>Wang Yi speaks on foreign policy
State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi Sunday answered questions from journalists from home and abroad on China's foreign policy and foreign relations on the sidelines of the fourth session of the 13th National People's Congress.
China is ready to work with the United States to return bilateral relations to the right track of healthy and steady growth, Wang said.
It is not surprising that there is competition between China and the United States as their interests are intertwined, but the two sides should have healthy competition on the basis of fairness and equity.
China opposes "vaccine nationalism," rejects any "vaccine divide" or any attempt to politicize vaccine cooperation, Wang said.
China has carried out its largest emergency humanitarian action since the founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949, making contributions to the anti-coronavirus efforts of the world.
>Foreign trade sustains growth momentum
The country's total imports and exports of goods expanded 32.2 percent year on year to 5.44 trillion yuan in the January-February period, according to the General Administration of Customs.
The growth rate is in a sharp contrast with a virus-induced slump of 9.7 percent during the same period a year earlier. The substantial increase in foreign trade in the first two months was partly due to a low base last year, said customs administration spokesman Li Kuiwen.
"Yet even compared with the same period in 2018 and 2019, China's foreign trade in the January-February period this year logged growth of about 20 percent."
Notably, export growth soared to 50.1 percent while imports rose 14.5 percent in yuan terms. The Association of Southeast Asian Nations remained China's largest trading partner during the period, with the combined trade volume rising 32.9 percent year-on-year.
Other major trading partners, such as the European Union, the United States and Japan, saw trade volumes with China surge 39.8 percent, 69.6 percent and 27.4 percent, respectively.
China's foreign trade with countries involved in the Belt and Road amounted to 1.62 trillion yuan in the first two months, up 23.9 percent year-on-year.
>Fiscal policy to be more sustainable
China's fiscal policy will remain proactive but to be more sustainable this year, focusing on promoting its efficiency and quality, reflecting a "people-centered" principle, Finance Minister Liu Kun said at a news conference on Friday.
The fiscal policy will remain basically stable, without any sharp shift, Liu said.
Compared with 2020, this year the target of fiscal deficit to GDP ratio and the local government special bond quota will decline, but will still be higher than the level in 2019.
According to the finance minister, the central government's transfer payment to local government’s will increase this year, to more than 8.3 trillion yuan.
China cut taxes and fees by more than 2.6 trillion yuan last year.
Now the tax income to GDP ratio has declined to about 15.2 percent, down from 18.1 percent in 2015, which is the lowest among the world's major economies.
>Coronavirus variant 'increasing exponentially'
Some Americans are ditching personal responsibility and forgoing masks, even though the highly contagious B.1.1.7 variant has spread to at least 46 states and Washington, DC.
"That strain is increasing exponentially. It’s spiking up," said Doctor Celine Gounder, an infectious diseases specialist and epidemiologist. "So we are probably right now on a tipping point of another surge."
Research shows that in the US, the B.1.1.7 variant is 59 percent to 74 percent more transmissible than the original novel coronavirus.
And the current rate of vaccinations might not be fast enough to fend off a major B.1.1.7 surge in the coming weeks.
After weeks of declines, new Covid-19 cases have basically plateaued at high levels each day.
On average, more than 60,000 Americans were infected every day over the past week, according to Johns Hopkins University.
The US shouldn't loosen coronavirus restrictions until daily new cases fall below 10,000, said Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease.
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