Premier Li Keqiang’s take on China’s economic growth received the most attention from foreign correspondents who attended his annual news conference in Beijing on March 16.
Many said that whether China, the world’s second-largest economy, can achieve its growth target or not will have a strong impact on their home countries.
“His words assured us that the Chinese economy is not going to have a hard landing. It’s the main topic of the press conference for me,” said Claudio Pagliara, a reporter from RAI, Italy’s State-owned broadcaster.
The Premier explained how new forces are forming and rising in the economy and said they will replace the old forces, Pagliara added.
Rita Fatiguso, China correspondent of the Italian newspaper Il Sole 24 Ore, said the Premier confidently explained how China’s economy won’t let the world down. China’s development is important to Italy’s economy, since the two countries are key trade partners, she said.
“He also talked a lot about how to improve people’s livelihood, and ensured their welfare. When Chinese people don’t feel secure about their future, they are likely to spend less, which is not good news for the world’s economy,” she added.
With the help of newly installed big screens on both sides of the Premier’s seat, reporters throughout the area could clearly see his every move and expression.
To give more reporters an opportunity to attend the Premier’s news conference, the organizer added 200 seats this year.
Ana Cardoso, a reporter from Noticias, a newspaper in Mozambique, raised her hand each time the host selected reporters to ask the Premier a question.
“I wanted to ask him how Africa can benefit from China’s economic growth and at the same time contribute to the Chinese economy, as China has been focusing on creating stronger ties between China and Africa in recent years,” she said.
Unfortunately, like most reporters, she didn’t get the chance to do so, since the competition to ask a question was fierce at the once-a-year opportunity.
However, the Premier couldn’t say no to a reporter from Farmer’s Daily who constantly held a piece of paper on which were two big Chinese characters for “farmer”.
Besides questions from the reporters, he also answered a question raised by people on the Internet.
“It shows that the government wants and is willing to directly communicate with people and solve their problems,” Cardoso said. “Also, the Premier sees the Internet as an effective way of hearing people’s voices.”
Fatiguso said the news conference was also an opportunity for the Premier to get his message across to people, and that asking him a question that is most discussed on the Internet can help him answer the question that concerns people the most.