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

EU Court Fines Poland for Hosting CIA 'Black Sites'

Ruling is first time a court has acknowledged suspects were held and tortured at the sites, under US program launched following the 9/11 terrorist attacks More

Migrant Issues Close to Home Spur Groups to Take Action

Groups placing water, food in the desert, or aiding detainees after release, have one common goal: no more deaths of migrants crossing illegally into the US More

Video At AIDS Conference, Prevention Pill Stirs Excitement

Truveda shows promise, spurring debate over access and other approaches More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debatei
X
Shelley Schlender
July 24, 2014 6:43 PM
In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Death Toll From Israel-Gaza Conflict Surpasses 700

Gaza officials say a shelling hit a compound housing a United Nations-run school in the Gaza Strip, killing more than a dozen people, during an Israeli offensive in the area. Heavy fighting between the Israeli military and Hamas militants continued on Thursday, pushing up the death toll. So far, more than 730 Palestinians and 35 Israelis have been killed in the conflict. VOA's Scott Bobb has the latest from Jerusalem.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnels

The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video Researchers Target Low-Cost Avatar Technology

Scientists at the University of Southern California Institute for Creative Technologies say 3-dimensional representations could revolutionize social media. Elizabeth Lee has more from Los Angeles.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.

AppleAndroid