Chinese premier says price rises to be firmly under control this year

09:30, June 25, 2011      

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Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao says his government is confident that price rises will be firmly under control this year.

"There is concern as to whether China can rein in inflation and sustain its rapid development. My answer is an emphatic 'yes,'" Wen wrote in a commentary published Friday in the Financial Times.

Rapid price increases pose a common challenge to many countries, especially to China and other emerging economies, said the premier, who left Beijing on Friday for an official visit to Hungary, Britain and Germany.

"China has made capping price rises the priority of macroeconomic regulation and introduced a host of targeted policies. These have worked," the premier wrote.

"The overall price level is within a controllable range and is expected to drop steadily. The output of grain, of which there is now an abundant supply, has increased for seven years in a row. There is an oversupply of main industrial products. Imports are growing fast," Wen said. "We are confident price rises will be firmly under control this year."

China is now at a new starting point in its drive for development, Wen said. He noted that China will continue to pursue economic structural adjustment, boost research and development, and education, save energy and resources, promote ecological and environmental conservation, and narrow the regional and urban-rural gap.

"China's drive for industrialization and urbanization is gathering pace. Its economy is increasingly market-oriented and internationalized," the Chinese premier said, adding that "we are fully capable of sustaining steady and fast economic growth."

Wen emphasized China's efforts to fight the global economic crisis, saying "the thrust of China's response to the crisis is to expand domestic demand and stimulate the real economy, strengthen the basis for long-term development and make growth domestically driven."

"A notable result of our response to the crisis is that China has maintained steady and fast growth," he said, citing China's gross domestic product annual growth rate of 9.6 percent, 9.2 percent and 10.3 percent, respectively, between 2008 and 2010.

The global economy has been recovering since the eruption of the financial crisis three years ago, but many uncertainties remain and the recovery is fragile, Wen said.

"While the shock of the crisis has yet to end, new risks have emerged," Wen wrote, calling on the world to cooperate closely to meet the challenges.

"We should make concerted efforts to strengthen the coordination of macroeconomic policies, fight protectionism, improve the international monetary system and tackle climate change and other challenges," he said.

The world should also welcome the fast development of emerging economies, respect different models of development, increase help to least developed countries, and promote strong, sustainable and balanced growth of the global economy, Wen said.

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