Date
24 November 2017
China has plenty of room for maneuver in economic policymaking, Li Keqiang says. Photo: Reuters
China has plenty of room for maneuver in economic policymaking, Li Keqiang says. Photo: Reuters

China has many tools in policy toolbox: Li

China has a lot of room to maneuver its policy and boost its economy, having avoided using strong, short-term stimulus in recent years, Premier Li Keqiang said Sunday.

It was a rare suggestion that the authorities can do much more to stoke growth, Reuters reported.

Li, addressing a news conference at the end of China’s annual session of parliament, tried to allay fears about a stumbling economy by vowing to keep it growing at a reasonable speed.

“In recent years, we have not taken any strong, short-term stimulus policies, so we can say our room for policy maneuver is relatively big, the tools in our toolbox comparatively many,” Li said.

“If the slowdown in growth affects employment and incomes, and approaches the lower limit of a reasonable range, we will stabilize policies and the market’s long-term expectations for China,” he said at a two-hour briefing.

Turning to his government’s plans to deliver economic growth of about 7 percent this year, Li said: “It looks like economic growth has been adjusted lower, but in reality achieving this target will not be easy.”

Li said it was a challenge for the government to meet that target, because the economy was already worth more than US$10 trillion.

Meanwhile, authorities will toughen their fight against pollution to clean up air, land and waterways by enforcing a new environmental law, he said.

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CG/FL

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