Economy won't suffer hard landing, says China

People crossing the street in Beijing on Jan 19, 2016.
People crossing the street in Beijing on Jan 19, 2016.PHOTO: AFP

BEIJING • China's economy "absolutely will not" suffer a hard landing, the country's top economic planner said yesterday, as Beijing's leaders try to reassure global investors about the world's second-largest economy.

While the global economy is experiencing uncertainty, National Development and Reform Commission chief Xu Shaoshi pointed out that China's economy had the flexibility and tools to manage its risks, and urged investors "not to worry".

Mr Xu's comments come as the country is expected to witness a further slowdown in growth, while having to tackle difficult structural reforms that could lead to mass lay-offs.

China is projecting a growth rate of 6.5 per cent to 7 per cent this year, lower than the target of "around 7 per cent" it set last year.

Mr Xu added that China would make better use of government investments this year, after it announced that it would increase spending to help the economy.

A massive stimulus package in 2008 had been blamed for the over-capacity and bad loans that critics say plague China's economy today.

Teo Cheng Wee

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 07, 2016, with the headline 'Economy won't suffer hard landing, says China'. Print Edition | Subscribe