China's premier defends national competitiveness amid trade tensions

Chinese Premier Li Qiang speaks during the 54th annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, January 16, 2024.

Denis Balibouse | Reuters

DALIAN, China – Chinese Premier Li Qiang on Tuesday defended the country's technological development while criticizing efforts to limit global cooperation.

His comments at the opening of the World Economic Forum's 'Summer Davos' meeting in Dalian, China, came amid rising tensions with the EU over imports of Chinese electric cars.

“The rapid rise of China's new industries is rooted in our unique comparative advantages,” Li said via an official English translation of his Mandarin remarks.

He noted the country's large market, industrial network, labor force, diverse application scenarios and receptive consumers.

“That is how China's emerging industries gain their competitiveness,” Li said.

Earlier this month, the EU announced plans to impose tariffs on imports of Chinese electric cars. The US has said it will increase vehicle taxes to 100%.

China and the EU have reportedly done so too agreed to discuss possible rates.

“In many ways, the depth of international cooperation determines the pinnacle of human development, so it is essential that we embrace each other with open arms,” Li said, pointing out the need to “reject” confrontation.

Andrzej Duda, President of Poland, and Pham Minh Chinh, Prime Minister of Vietnam, delivered remarks after Li.

The Chinese Prime Minister held state-level meetings in China with the two leaders ahead of the 'Summer Davos'. Li had said during his meeting with Duda that China hoped the EU would look at the country's development objectively and create a fair market. according to state media. Poland is part of the EU.

At the Forum's annual conference in Davos, Switzerland, in January, Li had said in a speech that technological innovation should not be used as a way to impose restrictions on other countries.

Beijing has repeatedly asked Washington to lift restrictions on Chinese companies that prevent them from buying advanced technology from American companies.

Economic prospects

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