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Lacklustre global economy weighing on China

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[HONG KONG] A "sluggish" world economy is weighing on China's growth, President Xi Jinping said in an interview with Reuters ahead of his visit to the UK and the publication of his nation's third-quarter figures for gross domestic product.

China isn't immune to the lacklustre performance of the global economy, Mr Xi said in a written question-and-answer.

The nation has concerns about its own economy and is working hard to address them, he added. Cuts to benchmark interest rates and banks' reserve requirements and alterations to the exchange rate have helped to defuse risks and restore stability in financial markets, Mr Xi told Reuters.

China is forecast to report on Monday a 6.8 per cent expansion in the third quarter, its weakest performance since 2009. The task of achieving a 7 per cent growth goal for this year was made more difficult by a stock-market bubble that burst in June, prompting an unprecedented campaign of government intervention and a series of probes for culprits.

In the interview, Mr Xi pledged to deepen market-oriented financial reforms and to develop an open, transparent capital market.

On the issue of territorial claims, Xi said that the "islands and reefs in the South China Sea are Chinese territory since ancient times." The country will work with its neighbors to peacefully resolve disputes through negotiation, he said.