“Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT) will be the highlight in the process of pushing the Sino-US relationship,” Premier Li Keqiang said at a press conference after the closing ceremony of the 12th National People’s Congress (NPC) held in Beijing on March 15.
“Naturally, the negotiations will take some time, but it had already sent out a very clear message to the whole international community that the China-US business ties will get even closer and it will put the overall Sino-US relationship on a more solid footing,” Li said
Initiated in 2008, the BIT is intended to provide more room for investments of companies from both countries. After the fifth round of talks held on July 11, 2013, the two sides announced that the implementation of the BIT would be based on the principles of national treatment and a negative list, which will help to “break the ceiling over China-US business cooperation and will open up new dimensions for the further growth of the China-US ties,” according to Li.
He also said at the conference that the Sino-US relationship is a relationship between the largest developing economy and the largest developed country in the world, and China has proposed the two sides to work together to build a new model of major country relationship featuring mutual respect and no conflict and confrontation.
In addition, he mentioned President Xi Jinping’s upcoming visit to the United Sates this year, at the invitation of Barack Obama “will give a strong boost to China-US ties”.
As to whether China has become the largest economy in the world, Li said that China is still a developing country. “By the standard of World Bank, we still have 200 million Chinese living in poverty,” he said, “China is still the second-largest economy in the world and, more importantly, our per capita GDP is still behind about 80 countries in the world.”
In response to remarks that China is still free-riding in some international affairs, Li said “China is working with other countries in pursuit of common progress.”