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UPDATED: 08:06, November 23, 2004
Chinese president briefs APEC leaders on China's economic situation
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Visiting Chinese President Hu Jintao Sunday briefed the leaders of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum on the economic situation in China.

While attending a working luncheon hosted by Chilean President Ricardo Lagos, during which the leaders from APEC's members issued the Santiago Declaration, a statement reached at the end of their two-day annual gathering being held here from Saturday to Sunday, President Hu was asked by Lagos to brief the APEC leaders on China's economic development.

Hu said Chinese economy has been keeping a momentum of rapid and sustainable development in recent years.

But the economic development process also encountered some contradictions and problems, he said.

To solve the problems, the Chinese government has taken a series of policy methods to intensify and strength macro-control of the whole economy, he said.

For the problems of uneven development between the urban and rural areas, Hu said, the Chinese government exerted its effort to promote the agricultural development and to increase the income of farmers.

The Chinese government also took economic, legal and other essential administrative methods to restrain blind expansion of some industries and low-level redundant construction, in order to avoid excessive growth of fixed asset investment, he said.

China's economy is now in a good shape and will continue its fast and steady growth, said the Chinese leader, adding China's GDP grew by 9.5 percent in the first three quarters and is expected to reach 9 percent for the whole year.

As to the sensitive food safety problem that had aroused worldwide attention, Hu told his audience that China can ensure its food security.

"The food production in China has seen a favorable turn recently and the rise of production is of significance," said Hu.

Investment in fixed assets grew by 27 percent in the first nine months of this year, a significant drop from the 43 percent growth rate in the first three months, Hu added.

"So I believe an overheated economy that some people had predicted before will never appear in China, and a 'hard landing' of the Chinese economy will never happen either, as some people had worried," Hu concluded.

Hu told the leaders that a prosperous China will play a positive role in accelerating the development of the world economy.

China's total imports will exceed 500 billion US dollars this year, said Hu, giving examples that China has increased imports from the United States, Japan, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand, ASEAN and all Latin American countries.

Although China has made remarkable achievements in economy, its per capita gross domestic product is only about 1,000 dollars and there is still uneven growth in its economic and social development, Hu said.

Talking about China's financial situation, Hu said profound changes have taken place in China's capital market as the reform deepens and China opens wider to the outside world.

China is actively and steadily carrying out its financial reforms. Two of the four major state-owned commercial banks are about to get listed after establishing a stockholding system, and the other two are making preparations for this purpose, Hu said.

After the working luncheon, the APEC leaders issued the Santiago Declaration.

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