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Hu warns of financial challenge ahead
(China Daily)
Updated: 2008-11-30 08:52

President Hu Jintao has warned that the global financial crisis will make it harder for the country to maintain its pace of economic development in the near future.

A large population, limited resources and environmental problems pose a challenge for the country. That's why the economic growth pattern needs to be revised and sustainable development achieved, Hu told a meeting of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee on Saturday.

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The country should maintain a stable and relatively fast economic growth, accelerate structural readjustments for sustainable development, and stick to reform and opening up, said Hu, who is also the general secretary of the CPC Central Committee.

Efforts should be made to achieve healthy and rapid economic and social development to solve people's problems and improve their livelihood.

Hu underlined the importance of efficient use of resources and environmental protection in the industrialization and modernization strategy, and called for overall development of rural and urban areas.

The country should not only seek fast and sound economic growth, but also promote comprehensive development of society, he said.

China is losing its competitive edge with the worsening of the global financial crisis and a fall in international demand, he said. Global competition has become fiercer than ever, and protectionism is on the rise.

The president's remarks came two days after Zhang Ping, chairman of the National Development and Reform Commission, said the global financial crisis was hurting the country's economy.

The slowing of exports growth from 21.5 percent in September to 19.2 percent in October shows how badly the country has been hit.

To raise domestic demand, the government has announced a $586-billion stimulus package and cut the interest rate by 1.08 percent, the highest in 11 years.

The package is aimed at increasing spending on construction projects, facilitating tax cuts and helping the poor and farmers.


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