China to prepare rules in line with foreign investment law: Premier Li

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Premier Li Keqiang on Friday denied China tells its companies to spy overseas, refuting USA warnings that Chinese technology suppliers might be a security risk.

Premier Li Keqiang, speaking in a nationally televised news conference, said Friday the communist government will cut taxes and take other steps to "boost the vitality of the market".

"The Chinese economy has indeed encountered new downward pressure, while the global economy is slowing down", Li said at the end of the annual session of the Chinese National People's Congress.

He underscored efforts to make the complaint mechanism open, transparent and effective. Li's comments at the close of the annual parliament meeting came a day after China lowered its growth target to 6 to 6.5 percent for 2019, down from around 6.5 percent a year ago.

The central bank has cut banks' reserve requirement ratios (RRR) five times over the past year, with a two-stage RRR cut in January releasing a total of 1.5 trillion yuan ($223.23 billion) into the financial system.

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Li also sought to soothe concerns that the tax cuts soon rolled out by the government will weigh on local finances, promising the central government will offer support to provinces in central and western China via payment transfers.

Li's comments suggest Beijing is ready to roll out more stimulus measures to ensure the economy grows within a targeted range of 6.0 to 6.5 percent.

"Russia and China should take all the necessary measures to chiefly provide a stable volume of bilateral trade of $100 billion and to double it in the future", Li Keqiang said.

Li said he believed Beijing and Washington could resolve and control their differences.

Washington and Beijing have been locked in a tit-for-tat tariff battle as US presses China for an end to practices and policies it argues have given Chinese firms unfair advantages, including subsidizing of industry, limits on access for foreign companies and alleged theft of intellectual property.

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"I believe we need to continue to follow the principles of cooperation instead of confrontation, mutual respect, equality, and mutual benefits to advance bilateral relations, including economic and trade ties, to deliver concrete benefits to people of the countries", he said.

Li said the country will work to ensure employment of college graduates, whose number will reach a new high of 8.34 million this year.

Even if we accelerate building elderly nursing homes and multi-functional kindergartens, the supply shortage may not be completely eased due to the rapid population ageing in China, he said.

"China's economy will remain an important anchor of stability for the global economy", Li said.

The country will encourage business start-ups and innovation to create more job opportunities, he said.

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