- Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said China had acted “responsibly” in its role as a major country and contributed to world peace in general.
- His roughly 25-minute speech at the BoA Forum for Asia did not delve into China’s heightened tensions with the United States.
China’s Premier Li Keqiang addresses an international audience at the Boa Asia Forum in Hainan on March 30, 2023.
Lindao Zhang | Getty Images News | Good pictures
BO’AO, China — Chinese Premier Li Keqiang sought to rally Asian nations behind China in his first public address.
On Wednesday, Li said China had acted “responsibly” in its role as a major country and contributed to world peace in general.
“Peace is a prerequisite for development,” Li said in Mandarin, as translated by CNBC.
His roughly 25-minute speech at the BoA Forum for Asia did not delve into China’s heightened tensions with the United States.
The annual gathering, hosted by China, is seen by some as the region’s answer to the World Economic Forum’s global leaders’ meeting held each year in Davos, Switzerland.
Asia and the world are at the crossroads of history, Li said while portraying China as a center of stability.
He referred to China’s ruling Communist Party congress in the fall, and its motto of “national revitalization,” saying “rapid economic growth” and “social stability” are the country’s “greatest contributions” to the world.
Li, who was confirmed as premier in March, said China’s growth going forward would bring “a strong momentum to Asia’s economic development”.
From China’s domestic economic perspective, conditions in March will be better than in the first two months of the year, Li said.
China reported economic figures for January and February that showed a modest recovery from last year’s Covid impact.
In January, the country relaxed its border restrictions after nearly three years of strict Covid-zero restrictions.
China will work to expand its domestic market and improve the business environment, the new premier said Thursday. He reiterated the government’s commitment to firmly contain financial system risks.
State media reported that Lee met International Monetary Fund Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva during the forum.
His speech came as China launched a charm offensive this month to retain and attract investment from foreign businesses.
Notably, Apple CEO Tim Cook visited Beijing. A state statement said he was among several executives who met with Li on Monday at the end of a government-organized China Development Forum conference.
Cook also met Zheng Shanjie, head of China’s economic planning agency, the National Development and Reform Commission.
“Apple will continue to shoulder its corporate social responsibilities and strengthen the protection of data and personal information,” the China Commission’s readout said in Chinese, according to a CNBC translation.
Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Separately, China Ministry of Commerce announced Its minister, Wang Wentao, met ASML president and CEO Peter Wenning on Tuesday.
The Dutch company is one of the most important semiconductor companies in the world. The U.S. is trying to stop ASML from exporting advanced chip technology to China in an effort to maintain the U.S. advantage in key technology.