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China Confident of Maintaining Steady, Fast Growth: Wen
    2008-10-25 16:45:39     Xinhua

China has confidence to maintain the steady and fast growth of the national economy amid the current global crisis, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said at the press conference of the seventh Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) Saturday.

"We have full confidence to do that, as long as proper policies are put into place," Wen told reporters after the two-day meeting of Asian and European leaders, which focused on the global financial crisis.

"The ongoing credit crunch has affected the country's financial sector, but the direct impact was limited," the premier said. He said this was because China has pushed forward the opening up of its financial sector in a steady way, and the result was that the sector was not widely involved in the global market.

He also pointed out the influence of the crisis on the world economy, especially as reflected in a global slowdown, would inevitably have an impact on the Chinese economy.

Wen gave two reasons for the country's 9.9-percent growth in the first three quarters -- the first time not to have double-digit growth in nearly six years -- the country's macro controls and the global crisis.

"Our macro control adjustments have played a role. But we cannot deny that a change in the world economy, reduced external demands in particular, has already affected the Chinese economy," he said.

The premier, however, said with confidence that the country had moved to tackle the crisis on an early date. "We adjusted our macro control policies as early as in June ... to set maintaining the economic growth as our top priority."

In addition, he said the country had also adopted a series of measures to expand internal demands, or mainly consumption.

"China has rural areas and (less developed) western regions, and the country had a great potential for exploration of more domestic consumption to address its rural-urban and regional imbalances," Wen stressed.

On dealing with the current crisis, the premier said action should first be taken to stabilize the world financial order, while at the same time prevent the credit crunch from harming the real economy.

The press conference was attended by leaders of this ASEM's four coordinators, namely China, European Commission, Brunei and France.

The seventh ASEM summit opened Friday afternoon with the attendance of the leaders and representatives from 45 Asian and European nations and organizations.



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