billion .

China and US ties will showcase further intimacy next week as US first lady Michelle Obama will visit the world's second largest economy next week.

Tao Wenzhao, a senior research fellow of US studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said Li's words show that the "new model of major country relationship" is still the basic principle to develop the China-US relationship.

"We need to realize that cooperation is the main part of the China-US relations, though there are still some disagreements exist. On the one hand, the two countries need to promote common interests through cooperations and on the other hand, we need to control the disagreements and avoid confrontations," Tao said.

Premier Li also made comments on a wide range of questions including deepening reform, anti-corruption, prospect of economic growth and the ongoing search of the missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370.

Li said the current search is an international and large-scale operation involving many countries.

"The Chinese government has asked the relevant party to enhance coordination, investigate the cause, locate the missing plane as quickly as possible and properly handle all related matters," Li said.

Li said China is determined to fight corruption and will "seriously deal with" corrupt officials no matter how senior they are.

"We will show zero tolerance for corrupt behavior and corrupt officials. No matter who it is, or how senior their position, everyone is equal before the law," Li said.

"This is our consistent position," he told the press. "Visible progress has been made in this regard and we will carry forward this campaign with perseverance," he added.

Li made remarks in the government work report as two sessions opened last week, where he mentioned the growth target of 7.5 percent for this year.

The target was described by many experts as "reasonable" because they believe the world's No 2 economy should move from export-led growth to consumption-driven.

"China's economy still faces severe challenges this year and probably will face a more complicated situation," the premier told the press.

"We believe we have the ability, and all the means, to ensure that economic growth will stay within a reasonable range this year."

On the issue of reform, Li said it will be carried out "across the board" and need to prioritize the reform objectives.

"We will continue to focus on delegating government powers and let market play a leading role," said the premier, adding China will deepen reform of the state-owned enterprises and ease market access in service sector in particular.

Zhang Fan and agencies contributed to this story

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