China can manage inflation expectations - Vice Premier

LONDON Tue Jan 11, 2011 4:45pm EST

LONDON Jan 11 (Reuters) - China has the ability to manage inflation expectations and will seek a balance between containing price pressures while maintaining strong growth and restructuring the economy, Vice Premier Li Keqiang said on Tuesday.

"We have the capability ... to maintain price levels and to manage inflation expectations," Li said, answering questions after giving a speech at a London dinner hosted by the China-Britain Business Council.

"For the Chinese government, we want to strike a balance of insuring steady and rapid economic growth, restructuring the economy and also to manage the (inflation expectations)," Li said, according to an interpreter.

Li, widely tipped to become the next Chinese premier, is on a four-day visit to Britain that ends on Wednesday.

Chinese consumer inflation is growing at its fastest rate in more than two years, prompting the central government to step up efforts to rein in rising prices in an effort to head off public discontent. (Reporting by Adrian Croft; Editing by Sebastian Tong)

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