China announces plans to stabilise growth amid trade war with US

Premier: China needs 'strong measures' to support economy

The ruling Communist Party maintains that Taiwan is part of China and says it seeks "peaceful reunification".

A summit to seal a trade deal between U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping will not happen at the end of March as previously discussed, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Thursday.

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang waves as he arrives for a press conference held after the closing session of China's National People's Congress (NPC) at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, Friday, March 15, 2019.

Li also said China can use such tools as the reserve requirement ratio of banks and interest rates to support the economy.

But alluding to parts of the new law that allows Beijing to retaliate against countries that it views as having discriminatory or restrictive provisions against Chinese investments, Mr Li said he hopes Chinese firms will also receive fair treatment overseas.

"We hope that the consultations will be fruitful and will achieve mutual benefit and win-win". Earlier this month, a hike in tariffs was put on hold because of promising progress, but USA officials have recently noted that "major issues" remain.

The figures were the latest in a string of indicators pointing to an extended slowdown, with Beijing feeling the effects of a painful trade war with the United States.

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China's new foreign investment law, which was first tabled for reading last December, states in broad terms that foreign firms will receive the same treatment as local ones when it comes to government procurement, and that the authorities will not force technology transfer in exchange for access to China's markets.

But Premier Li Keqiang said the government would not ask any company to spy on its behalf.

Since August a year ago, Trump's administration has banned the use of products and services of ZTE and Huawei, which was founded in 1987 by Ren Zhengfei, a former engineer in the Chinese military.

Li said China will further cut taxes and fees, simplify administrative regulatory procedures, facilitate market entry and foster new growth engines and fair competition environment to boost market vitality. He said China is ready to cut cooperate taxes and ease monetary policy further.

Li, however, ruled out the possibility of introducing drastic measures like quantitative monetary easing, which has been carried out in some advanced nations including Japan, saying such tactics have only a limited positive impact.

But the new law will be followed up in the coming months with more measures to make it "truly operable", said Mr Li.

On the diplomatic front, Li said China wants the United States and North Korea to continue talks. Their second February 27-28 summit in the Vietnamese capital Hanoi ended without a deal.

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