Chinese premier hails achievements in fight against Covid-19

By Javier García

Beijing, Sep 30 (efe-epa).- Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said on Wednesday that the country had accomplished “strategic achievements” in the fight against the new coronavirus with “enormous efforts” and “great sacrifices,” always prioritizing people’s health and lives.

In a speech on the eve of the Chinese National Day, which will mark the 71st anniversary of the establishment of the People’s Republic of China, Li said that 2020 had been a momentous year in the history of the republic – fonded by Mao Zedong in 1949 – amid the Coid-19 pandemic and a global recession.

Li was speaking at the official reception and dinner to mark the national day, attended by the top Chinese officials including President Xi Jinping, who did not address the gathering.

The premier said that the government had worked hard this year to maintain stability in six key areas: employment, finance, foreign trade, foreign and domestic investment and market prospects.

The leader said that reform and opening policies had been strengthened and the government had “managed to keep the economic foundations of China stable,” taking growth into positive figures once again “despite considerable downward pressure.”

“Moreover, considerable progress has been in made in poverty reduction and people’s welfare has been looked after. The Chinese economy has demonstrated strong resilience.”

However, Li warned that given “deep and complex changes” in the “internal and external” environment, China had to continue “pursuing progress and maintaining stability” under the doctrine of “socialism with Chinese characteristics.”

He said that Beijing would continue prevention efforts to normalize the Covid-19 situation and adopting a multi-dimensional approach to help market entities survive and prosper.

The premier pledged to foster new drivers of growth, boost a “new development paradigm” and incentivize “high-quality growth.”

Li emphasized that China would remain “unwaveringly committed” to the “one country, two systems” structure for Hong Kong and claimed that the former British colony continued to enjoy a “high degree of autonomy.”

With respect to Taiwan, he said that Beijing would firmly oppose and “contain” any “independence movement” on the island or foreign interference in the matter, adding that they would push for the territory’s “reunification with the homeland.”

A very small group of international media outlets, including EFE, were allowed access to the National Day event on Wednesday, with the journalists having to undergo a Covid-19 test and remain in strict quarantine at a hotel for more than seven hours until the results were announced.

On Wednesday morning Xi, Li and other leaders of the Communist Party of China offered a floral tribute at the Monument to the People’s Heroes, situated in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square, to mark the national martyrs’ day.

The Chinese national day on Wednesday will kick off a week-long holiday, during which at least 550 million travels are expected to be carried out in the country, which has not reported any local transmission of the coronavirus for 45 days, although 19 cases were found among people arriving from abroad. EFE-EPA


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