Chinese Vice Premier Han Zheng, also a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, delivers a speech at the opening ceremony of the China Development Forum in Beijing, March 25, 2018.
China is pursuing a higher quality economy instead of higher growth rate, and attaching importance to opening up amid China-U.S. trade tensions, Vice Premier Han Zheng spoke at the opening ceremony of the annual China Development Forum in Beijing on Sunday morning.
"China has set a lower growth rate target and is seeking a healthier economic structure, which includes more sustainable development and high-value added manufacturing," said Han.
The country has become the second largest economy with a 9.5-percent annual growth rate for 40 years. Now, one percent growth is equivalent to 800 billion U.S. dollars.
In the past five years, China has streamlined its government procedures, removed excess capacity, invested massively in innovation and entrepreneurship.
"We will deepen reform across the board and further unleash creativity," said Han.
Warns against "trade war"
Han also warned that a trade war would harm all sides and only lead to more tensions, as the forum began amid the looming threat of a trade war between Beijing and Washington.
China announced it may target 128 U.S. products with an import value of 3 billion U.S. dollars in response to U.S. President Donald Trump's executive order to impose broad duties on foreign steel and aluminum products, with up to 60 billion dollars in Chinese imports.
"We always face problems with economic globalization, but those problems won't be solved if one resorts to trade protectionism. Unilateralism and a trade war are detrimental to all sides. It will only lead to more tensions and negative effects," he said.
Han called for expanding trade and investment cooperation to make economic globalization beneficial for all.
He said China will better protect intellectual property rights and other interests of foreign companies, adding that China is committed to fostering a world-leading business environment.
The three-day forum is themed "China in the New Era", with attendance of nearly 30 globally renowned scholars, like Nobel-Prize winners Robert Shiller and Joseph Stiglitz, and over 80 executives of Fortune Global 500 companies, who will discuss topics ranging from addressing inequality to global growth drivers over 40 sessions.