China premier insists economy 'within appropriate range'

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang
Chinese Premier Li KeqiangREUTERS

BEIJING (AFP) - Chinese Premier Li Keqiang has issued assurances over his country's economy after global markets were roiled by concerns over its slowing growth, state media reported on Saturday.

Top global markets ended the week Friday largely recovered from China-induced panic selling, but market watchers remain worried the turmoil in the world's number two economy will drag down global growth.

However, a report by the official news agency Xinhua quoted Li as saying "the Chinese economy is operating within an appropriate range and China continues to lead the world in terms of growth".

He added that "in the context of complex and changing situations abroad and deep-rooted problems at home, we pressed ahead with progress while ensuring stability with sustained efforts for structural reforms and targeted macro-regulation measures".

"These included, among others, cuts in the required reserve ratio, interest rates, taxes and fees and measures aimed at stabilising the market, which are already paying off."

Li made the comments on Friday when he chaired a special meeting of the State Council to discuss developments in the global economic and financial field and their implications for China.

Li conceded that "now that the traditional drivers for growth are not as strong, it is important to come up with new measures to bolster reform and opening up. It is necessary to provide more public goods and services, and encourage mass entrepreneurship and innovation to boost the growth momentum".