Chinese President Xi Jinping on Saturday promised to take tough measures to avert major economic risks in 2019 as the country grappled with a continued slowdown largely due to the effects of the trade war with the US.
The US has imposed punitive tariffs on Chinese goods worth USD 250 billion per year. In retaliation, China imposed tariffs on USD 110 billion of American goods. A standstill agreement reached between US President Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart on the margins of the G20 summit at Buenos Aires in November deferred the imposition of tit-for-tat tariffs by the two countries till March.
With the country witnessing an economic slowdown due to the trade war, China has pledged to take measures to step up American imports and investments to meet US’ demand of bringing down USD 375 billion trade deficit between the two countries. March 1, 2019 is the deadline for implementing the measures.
Addressing a gathering of senior leaders of the ruling Communist Party here, Xi said people in China have enjoyed a stronger sense of fulfilment, happiness and security in 2018 due to reforms launched by his government. For the year 2019, Xi spoke of the need to pursue supply-side structural reform as the main task, take tough steps to forestall and defuse major risks, carry out targeted poverty alleviation, prevent and control pollution, and promote sustained and sound economic development, according to state-run Xinhua news agency.
A total of 1,932 reform schemes have been carried out since 2013, the president said, adding, “We showed our resolve to carry through the cause of reform and opening-up in the new era.”
Xi also pledged efforts to support Hong Kong and Macao in integrating their own development into the overall development of the country and maintain their lasting prosperity and stability.
He also vowed to work for the peaceful development of cross-Strait relations with Taiwan, which China claims as part of it.