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Li Keqiang Holds a High-level Video Dialogue with Representatives of the Japanese Business Community

2022-09-22 23:30

On the afternoon of September 22, 2022, Premier Li Keqiang held a high-level video dialogue with representatives of the Japanese business community at Ziguangge of Zhongnanhai. Executive members of Nippon Keidanren (Japan Business Federation), Japan-China Economic Association and the Japan-China Investment Promotion Organization, and other representatives of the Japanese business community were present. Li Keqiang exchanged views with them on a wide range of topics, including China-Japan relations, economic and trade cooperation, responses to global economic and financial challenges, climate change, and population aging.

Li Keqiang said, China and Japan will mark the 50th anniversary of the normalization of diplomatic relations in a few days. China and Japan are important neighbors and the world's second and third-largest economies respectively. Maintaining the sound and steady development of bilateral relations serves the interests of both sides, and contributes to the well-being of the two peoples, and the peace, stability and development of the region and the world at large.

Li Keqiang said that 50 years ago, with far-sighted strategic visions and great political courage, the elder generation of leaders of the two countries made the important political decision to normalize diplomatic relations. Despite changing international dynamics over the past 50 years, China-Japan relations have made great progress overall. Looking ahead, the two sides should stay committed to peaceful and friendly coexistence, abide by the principles enshrined in the four political documents between China and Japan, view each other's development in an objective and rational manner, and push for steady and sustained development of China-Japan relations.

Li Keqiang pointed out that economic and trade cooperation has always been the "bedrock" and "propeller" of China-Japan relations. China and Japan have complementary economic advantages. Recent years have seen consecutive new highs in bilateral trade volume, which exceeded 370 billion U.S. dollars in 2021. Our cooperation has demonstrated great resilience and potential. China is ready to work with Japan to upgrade the all-round, wide-ranging and multi-tier cooperation between the two countries. It's important to make good use of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) to tap the potential of regional economic growth. On the premise of ensuring COVID-related safety, China will increase the number of direct flights between China and Japan in an orderly manner, so as to further facilitate personnel exchanges between the two sides.

Li Keqiang stressed that Asia underpins the very survival and common development of China and Japan. China is firmly committed to the path of peaceful development. He expressed the hope that the two countries respect each other, treat each other as equals, enhance mutual trust, handle differences properly, jointly maintain a peaceful external environment and a stable surrounding environment, and realize the common development of China, Japan and other countries in the region.

When talking about China's economy, Li Keqiang pointed out that affected by unexpected factors, China's economy has been under mounting downward pressure this year. We took decisive action and prompt control, and made intensified efforts to stabilize employment and prices. Major economic indicators are kept within an appropriate range, generally showing a recovery momentum. We will be fully aware of the situation on the ground and make utmost efforts to strive to achieve a better level of economic development throughout the year. Reform and opening up is a key measure to meet various challenges on our way forward, and it is also an important driving force to promote China's development in the years to come. China remains committed to the fundamental state policy of opening-up, and will only open its doors wider to the outside world. We will continue deepening reforms to streamline administration and delegate power, improve regulation, and upgrade services. We will continue fostering an enabling business environment that is based on market principles, governed by law and up to international standards. We will ensure regulations are transparent, stable and predictable. We will further relax restrictions on market access and strictly protect intellectual property rights. By so doing, we will build China into a huge market for the world and a promising land for foreign investment. The Japanese business community is welcome to continue seizing the opportunities brought by China's development, actively expand its presence in the Chinese market, strengthen cooperation with Chinese partners, and achieve more mutual benefits and win-win results.

Participants of the Japanese side said that Japan and China are very important cooperative partners to each other. Over the 50 years since the normalization of diplomatic relations between Japan and China, the economic cooperation between the two countries has achieved leapfrog development, playing a positive role in promoting the economic development of Japan, China and other parts of the world. They thanked China for providing help and solving problems for foreign-funded enterprises in China, including Japanese enterprises, despite difficulties caused by the pandemic. Being optimistic about the prospects of China's economic development, the Japanese business community will actively expand its business in China and strive to build a China-Japan economic relationship that answers the needs of the new era. The representatives expressed the hope that the two countries will take the opportunity of the entry into force and implementation of the RCEP to expand cooperation in fields such as economy and trade, environmental protection, health and population aging, step up people-to-people and cultural exchanges, and promote peace and development of the two countries, the region and the world.

Xiao Jie was present at the above dialogue, which was co-hosted by the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade and Nippon Keidanren.

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