China's Congress reappoints Premier Li Keqiang and names new anti-graft watchdog

Li Keqiang

The Chinese authorities have also promised to gradually open the market of electronic payment prepossessing for foreign investments, and to remove restrictions or simplify the participation of foreigners in banking, securities and fund management.

Li, 62, was re-elected last Sunday for second five-year tenure by China's rubber-stamp parliament.

When asked about the Korean peninsula, Li said China would do its utmost to promote the denuclearization of the peninsula and maintain peace and stability in Korea.

"We have the confidence about meeting all major economic and social development targets this year", Li said, including cutting the country's deficit-to-GDP ratio. We relied on market forces and followed commercial rules to achieve this, otherwise the trade figure would not be that big, ' Li said, adding that China also wants to have a trade balance with the USA to maintain sustainable growth in bilateral trade.

Beijing plans to "further bring down overall tariffs", with "zero tariffs for drugs, especially much-needed anti-cancer drugs", the premier said.

In his remarks, Li said that as China widens access to its markets, there will be no forced transfers of technology, and China will better protect intellectual property rights.

He added: "We will also fully open the manufacturing sector".

"We will cut the time it takes for opening a business in China by another half and we will reduce the time required for reviewing a project application by another half", he promised. "China has the ability to prevent systemic financial risks; no such risks will occur in China", Li claimed.

"We must further cut the red tape and simplify administrative procedures", he said.

"Any actions and tricks to split China are doomed to failure and will meet with the people's condemnation and the punishment of history", he said, to loud applause from the nearly 3,000 parliamentary delegates. He noted that government revenues rose more than expected in the first two months of the year.

"It is the responsibility of the government to provide stable job opportunities for these people", he said.

Other officials who got elected included was Yang Xiaodu director of the national supervisory commission, a newly formed anti-corruption body with statuary powers.

Traditionally, the Chinese Prime Minister is regarded as the top economic official of the country, however, President Xi has stripped Li of many of his duties by appointing himself as the General Secretary of the Communist Party of China to oversee economic reform and state industry.

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