Pre­mier seeks deeper re­forms

China Daily (USA) - - FRONT PAGE - By ZHAO HUANXIN and WANG LINYAN in New York Hu Yongqi in Bei­jing con­trib­uted to this story.

Bank of China in New York will be­come the first ren­minbi clear­ing bank in the US.

China still has a long way to go to mod­ern­ize and needs to pur­sue devel­op­ment through deep­en­ing re­form, open­ing up fur­ther and safe­guard­ing the en­vi­ron­ment, Pre­mier Li Ke­qiang said on Wed­nes­day at United Na­tions head­quar­ters in New York.

Li said China has be­come the first na­tion to sub­mit a re­port to the UN on how it is im­ple­ment­ing the 2030 Agenda for Sus­tain­able Devel­op­ment, a blue­print en­dorsed by the UN last year for end­ing poverty and hunger, pro­mot­ing equal­ity and pro­tect­ing the en­vi­ron­ment in the years lead­ing up to 2030.

While ad­dress­ing the gen­eral de­bate of the UN Gen­eral Assem­bly, whose theme is The Sus­tain­able Devel­op­ment Goals: A Univer­sal Push to Trans­form Our World, the pre­mier vowed that China would carry out a new round of open­ing-up and work to achieve mu­tu­ally ben­e­fi­cial co­op­er­a­tion.

Li said that for the sus­tain­able goals to be at­tained, cur­rent norms re­gard­ing the in­ter­na­tional or­der and re­la­tions must be main­tained. These norms, formed in the wake of World War II, have en­sured peace in the world for more than 70 years, he said.

“They have been proved ef­fec­tive and must be safe­guarded with re­solve,” he said.

The pre­mier also said that the world econ­omy’s slug­gish growth must be re­versed, or sus­tain­able devel­op­ment will have no foun­da­tion.

He said in­ter­na­tional or­ga­ni­za­tions should pri­or­i­tize de­vel­op­ing coun­tries in al­lo­cat­ing new re­sources.

Mean­while, Bank of China said in a news re­lease that it has be­come the first ren­minbi-clear­ing bank in the US af­ter Li an­nounced on Tues­day night that China had de­cided to des­ig­nate a do­mes­tic bank to serve as the clear­ing­house for yuan trans­ac­tions in New York.

Li spoke at a gala din­ner co­hosted by the Eco­nomic Club of New York, the Na­tional Com­mit­tee of US-China Re­la­tions and the US-China Busi­ness Coun­cil.

Li did not name the bank, but also men­tioned for­eign banks in New York that met the el­i­gi­bil­ity re­quire­ments are wel­come to be­come clear­ing banks for yuan.

The es­tab­lish­ment of a clear­ing bank in the US will “pro­mote the growth of ren­minbi ac­tiv­ity in the US and help ac­com­mo­date an in­crease in vol­umes and de­mand for ren­minbi prod­ucts and ser­vices”, Tim­o­thy Gei­th­ner, for­mer US Trea­sury sec­re­tary, told the Fi­nan­cial Times.

Ming Ming, head of fixed-in­come re­search at Citic Se­cu­ri­ties, who pre­vi­ously worked on ren­minbi in­ter­na­tion­al­iza­tion at the PBOC, told the news­pa­per that the lack of a ren­minbi-clear­ing mech­a­nism in the US, a cen­ter of global fi­nance, was “a ma­jor miss­ing piece of the puz­zle for ren­minbi in­ter­na­tion­al­iza­tion”.

“The des­ig­na­tion of Bank of China in New York means the global frame­work is now ba­si­cally com­plete,” Ming said.

Xia Le, chief economist for Asia at Banco Bil­bao Viz­caya Ar­gen­taria SA in Hong Kong, told Bloomberg News: “This is an im­por­tant step in build­ing the global in­fra­struc­ture, as the yuan-clear­ing sys­tem now cov­ers 24 hours.”

In Septem­ber 2015, China and the US agreed to fur­ther boost co­op­er­a­tion on ren­minbi busi­ness. At the con­clu­sion of the eighth China-US Strate­gic and Eco­nomic Di­a­logue in June in Bei­jing, both coun­tries an­nounced that they would fur­ther de­velop ren­minbi trad­ing and clear­ing in the US.

REUTERS / CHRIS WATTIE

Chi­nese Pre­mier Li Ke­qiang walks to his limou­sine upon his ar­rival at the Ottawa In­ter­na­tional Air­port in Ottawa, On­tario, Canada on Wed­nes­day.

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