China's Xi says economy positioned to meet all challenges: Xinhua

FILE PHOTO: Chinese President Xi Jinping attends a meeting at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China May 24, 2019. REUTERS/Florence Lo/Pool/File Photo

SHANGHAI (Reuters) - Chinese President Xi Jinping said the country’s economy is stable, healthy and well placed to meet all risks and challenges, according to a transcript published by the Xinhua news agency.

Xi made the remarks to the TASS Russian News Agency and Rossiyskaya Gazeta newspaper on Tuesday ahead of his state visit to Russia where he will attend a major Russian investor forum in St Petersburg. The transcript of that interview was published by Xinhua on Wednesday.

Xi did not mention China’s trade war with the United States, which escalated last month after Washington and Beijing slapped new tit-for-tat tariffs on each other.

“Looking into the future, China’s economy bears the supporting conditions for stable, healthy and sustainable growth,” he said.

Xi noted China had ample room to manoeuvre in the macroeconomic policy space and that the country’s economy got off to a good start in 2019 as key indicators were kept in a reasonable range.

China’s economy grew at a steady 6.4 percent pace in the first quarter, defying expectations for a further slowdown, as industrial production jumped sharply and consumer demand showed signs of improvement.

However, it reported surprisingly weaker growth in retail sales and industrial output for April, putting pressure on Beijing to roll out more stimulus as the trade war with the United States escalates.

Reporting by Brenda Goh; Editing by Sam Holmes