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China GDP grew about 10 pct in 2010 - Vice Premier

An employee counts U.S. dollar banknotes at a branch of Huaxia Bank in Shenyang, Liaoning province March 18, 2010. REUTERS/Sheng Li/Files

BEIJING/SHANGHAI (Reuters) - China’s economy grew by around 10 percent in 2010, with retail sales up 18.5 percent, showing that it is now relying more on domestic consumption, Vice Premier Li Keqiang said in remarks published on Saturday.

“The driving force of domestic consumption is rising, and its increase contributed over 90 percent to economic growth (in 2010),” Li told business leaders in Berlin, according to a transcript of his speech published in the official People’s Daily.

“We have the confidence, conditions and capability to maintain long-term stable and fast economic growth,” he said.

Central bank governor Zhou Xiaochuan also said this week that gross domestic product grew by around 10 percent in 2010.

Li added that China aimed to expand domestic consumption and enable its people to enjoy a greater share of the fast growth in the next five years.

He also voiced confidence Europe could overcome its sovereign debt crisis, saying Beijing was paying attention to it and would offer its support.

China has publicly promised to buy government debt from Greece and Spain, but has abstained from providing specific values for its investments.

Reporting by Langi Chiang and Jason Subler; Editing by Sanjeev Miglani