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Friday, March 15, 2019, 16:56
Premier: China hopes for stable neighborhood
By Xinhua
Friday, March 15, 2019, 16:56 By Xinhua

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang meets the press after the conclusion of the second session of the 13th National People's Congress at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, capital of China, March 15, 2019. (PHOTO / XINHUA)

BEIJING — China hopes to have a stable neighborhood, valuing its ties with northeast Asia, southeast Asia and all neighbors, Premier Li Keqiang said here Friday.

China will stay on the path of peaceful development and continue to be a positive force and contributor for regional and global peace.

Li Keqiang, Chinese premier

The country will continue to follow the principles of amity, sincerity, mutual benefit and inclusiveness in developing relations with its neighbors, Li said at a press conference after the conclusion of the annual session of the national legislature.

"China will stay on the path of peaceful development and continue to be a positive force and contributor for regional and global peace," he said.

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The premier called for the development of a free trade agreement among China, Japan and the ROK. 

"Arriving at a comprehensive, high-standard and mutually beneficial agreement is in the interests of the three countries."

Continued DPRK-US dialogue urged

Li also called for continued dialogue, especially between the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) and the United States, to eventually resolve the Korean Peninsula issue.

The issue is longstanding and complicated and cannot be resolved overnight, Li said.

China is committed to a denuclearized Korean Peninsula and hopes for peace and stability on the peninsula, Li said

Commenting on the Hanoi summit between the DPRK and the US, Li said both sides have expressed a readiness to stay engaged with each other, and "having such kind of engagement is better than no contact at all."

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He called on all parties concerned to have patience and seize the opportunity to promote dialogue to achieve results desired by all.

China is committed to a denuclearized Korean Peninsula and hopes for peace and stability on the peninsula. "Such a position has never changed," Li said.

A proper settlement of the issue is in the interests of both sides on the peninsula, as well as the region and the world at large, he added.

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang (second from right) meets the press after the conclusion of the second session of the 13th National People's Congress at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, capital of China, March 15, 2019. (PHOTO / XINHUA)

Li to visit Europe in April

At the press conference, Li said he will be visiting the European Union (EU) headquarters in April and hold the next round of the China-EU leaders' meeting.

He expressed the hope for China and the EU to view their relations from a strategic and long-term perspective and continue to show mutual respect, deepen mutual understanding and advance cooperation in joint pursuit of sustained and healthy growth of the ties.

Li said the negotiations for a China-EU investment treaty are being advanced to make two-way investment flows more open and benefit the two sides on an equal footing

Noting that both China and the EU are important poles in a multi-polar world, Li said a growing China-EU relationship serves the interests of both sides and the world.

China and the EU, as each other's largest trading partner, have gained good experience in managing their differences, and one key point is deepening mutual trust, he added.

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Li said the negotiations for a China-EU investment treaty are being advanced to make two-way investment flows more open and benefit the two sides on an equal footing.

He spoke of the need for the two sides to keep an open mind and properly handle their differences through cooperation.

Li hopes China-Russia trade will double

Speaking on China and Russia relations, the premier expressed hope that both countries will exhaust all means possible to double their trade value.

Bilateral trade exceeded US$100 billion last year despite sagging global trade growth, Li said, calling on both sides to consolidate the achievement

Bilateral trade exceeded US$100 billion last year despite sagging global trade growth, Li said, calling on both sides to consolidate the achievement.

A sound and stable relationship between China and Russia serves not only both countries and the region, but also the whole world, Li said.

This year marks the 70th anniversary of diplomatic ties between the two countries.

"In the past seven decades, our relationship has traveled an extraordinary journey, and today it has reached a high level featuring deepening mutual political trust and growing people-to-people exchange," said Li, noting that there is great potential for further cooperation.

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