Employment is the foundation of people's well-being and development as well as a source of wealth.
China still faces mounting pressures in boosting employment this year, as about 14 million urban people will enter the labor market, including a record 9.09 million college graduates, and over 270 million migrant workers also need job opportunities, Li said.
The country will continue with the job-first policy this year and take more measures to stabilize and boost employment, the premier said.
China aims to create no less than 11 million new urban jobs in 2021, Li said.
China had maintained communication with the WHO and provided the WHO mission support during their work in China concerning the origins of the virus, stressing that the Chinese side has acted in a fact-based manner and with an open, transparent and cooperative approach.
China is willing to continue working with the World Health Organization (WHO) on tracing the origin of COVID-19.
China will maintain the continuity and sustainability of macro policies this year to keep the operation of the economy within an appropriate range.
China aims for 2021 GDP growth of more than 6 percent.
2021 GDP target reflects uncertainties but allows possibility of robust recovery.
China implemented targeted fiscal policies to help businesses, local governments last year
China will continue support for small businesses
Government to continue cutting expenditures while expanding support for businesses
The central government will continue to act in accordance with constitution and Basic Law over Hong Kong.
The decision made by China's top legislature on improving the electoral system of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region will help ensure "patriots administering Hong Kong" and the steady and sustained development of "one country, two systems".
Premier Li Keqiang expressed the hope that Hong Kong people from all walks of life will join hands to overcome COVID-19 at early date, achieve economic recovery, and improve people's well-being for long-term prosperity and stability in Hong Kong. "The central government will continue to provide full support," he said.
China has achieved major breakthroughs in science and technology
China needs improvements in scientific research
Scientists will be given greater autonomy in utilizing funds for research
China must rely on market forces in driving scientific and technological innovation
China will introduce tax incentives on research and development projects
China continues to encourage business startups in line with innovation drive
China needs cooperation among scientists to achieve goals in tech innovation
China-US relations have encountered great difficulty
China-US ties have overcome obstacles in past years
International community expects stable China-US ties
Differences are unavoidable in bilateral relations
China hopes to continue to see dialogue with US in several areas
China and the US have common interests
China, US need to focus energy on cooperation
China has 130 million market entities
An important part of China's reforms is energizing market entities
China will improve regulations for market fairness
The government will provide better services to foster business environment
Our policy toward Taiwan has been clear-cut, consistent
We will continue to promote peaceful development of cross-Straits relations
2021 fiscal spending will be higher than 2020
Our government is people-centered and must respond to people's needs
The Fourth Session of the 13th National People's Congress held a press conference at the Great Hall of the People on the afternoon of March 11, 2021. Premier Li Keqiang met with Chinese and foreign reporters and answered their questions at the invitation of Spokesperson Mr. Zhang Yesui.
In his opening remarks, Premier Li Keqiang said that he was delighted to meet friends from the media and thanked the journalists for their hard work in covering China's NPC and CPPCC Sessions. He noted that the press conference was again held via video link this year and then opened the floor for questions.
CNBC: Premier Li, the coronavirus pandemic has affected the way in which many jobs are done and located. What changes has China seen in the last year for its jobs in terms of quality and salary? And what specific measures will China take especially as the population ages? How has this affected consumption especially for foreign brands?
Premier Li: Employment is of paramount importance for a family and a country. In the raging times of COVID-19 last year when bustling streets were deserted and shops were closed, our biggest concern was massive job losses. I recall a visit to a small shop during a local inspection tour. The shop owner told me that he was practically out of business for almost three months, but because of the government support in tax and fee cuts, exemptions of utility bills and rents, and wage subsidies, he managed to pull through and didn't let any employee go. I asked him if he could still afford to pay his employees wages. He said he gave them some living allowances. There were some 20 employees on the spot. They all said they had nothing to complain about when they could still have something to cover their basic needs in such difficult times. Both the company and the employees were aware that as long as the company and jobs were there, once production was resumed, business would go up.
Last year, we faced much uncertainty in formulating macro policies. In the end, we decided not to set a numerical target for GDP growth, and with long and hard thinking, we set the target of new urban jobs at no less than nine million. Employment is the foundation of people's well-being and development. It is also a source of wealth. We said we would strive for a positive growth of China's economy for the whole year, out of the belief that if we could add no less than nine million new urban jobs, we would be able to achieve positive growth of the economy. Employment helps to generate income, boost consumption and drive economic growth.
Last year, under the strong leadership of the CPC Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core, and thanks to joint efforts made by all sides, the market entities showed great resilience, and our people faced the difficulty in solidarity. For the whole year, we added 11.86 million new urban jobs. The economy expanded by 2.3 percent. There was continued increase in household income. All these performances were better than expectations.