The pandemic has been blamed on a seafood market in Wuhan that is believed to have sold wild animals such as bats and pangolins, and China has promised new legislation to make the ban permanent.
Mr Li also announced thatChina has set a budget deficit target for this year of “at least” 3.6 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP), compared with the 2.8 per cent target set for 2019.
Mr Li, who also said thatdefence spending will rise 6.6 per cent this year, refrained from setting a 2020 GDP growth target and pledged to step up spending and financing to support China’s economy. It marked the first time that China did not set a gross domestic product (GDP) goal since 1990 when the government started to publish such targets.
The Chinese economy contracted 6.8 per cent in the first quarter from a year earlier, shrinking for the first time in decades, as the outbreak of the coronavirus paralysed production and hit spending.
China will also encourage the people of Chinese-claimed Taiwan to join it in opposing Taiwan independence and in promoting China’s “reunification”, MrLi Keqiang said.
Taiwan’s government urged China on Friday not to lead Hong Kong into “bigger turmoil” due to wrong policy decisions. Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs Council said in a statement that China’s Communist Party has wrongly blamed external influences and Hong Kong independence “separatists” for the instability in the territory.