New China premier pledges strong ties with US

Chinese soldiers march outside the Great Hall of the People before the closing ceremony o...


Sun Mar 17, 7:15 AM UTC

BEIJING (AP) — China's government is committed to strong relations with the U.S. and sees a rosy outlook for trade and investment between the sides, newly appointed Premier Li Keqiang said Sunday in his first news conference in his new role.

Despite their differences, conflict between the world's biggest and second-largest economies is not inevitable as long as they respect each other's major concerns and manage their differences, Li said.

China's new leaders "attach great importance" to relations that meet the "fundamental interests of people in both countries and serves the global trend of peace and development," Li told reporters at the traditional premier's news conference that follows the close of the annual legislative session

Two-way trade hit almost $500 billion last year, although disputes linger over Chinese trade practices, opposition to Chinese investment in the U.S. and complaints over alleged Chinese computer hacking.

Asked about recent allegations that China's military was behind massive hacking attacks on U.S. companies and government entities, Li reiterated Beijing's statements that China is a major target of global hackers and opposes all such criminal activity.

"I think we should not make groundless accusations against each other but spend more time doing practical things that will contribute to cybersecurity," he said.

Li was appointed premier last week with primary responsibility for running the Chinese economy.