China’s Li vows support for foreign investment, childbirth

Chinese Premier Li Qiang delivered his first work report at the annual meeting of the National People’s Congress on Tuesday, pledging to transform the country’s development model and mitigate risks caused by bankrupt property developers and indebted cities.

In his report, Li stated that China would eliminate all foreign investment restrictions in the manufacturing sector and ease market access restrictions in service industries such as telecommunications and medical services.

“We need to strengthen social security and services, increase the monthly minimum standard for basic pensions for urban and rural residents by 20 yuan ($2.78), continue to raise the basic pensions of retirees, enhance the construction of urban and rural community elderly care services, and improve our childbirth support policies to reduce the burden of childbearing, upbringing, and education for families,” Li said.

Confronted with a demographic crisis that threatens the shift to a consumer-led growth model, China’s state planner pledged to enhance childbirth support policies, while increasing benefits and basic pensions for its growing elderly population.

“We will intensify efforts to attract foreign investment, fully remove restrictive measures on foreign investment access in the manufacturing sector, ease market access in telecommunications, medical, and other services, implement policies to treat foreign enterprises equally with domestic ones, and bolster the protection of foreign investment services,” Li said.

Li omitted previous references to “peaceful reunification” with Taiwan, asserting a “resolute opposition to Taiwan separatism and foreign interference.”