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Chinese premier embraces "difficult" path

Thursday, March 24, 2016 - 01:28

China has worried investors and trading partners alike as a slowdown in the world's second largest economy suggested the country's leadership might not have as much control over it as it once did. But as Joel Flynn reports, the Boao Forum in Hainan in China has seen its premier reassure the rest of the world it's not afraid to take ''difficult'' steps to fix things.

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The annual Boao Forum was started 15 years ago as a way to promote partnership between Asian countries. This year though most observers only have eyes for one. China's economy has had many in Asia worried, as their main trading partner looked to be stumbling. Premier Li Keqiang though pressing home the country's intention to face structural problems head-on. SOUNDBITE: Chinese Premier, Li Keqiang, saying (Mandarin): "Heavy downward pressure on the economy means we're experiencing the unavoidable pain of the transformation and upgrading process. Some chemical industries in particular are finding operations more testing, but we won't avoid these difficulties." Li said that China already has enough policy tools to keep the economy stable. The country's fluctuating currency - watched closely by global markets - will be kept within a "reasonable range", he told delegates. One thing that could help there though is a decision made thousands of miles away from Beijing. SOUNDBITE: Hantec FX Market Analyst, Richard Perry, saying (English): "The Fed moving towards a more doveish, accommodative monetary policy, if that is the case that should take the pressure off China because it takes the pressure off the need to devalue the yuan." China's leadership has also played down concerns over its rising debt pile. Easing taxes and cutting red tape will, they say, help business and fuel growth. China's leaders have set an economic growth target of 6.5 to 7 percent for 2016. At 6.9 percent last year, it was already the slowest in a quarter of a century.

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Chinese premier embraces "difficult" path

Thursday, March 24, 2016 - 01:28