Author: Wang Lei
Posted on: CGTN, March 2nd, 2017



China’s economy is expected to remain the strongest engine for world economic growth in 2017, a spokesperson of the top political advisory body said Thursday.

China’s economy expanded by 6.7 percent last year, a good start for the country’s 13th Five-Year Plan (2016-2020), Wang Guoqing, spokesperson for the fifth session of the 12th National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), said at a press conference.

«Both the quality and efficiency of China’s economy saw further improvement last year,» he said.

According to data from the World Bank, China’s 2016 growth would account for about a third of world growth, larger than the contribution from any other country.

China’s steady growth creates greater demand, a wider variety of products and more cooperation opportunities, Wang said.

The fundamentals for China’s long-term growth have not changed, and the economy still enjoys strong sources of growth, he added, citing remarks by national political advisors at a meeting earlier this year.

«Seeking progress while maintaining stability» will be the main theme for China’s economic work this year, according to a statement issued after the Central Economic Work Conference in December.

Wang added that China will seek new progress in the reform of important areas.

«We can be assured that China will not slow down its steps in deepening overall reforms, but make steadier strides,» he said.

‘China values South China Sea navigational freedom more than anyone’

Wang said that China values freedom and safety of navigation in the South China Sea more than any other country, citing the fact that China is a major trading nation and meanwhile the largest littoral country of the South China Sea.

Certain countries outside the region have alleged that China threatens freedom of navigation, an entirely «pseudo-proposition,» he said.

Since China recovered the South China Sea islands at the end of World War II, there has never been a problem with navigational freedom in the region, Wang said.

Stressing that the South China Sea islands are an integral part of China’s territory, Wang said that it is «perfectly normal» for China to build facilities, including those for necessary defense purposes, on its own territory. International law entitles sovereign states to do so, he added.

.China, Wang reiterated, resolutely defends the freedom of navigation that every country enjoys in the South China Sea according to international law.

«We have set up cooperation mechanisms with many other countries to ensure safe navigation,» he said.

The civilian facilities China has built on the South China Sea islands, such as lighthouses, have played a positive role in guaranteeing navigation safety and humanitarian rescue, Wang added.

(Source: Xinhua)



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