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

Premier: China needs 'strong measures' to support economy

China announces plans to stabilise growth amid trade war with US

Chinese President Xi Jinping and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang arrive for the closing session of the National People's Congress in Beijing's Great hall of the People on Friday, March 15, 2019.

The ruling Communist Party maintains that Taiwan is part of China and says it seeks "peaceful reunification".

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said Friday the country will ensure the creation of more than 11 million new urban jobs this year.

Asked whether Beijing told Chinese companies to spy, Li said, "Let me tell you explicitly that this is not consistent with Chinese law".

"We hope the negotiations will have results", he said. Earlier this month, a hike in tariffs was put on hold because of promising progress, but USA officials have recently noted that "major issues" remain.

But Premier Li Keqiang said the government would not ask any company to spy on its behalf.

Washington has voiced concern that Huawei products may facilitate spying and disrupt communication networks, while urging its allies to exclude the telecommunications firm from government contracts.

Since August past year, Trump's administration has banned the use of products and services of ZTE and Huawei, which was founded in 1987 by Ren Zhengfei, a former engineer in the Chinese military.

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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.

Tax and fee cuts announced by the government will take effect from April 1, while social security fees will be reduced from May 1, Li told reporters at a news conference at the conclusion of the annual parliament meeting. He said China is ready to cut cooperate taxes and ease monetary policy further.

The Xinhua report and Li's remarks are a positive uptick.

But the new law will be followed up in the coming months with more measures to make it "truly operable", said Mr Li.

"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.

Despite twists and turns, Li said the overall relationship between China and the United States will forge ahead, as their shared interests far outweigh differences.

But during Li's news conference in Beijing, Russia's Tass news agency and the Associated Press reported that a senior North Korean official said at a press conference that Pyongyang is considering suspending denuclearization talks with the United States.

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