China firmly commits to opposing Taiwan’s independence

On Tuesday, China made a firm pledge to oppose any moves toward Taiwan’s independence. In his first government address to the National People’s Congress, Premier Li Qiang emphasized the nation’s commitment to its development and security, categorically rejecting “Taiwan independence” and “external interference,” and advocating for global fairness and justice.

Speaking to almost 3,000 delegates, Li underscored the importance of stability as a foundation for all of China’s endeavors. He called on various government sectors to enact policies aimed at stabilizing expectations, economic growth, and employment.

Li outlined plans to enhance the military’s training and readiness to protect China’s sovereignty, security, and development interests decisively. He reiterated the commitment to the one-China principle and the 1992 Consensus, promoting peaceful cross-Strait relations and steadfastly pursuing China’s reunification.

The military budget, he announced, would see a 7.2% increase to 1.66 trillion yuan ($231.4 billion). Facing global economic challenges, China, the world’s second-largest economy, aims for a GDP growth of “around 5%” this year, despite various internal and external pressures.

The announcement was made at the NPC’s opening session in Beijing, attended by President Xi Jinping and other top officials. Li’s report highlighted efforts to boost employment and incomes while managing risks in sectors such as property, local government debt, and financial institutions. After achieving a 5.2% growth last year, the government targets creating over 12 million urban jobs and embarks on high-quality development initiatives, including the “AI Plus initiative” and advanced technology research.

Furthermore, Li emphasized equal treatment for foreign enterprises and expressed intentions to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership. This year’s “Two Sessions,” a key political event in Beijing, has drawn China’s political elite, including over 2,000 CPPCC members. However, it has been announced that Li will not hold a press conference after the session concludes on March 11.