News / Asia

Chinese Premier Calls for More Cooperation, Free Trade

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang (2nd L) claps as he walks with Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott (L), South Korean Prime Minister Jung Hong-won (R) during the opening ceremony of the Boao Forum for Asia (BFA) Annual Conference 2014 in Boao, Hainan province, April 10, 2014.
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang (2nd L) claps as he walks with Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott (L), South Korean Prime Minister Jung Hong-won (R) during the opening ceremony of the Boao Forum for Asia (BFA) Annual Conference 2014 in Boao, Hainan province, April 10, 2014.
As the global economy continues to struggle to recover, Asia remains a bright spot with developing countries still enjoying high rates of growth. On Thursday, at an international economic meeting in China, the country's premier said that regional integration is the way forward, for the sake of the global economy and despite regional frictions over territory.

Li Keqiang addressed an audience of businessmen and politicians from over 50 Asian countries at the opening ceremony of the Boao Forum, a regional economic meeting modeled after the World Economic Forum.

In his remarks, Li stressed the need for more cooperation and trade between countries in Asia. "In the past decade intraregional trade in Asia has expanded from $1 trillion to $3 trillion. Its share in total trade for Asian countries has increased from 30 to 50 percent. That is still far less than trade within the European Union," he said.
 
China has been lobbying for more infrastructure projects to connect the country with its neighbors to the South and West.

While physical transportation and energy links will help trade, China is also promoting the establishment of free trade zones to lure service and financial sector companies.

At home, Shanghai was designated as a pilot city in free trade last year. Since then, dozens of other cities have filed applications to create a similar scheme.

A regional free trade zone set up by the United States called Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) has so far excluded China, which is seen as not meeting the requirements of free market, labor guarantees and environmental protection.

On Thursday, Li Keqiang said that China takes an “open position” to the TPP. "As long as the TPP is conducive to global trade and an equitable and open trading environment, China is happy to see its conclusion," he said.

Li Keqiang's remarks come as China is experiencing a period of slowing economic growth. The leadership has committed itself to a radical overhaul of its economy towards a more market oriented system.

Analysts have noted that the types of reforms China is trying to implement at home are in line with the goals of regional trade pacts, such as the TPP.

"China would like to participate in the U.S.-led TPP process, so that China will not be left out in one of the largest trade zones in the future. All of that indicates that China is determined to engage in fast economic reform and restructure," stated
Li-Gang Liu, an economist at ANZ Bank in Hong Kong.

Li Keqiang acknowledged the challenges of cooperating in a region where territorial disputes routinely disrupt other areas of cooperation.

He repeated China's commitment to resolving disputes in a peaceful manner, but said that China will respond firmly to provocations that undermine peace and stability in the South China Sea.

You May Like

Katrina Brought Enduring Changes to New Orleans

The city’s recovery is the result of the people and culture the city is famous for, as well as newcomers and start-up industries More

China to Open Stock Markets to Pension Funds

In unprecedented move, government to soon allow local pension funds to invest up to $94 billion in domestic shares More

1 Billion People Used Facebook on Single Day

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg praised the accomplishment in a posting on the social media site More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalatesi
X
August 27, 2015 2:08 AM
Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Is China's Economic Data Accurate?

Some investors say China's wild stock market gyrations have been made worse by worries about the reliability of that nation's economic data. And some critics say the reports can mislead investors by painting an unrealistically-strong picture of the economy. A key China scholar says Beijing is not fudging ((manipulating)) the numbers, but that the economy is evolving quickly from smoke-stack industries to services, and the ways of tracking new economic activity are falling behind the change. V
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Shipping Containers Provide Experimental Housing

Housing prices around the San Francisco Bay area are out of reach for many people, so some young entrepreneurs, artists and tech industry workers are creating their own houses using converted shipping containers. But as VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Oakland, the effort requires ingenuity and dealing with restrictive local laws.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video Technique May Eliminate Drill-and-Fill Dental Care

Many people dread visiting dentists because they're afraid of drills. Now, however, a technology developed by a British firm promises to eliminate the need for mechanical cleaning of dental cavities by speeding a natural process of tooth repair. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.
Video

Video French Experiment in Integrating Roma Under Threat

Plans to destroy France’s oldest slum have sparked an outcry on the part of its Roma residents. As Lisa Bryant reports from the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, rights groups argue the community is a fledgling experiment on integrating Roma who are often outcasts in many parts of Europe.
Video

Video Kenyans Turn to Agriculture for Business

Each year Kenyan universities continue to churn out graduates for the job market despite the already existing high rate of unemployment among youth in the country. Some of these young men and women have realized that agriculture can be as rewarding as any other business or job, and they are resorting to agribusiness in large numbers as a way of tackling unemployment. Rael Ombuor reports for VOA.
Video

Video First Women Graduate Elite Army Ranger School

Two women are making history for the U.S. Army by proving they are among the toughest of the tough. VOA's Carla Babb reports from Fort Benning, Georgia as 94 men and those two women rise as graduates of the difficult Ranger school.

VOA Blogs