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China's trade rep says 'external pressures' can help economy

From left; Yi Huiman, Chairman of China Securities Regulatory Commission, Chinese Vice Premier Liu He, Shanghai Party Secretary Li Qiang, Shanghai mayor and Ying Yong applaud during a ceremony for the launch of the SSE STAR Market, previously referred to as the Shanghai Science and Technology Innovation Board, in Shanghai, Thursday, June 13, 2019. Chinese media say the country's top trade negotiator has told a forum in Shanghai that "external pressures" can help the economy. (Chinatopix via AP)

BEIJING — Chinese media say the country’s top trade negotiator has told a forum in Shanghai that “external pressures” can help the economy.

Hong Kong’s South China Morning Post and mainland Chinese media outlets reported Thursday that Vice Premier Liu He described the pressures that China is currently facing as an “inevitable test.”

He said the pressures “will help us improve innovation and self-development, speed up reform and opening up, and push forward with high-quality growth.”

The South China Morning Post says he did not directly reference the U.S.-China trade dispute. The U.S. has accused China of stealing trade secrets and forcing American companies to transfer technology. China says the U.S. is trying to stifle its economic development.

The Associated Press