China ia an ‘anchor’ for global peace – Li Qiang

China’s Premier Li Qiang announced on Thursday at China’s Boao Forum for Asia (BFA) in Hainan that the country’s economy has rebounded from the COVID-19 pandemic. Mr Li added that Beijing will continue to serve as an “anchor for global peace and development”. He noted that this month’s economic situation is better than previous months. Mr Li stated that “major indicators, including consumption and investments, have picked up, employment and prices were broadly stable and market expectations improved notably”. Additionally, several international organisations have revised upwards their economic forecasts for China this year.

Last year, China’s economy grew at the second slowest rate in almost half a century, mainly due to the strict COVID-19 regulations imposed to achieve zero cases. Its GDP grew 3 per cent last year, below the government’s target of around 5.5 per cent. The government lifted its zero COVID-19 policy in December, triggering an economic recovery.

The four-day Boao forum, which is China’s biggest international conference since the pandemic curbs were lifted, is often referred to as Asia’s version of the Davos World Economic Forum. Attendees include Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Malaysian Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim. Mr Li highlighted how China’s economy has recovered by looking at Hainan, where the tourism sector is booming once again, indicating a resilient economy.

Mr Li pointed out that the government will roll out new measures to increase market access and improve the business climate. He added that “we do have the confidence and ability to sail the giant ship of the Chinese economy steadily… and make even greater contributions to the global economy”.

In his speech, Mr Li also emphasised how Asia and the entire world are at a crossroads in history where they must join hands to foster what he referred to as an Asian community with a shared future. He noted that “we need to work together to build and anchor for world peace”, highlighting that peace is a prerequisite for development. Mr Li stated that “In this uncertain world, the certainty that China offers is an anchor for global peace and development. This has been the case in the past and will remain so in the future.”

However, his remarks came amid signs of tensions between Beijing and Washington over various issues such as America’s relations with Taiwan, the South China Sea dispute, as well as other trade, technology, and security issues. The premier maintained that China would not pursue modernisation through war, colonisation, or plunder. He also said that China is committed to modernising its more than 1.4 billion populations through peace and development, which will create a powerful impetus for economic growth in Asia and beyond.

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