China's premier warns on Syria

Updated: 2013-09-10 11:21

By Ding Qingfen in Dalian, Zheng Yangpeng in Beijing, and Zhang Yuwei in New York (China Daily)

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Chinese Premier Li Keqiang expressed concern on Monday over a looming war in Syria, saying the global economic recovery could be negatively affected.

"A regional conflict could make the economic recovery more difficult," Li said while meeting Klaus Schwab, executive chairman of the World Economic Forum.

Li said the principle of the UN Charter must be adhered to so that a political solution can be achieved. China is willing to work with the international community to build a peaceful and stable environment for the world economy to recover, he added.

Also on Monday at UN headquarters in New York, UN chief Ban Ki-moon said the world body is waiting for a report on investigation results on chemical weapons use in Syria by ke Sellstrm, a Swedish expert on chemical weapons.

"Should Dr Sellstrm's report confirm the use of chemical weapons, then this would surely be something around which the Security Council could unite in response, and indeed something that should merit universal condemnation," said Ban. "I am already considering certain proposals that I could make to the Security Council when presenting the investigation team's report," Ban added.

Li met Schwab in Dalian two days before the opening of the annual World Economic Forum's "Summer Davos".

The premier expressed his confidence in the economic strength of emerging economies, which have been hit hard by capital outflows in anticipation of the tapering off of ultra-loose monetary policy of the US.

"Thanks to the more flexible exchange rate regimes and larger foreign exchange reserves, China is confident that the emerging economies are better placed to cope with the challenges than they used to be," Li told Schwab.

Also on Monday, Li wrote in a Financial Times opinion piece that he believes Asian economies will not see a repeat of the 1997 financial crisis.

"In my view, the Asian countries have learnt lessons from their experiences and have significantly enhanced their capabilities to fend off risks," Li wrote.

On China's economy, Li said he sees sustainable and healthy growth, while promising to continue reform and opening-up. "Some observers ask whether China's economic slowdown will lead to a sharp decline, or even a hard landing, and whether our reform program will be derailed by complex social problems. My answer is that our economy will maintain its sustainable and healthy growth and China will stay on the path of reform and opening up.

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