On reducing corporate operating costs
China will introduce more targeted and effective measures to further reduce corporate operating costs and the country will achieve its development goals for this year, as well as the goal of building a moderately prosperous society in all respects, Li Keqiang said.
Li said that China has still reserved policies in fiscal, financial and social security arenas and the country is in a strong position to quickly introduce new measures to keep its economic development on a steady course.
On protecting jobs, livelihoods
China's economic policies in coping with shocks of the novel coronavirus will focus on keeping jobs and protecting people's livelihoods.
The focus of the country's massive supportive policies is not large infrastructure construction projects, the Premier said, adding that about 70 percent of the funds from the supportive policies will be used to increase people's income, which can spur consumption and increase market demand.
On COVID-19 outbreak
China and many other countries are investing into the research and development of vaccines, effective drugs and testing agents, which, when available, should become public goods, Li said on Thursday, adding China is ready to share those products.
China will continue to manage any outbreak promptly and control the contagion in a scientific manner, and no cover-up will be allowed, Li said.
China's principle and policy toward Taiwan has been consistent, adhering to the one-China principle and the 1992 Consensus, Li said.
"We are firmly opposed to 'Taiwan independence'," he said. "On this basis, we are ready to communicate with any political party, group or individual in Taiwan to promote peaceful development across the Straits and peaceful reunification of the country."
On Hong Kong
The national security legislation for Hong Kong is designed to ensure steady implementation of "one country, two systems" in the special administrative region, as well as upholding its long-term stability and prosperity, Li said.
Li said that the principle of "one country, two systems" is the country's basic policy and the central government has always stressed the need to fully and faithfully implement the principle, under which Hong Kong people administer Hong Kong with a high degree of autonomy.
On China-US relations
The decoupling of China and the United States, two major economies, will do neither side any good, and it is also harmful to the world, Li said.
The premier said that differences, disagreements and even frictions are unavoidable given the two countries' differences in terms of social systems, cultural heritage and historical backgrounds.
"What's important is how we manage these disagreements and differences," he said, noting that the bilateral relationship has been moving forward in the past decades amid twists and turns.
On international cooperation
Saying it's impossible for any country to achieve further development with its door closed, Li reiterated China's commitment to the opening-up policy and said the country will introduce more opening-up measures on its own initiative.
China is a huge market and the measures the Chinese government introduces will provide relief to businesses, vitalize the market and spur consumption. "We hope people will stay optimistic about the market and make investment in this market."
On China-US trade
The trade and economic cooperation between China and the United States should follow business rules, and the two sides should leave the decisions to the market and business leaders, Li said.
The premier said that the two countries should continue to work together to follow the consensus reached between the leaders of the two countries, and foster the Sino-US relationship based on the keynotes of coordination, cooperation and stability.
On poverty alleviation
He said that China now faces a daunting task in slashing absolute poverty. Before COVID-19 struck, there were about 5 million people living below the official poverty line. Because of the disease, some have fallen back into poverty.
China is a large developing country with a very big population, Li said, adding that though the annual per capital income is 30,000 yuan, some 600 million people earn less than 1,000 yuan a month, which is not even enough to rent a room in medium-sized cities.
"This year we are determined to end poverty as scheduled," he said. "This is a solid commitment made by the CPC Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core to the whole of the Chinese society," he said.
Premier Li Keqiang said on Thursday he hopes and believes that the commitment made by leaders of 15 countries at leaders' meetings on East Asia cooperation last year on signing the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership by the end of this year will happen as scheduled.
China, Japan and the Republic of Korea also are working closely together to advance their free trade agreement talk. The three countries are close neighbors, and China would like to work with the other two countries to develop their own business cycles within a bigger picture, Li said.
He said that the government aims to create 9 million new urban jobs this year, a number somewhat below last year's target, and meeting the target needs a certain level of economic growth to drive it.
The surveyed urban unemployment rate is set at 6 percent for this year.
"In April that figure had already hit 6 percent. We set our goals based on the situation on the ground," he said.
The central government is introducing all pro-jobs measures possible to retain existing jobs, he said.
"Nowadays 100 million people are employed in new forms of businesses and some 200 million people are working in the gig economy. We will continue to provide support and lift unnecessary and unwarranted restrictions that prevent the development of those new industries and sectors," he said.
On helping market entities
China will make efforts to add about 20,000 newly-registered businesses on a daily basis this year by promoting the development of new forms of business, Premier Li Keqiang said on Thursday.
The government also will do the utmost to help the existing 120 million market entities survive via bailout measures, and energize them via reforms aimed at building a world-class business environment that encourages fair competition, Li said.