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China central bank governor: "Prepare for worst" amid financial crisis
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08:20, December 05, 2008

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China's central bank governor warned in Beijing on Thursday that government bodies should prepare for the worst and take precautions to prevent the world financial crisis from further worsening.

Zhou Xiaochuan, governor of the People's Bank of China (PBOC), told the U.S.-China Strategic Economic Dialogue (SED) that macro-economic control bodies should analyze the process, influence and prospects of the downturn.

Zhou's comments to the closed-door dialogue were relayed by a PBOC official.

China has enhanced the flexibility and effectiveness of macro-economic control by shifting its fiscal policy from "steady" to "proactive" and its monetary policy from "tight" to "moderately loose," Zhou said.

He reiterated that China's major contribution to international financial stability would be to maintain steady, rapid growth of the Chinese economy.

"We have the confidence to maintain growth, although we are still facing many difficulties and challenges," Zhou said, according to the PBOC official.

Policies enacted in recent years, with the goal of expanding domestic demand and consumption, have achieved positive results and greatly enhanced China's ability to resist external pressures, Zhou said.

"We will take the opportunity of the crisis to further expand domestic demand and increase our competitive strength, to promote stable and sustainable economic development," he said.

The fifth round of SED talks is being held against the backdrop of the deepening global financial crisis and a leadership transition in the U.S. government. The two-day dialogue will focus on building an enduring U.S.-China economic partnership.

Initiated by the heads of the two countries in 2006, the by annual SED is the highest regularly scheduled level of bilateral dialogue.


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