China adjusting COVID rules will allow economy to recover, says Premier Li Keqiang | world news

China’s premier has publicly acknowledged the financial damage caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and expressed his belief that easing strict lockdown rules will help the economy “recover”.

Li Keqiang is the second most powerful person in the country and the most influential personality to speak about the recent “adjustment and optimization” of coronavirus restrictions that will see a large-scale reduction in mass testing and some positive cases allowed to be quarantined at home.

He also added China will take additional steps to ensure that vital sectors such as “production and logistics” remain open.

He was speaking at a press conference following a one-on-one meeting with the leaders of six major international economic organizations, including the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank and the Organization World Trade Organization (WTO).

His words will add further encouragement to markets and people, backed by the strongest indications yet. the zero COVID agenda is abandoned.

Premier Li met with the six economic chiefs of the southern city of Huangshan.

This is the first time that such discussions have been possible since the pandemic.

The stated aim was to strengthen multinational cooperation in order to deal with the range of serious economic challenges facing the world.

China, the world’s second-largest economy with extensive global trade links, is seen as a key player.

IMF chief Kristalina Georgieva was among those who met Li Keqiang in China. Photo: AP

Premier Li said China is committed to opening up its economy to the world, countering concerns and accusations that the country has become more closed and unfriendly to foreign investment in recent years.

He said the country is taking “accelerated steps to build an open economy,” and added, “China’s development and global development are closely linked, China needs the world and vice versa.”

He also said China “stands ready to act” when it comes to helping poorer countries facing debt crises.

Read more:
China’s COVID zero stance is on the way out – it’s hard to see how they can go back now

As he trumpeted Beijing’s achievements in mitigating the worst impacts of the pandemic, he acknowledged that “this year China’s economy has traveled an extraordinary journey” and noted the “implications on our efforts to maintain the goals and targets set”.

Leaders of international organizations, including IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva, WTO Managing Director Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and World Bank President David Malpass, have all expressed optimism that the talks will be “constructive”.

China is the world's second largest economy with extensive global trade ties
China is the world’s second largest economy with extensive global trade ties

But they also acknowledged the massive headwinds facing the global economy and the “very real” risk of a global recession.

“China’s performance is important for China, but it is also important for the global economy,” Georgieva said.

“Multilateral cooperation is key first, on trade, and to address the risks of fragmentation that arise when we need each other most.”

Mr Malpass specifically highlighted recent relaxations in testing and quarantine requirements, saying a ‘reopening that reduces domestic and international disruption was essential’.


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