China stocks down, Li's remarks raise growth, regulatory concerns

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang speaks at the World Economic Forum in Dalian

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang speaks at the World Economic Forum in Dalian

Yesterday's announcement by the Prime Minister's Office came after Mr Tharman called on Mr Li on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum's Summer Davos meeting here. It also had echoes of President Xi Jinping who also used the WEF's Davos event in January to champion globalization.

In a sign that ties are on the mend, Mr Tharman and Mr Li agreed to deepen cooperation on the Belt and Road (B&R) initiative and push for greater economic integration of the two countries by the timely conclusion of the China-Singapore Free Trade Agreement (CSFTA) and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, a trade agreement covering 16 nations.

China will be proactive with opening up and create a business environment that is internationally competitive, Li said.

Responding to concerns on forced technology transfers, Li said: "The government will not allow Chinese companies to compel foreign partners to transfer technologies or infringe on intellectual property rights [.] cooperation should be voluntary and to the benefit of exploring the Chinese market". Foreign direct investment declined in both May and April from a year earlier.

"Just like when we sprain our ankle when walking down the road, we shouldn't blame the road and stop walking", he said.

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The government targets about 6.5 percent economic growth this year. Communist Party officials are working this year to balance preserving the expansion with tightening regulation to reduce risk as they prepare for a twice-a-decade leadership transition expected to take place this fall. The registered urban unemployment rate has remained at around 5 percent.

He assured participants that China's economic growth is gaining fresh momentum and that "there will be no hard landing" in the world's second largest economy.

This year's edition is titled "Achieving Inclusive Growth in the Fourth Industrial Revolution". Beijing also will maintain stable economic growth mainly by pushing sound macroeconomic policies, by promoting deregulation and competition, and by developing new industries and cutting excess capacity in established industries such as steel and coal, he said. He said Beijing can "uphold the bottom line of no systemic financial risks".

State Grid Corp. of China Chairman Shu Yinbiao said at a press briefing that thousands of new-energy power plants will create new jobs, with opportunities being created during construction and for operators and maintenance personnel.

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