China's Premier Li: Will cut value added tax on April 1

A military band plays the national anthem during the closing session of the National People's Congress in Beijing's Great Hall of the People on Friday

A military band plays the national anthem during the closing session of the National People's Congress in Beijing's Great Hall of the People on Friday

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang speaks during a press conference after the closing session of the National People's Congress at Beijing's Great Hall of the People, on March 15, 2019. But President Xi Jinping did not rule out the use of force during a January speech on cross-strait relations.

Li also sought to soothe concerns that the tax cuts soon rolled out by the government will weigh on local finances, promising the central government will offer support to provinces in central and western China via payment transfers.

But alluding to parts of the new law that allows Beijing to retaliate against countries that it views as having discriminatory or restrictive provisions against Chinese investments, Mr Li said he hopes Chinese firms will also receive fair treatment overseas.

"We hope the negotiations will have results", he said.

Trump imposed tariff hikes of up to 25 per cent on United States dollars 250 billion of Chinese goods.

As working-level and ministerial-level talks continue, Washington said late last month that it has extended the March 1 deadline, but the world's two biggest economies have remained at odds over what Washington calls Beijing's "unfair" trade practices.

On Friday, China's parliament approved a new foreign investment law that promises to create a transparent environment for foreign firms, though there is scepticism about its enforceability.

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang arrives for a press conference after the closing session of the National People's Congress in Beijing's Great Hall of the P

China's government voiced support last week for a lawsuit Huawei filed against the United States over legislation preventing American federal agencies from buying its equipment and services.

Her father is the company's founder, Ren Zhengfei, a former engineer in the People's Liberation Army.

Speaking to reporters at the close of China's annual parliamentary session, Mr Li listed concrete steps the government would take in the coming months to give teeth to a law that some have said has been rushed out largely to assuage USA concerns.

The United States and China have exchanged tariffs on more than $360 billion in two-way trade, and China's exports and imports plummeted much more than expected in February.

Innovative measures are needed to address the shortages of such services to meet public demand, Li said, adding that developing community-based nursing services for the elderly and infants can help as nursing facilities in communities can be more accessible to people.

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

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