China committed to effective foreign investment law: Premier Li Keqiang

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"In actual practice, our goal is to generate the same amount of job opportunities as we did past year, which is over 13 million", Li told a press conference after the conclusion of the annual session of China's national legislature.

Sources told Reuters in February that the central bank is not yet ready to cut benchmark interest rates to spur the slowing economy, but is likely to cut market-based rates.

"For some time, China-US trade frictions have been given more prominence, but China-US negotiations have never stopped", Li said.

Value-added tax (VAT) for the manufacturing sector will be cut to 13 per cent from 16 per cent. VAT for the transport and construction sectors will be reduced to 9 per cent from 10 per cent.

China's normally steady unemployment rate rose to 5.3 percent last month, from 4.9 percent in December past year.

Stable relations between China and the United States would bring "benefits" to both sides and the world, Li said at a press conference following the end of a parliamentary session.

The US and China, the world's two largest economies, are locked in a trade war since President Donald Trump imposed heavy tariffs on imported steel and aluminium items from China in March a year ago.

China will introduce a series of regulations and documents in accordance with the foreign investment law to protect the legitimate rights and interests of foreign investors, he said skirting question that whether it was passed in a hurry to meet the United States demands to a end trade war.

A summit to seal a trade deal between U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping will not happen at the end of March as previously discussed, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Thursday.

The enactment of a new foreign investment law by China's largely rubber-stamp legislature suggested that Beijing has made some concessions to Washington over contentious trade issues such as alleged intellectual property theft and forced technology transfer.

In response, China, the world's second largest economy after the United States, imposed tit-for-tat tariffs on Dollars 110 billion of American goods.

Premier Li Keqiang also flatly denied USA warnings about the security risk Chinese tech giant Huawei poses, stating that Beijing will "never" ask companies to spy on other countries.

The law, created to ease concerns among foreign companies about the difficulties they face in China, will ban forced technology transfer and illegal government "interference" in foreign business practices. The talks and tensions stretch far beyond trade and tariffs.

This article is for general information purposes only.

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