China working for common progress with other nations

2015-03-15 23:50:57 GMT2015-03-16 07:50:57(Beijing Time)  China Daily
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang speaks at a news conference after the closing session of the 12th National People's Congress (NPC), at the Great Hall of the People, in Beijing, March 15, 2015.[Photo/Xinhua]Chinese Premier Li Keqiang speaks at a news conference after the closing session of the 12th National People's Congress (NPC), at the Great Hall of the People, in Beijing, March 15, 2015.[Photo/Xinhua]

Premier Li Keqiang dismissed claims on Sunday that China has been a "free rider" in international affairs, saying that it keeps development as its top priority and is assuming greater international obligations and responsibilities.

"For such as big country like ours, how could it be easy for us get a free ride on anybody's train? What China is doing is working with other countries in pursuit of common progress," Li said at a news conference after the conclusion of the annual session of the National People's Congress.

"China needs to run its own affairs well and maintain its development at a reasonable speed. I believe that in itself is China's major contribution to the whole world," he said.

The premier's comments came after the International Monetary Fund estimated that China had surpassed the United States in terms of GDP based on purchasing power parity (PPP), becoming the world's largest economy by this measure.

The remarks follow US President Barack Obama's claims about China in August. During an interview, Obama called China a "free rider" in Iraq for the past 30 years and blamed it for not taking on more international obligations.

The premier downplayed the "exaggeration" about China's economic strength, saying that China, as a developing country, is not the world's largest economy and the nation still lags far behind others in terms of GDP per capita.

When asked whether China, with its growing economic strength, will challenge the leadership status of the US, Li said there are differences between the largest developing country and the largest developed country, while they share extensive common interests.

"When differences are properly handled, the two sides can have more extra energy to further expand the convergence of their interests," said Li, highlighting the ongoing talks on a bilateral investment treaty.

The negotiations will take some time but have already sent out a very clear message to the whole international community that China-US business ties will get even closer, Li said.

President Xi Jinping's upcoming visit to the US this year will give a strong boost to China-US ties, he added.

China and the US were each other's second-largest trading partner in 2013. Beijing and Washington announced in February that Xi will pay his first state visit to the US in September.

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