China sends warning to US: Don't start trade war

Trump has repeatedly criticized China's trade practices and threatened to impose punitive tariffs on the country's imports.

In the wake of the Xi-Trump conversation, Li said he saw "bright prospects" for bilateral relations.

Speaking at his once-a-year press conference, at the end of the annual session of the National People's Conference, Li said, "A trade war would not make our trade fairer".

The Premier of the State Council noted that China's projected economic target this year 2017, is set at 6.5 percent, with laid emphasis on consistency of the country's steady growth.

Premier Li said China's trade and investment ties with the United States created up to one million American jobs past year.

Since he campaigned for the presidency, Trump has been attacking China on several issues: from trade to the South China Sea and North Korea. The trade turnover between Russian Federation and China in 2016 grew by 2.2% to $69.52 billion.

"We believe this will help Hong Kong maintain its status as an worldwide financial centre and provide Hong Kong investors more options". The impact would be felt mostly by foreign, especially US, companies, he said, citing a report from an unidentified global think tank.

"We may have different statistical methods, but I believe whatever differences we may have we can all sit down and talk to each other and work together to find solutions".

He said: "We welcome other partners to share with us in the development opportunities of China".

China will start a bond connect program with Hong Kong this year, Premier Li Keqiang said at a briefing Wednesday, adding to recent moves to ease access to the nation's debt market. He argued that the renminbi's 7 per cent decline against the U.S. dollar past year was "quite modest" compared with that of other currencies.

While acknowledging that trade ties between China and the European Union have been strained in recent years over steel, Li said that China and the European Union had experience at "appropriately resolving" disputes.

China has long called for what it terms "countries outside the region" - generally a reference to the United States - to stay out of the dispute, saying China and Southeast Asia are determined to resolve things peacefully.

Li stated that China would like to work with its Asian neighbors to promote regional trade as well, a declaration aimed at alleviating concern that China could become too economically powerful.

  • Elsie Buchanan