OPENING UP. New Chinese Premier Li Qiang (5th from left) talks to the media at the Great Hall of the People on Monday (March 13). Li told the more than 500 local and foreign journalists China will continue the process of reform and opening up to achieve China’s modernization. (PNA photo by Liza T. Agoot)

BEIJING – New Chinese Premier Li Qiang on Monday said China will continue the process of reform and will further open its door to the world, a strategy that propelled China as the world’s second largest economy.

"In the process of advancing China's modernization, we must continue the process of reform and opening up,” Li said in a press conference after the closing of the first session of the 14th National People's Congress (NPC) at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.

Li said China will keep the direction of socialist marketing reform, promote high-level opening up and inject stronger vitality into China's development.

He said the government's new goals and priorities as well as programs will further improve the people's well-being.

"People's aspirations are for better lives because this is the people's government," he told the local and foreign journalists who covered China’s two sessions.

He said the policies will be in support of high-quality growth not just for China but for other countries amid uncertainties the world is facing.

Li also talked about the importance of China and the United States having more cooperation.

"Last year I was working in Shanghai so I have a lot of activities with companies and senior managers of multinational companies including the American companies and we all have discussed the future of Shanghai and China and they all want cooperation that will benefit the countries in the world," Li said.

“All these demonstrate China and US can cooperate and there is a lot the two countries can achieve by going together,” he added.

In a press conference last week, Foreign Minister Qin Gang said China's foreign policy is anchored on peaceful cooperation and partnership with more countries, not just with those they already have ties.

Science and technology innovations

Li said the government will further invest in science and technology by creating the Central Science and Technology Commission (CSTC) that replaced the National Science, Technology, and Education Group as part of the institutional reforms in 2023.

He said science and technology will play an important role in advancing agriculture, medicine, industrial development, improvement of the environment and other developments that lead to modernization.

“Our development is geared towards providing for people's basic needs in the hands of the present need for science and technology innovations for greater development,” he said.

Li said opening up is a basic state policy of China, and no matter how the external situation evolves, the country will stick to pursuing this policy.

He said the annual China International Import Expo is a major step for China to open its market to the world and share development opportunities.

It has been held for five consecutive years despite the pandemic, attracting more than 2,800 enterprises from 127 countries and regions, he added. (PNA)