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China Vice Premier says economy faces headwinds, urges broad reforms

Published on Mar 24, 2013 1:31 PM

BEIJING (REUTERS) - China's economy faces more headwinds as it struggles with surplus production capacity and risks to the financial system, a member of the country's top decision-making body said on Sunday, calling for sweeping reforms, including lessening state control.

Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli, a member of the highest-ranking Politburo Standing Committee, warned that failure to extend reforms would consign the economy to years of low-quality growth.

"There are increasing downward economic pressures and the problem of excess capacity is worsening," Zhang said."Objectively speaking, there are potential risks in the financial area."

China's US$8.4-trillion (S$10.4 trillion) economy fought its worst slowdown in 13 years last year when weak exports and interest rate hikes from the year before dragged annual growth to 7.8 percent - impressive by world standards but the grimmest for China since 1999.

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