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Li says China still has policy tools as growth faces pressures

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Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said growth is still in a reasonable range while it faces downward pressure and difficulties, vowing to press ahead with reforms and to gradually open the nation's capital account.

[BEIJING] Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said growth is still in a reasonable range while it faces downward pressure and difficulties, vowing to press ahead with reforms and to gradually open the nation's capital account.

If the economy were to "show signs of slipping out of the reasonable range, we have sufficient capability to respond," Mr Li said Thursday at the World Economic Forum's "Summer Davos" meeting in Dalian, China. "China will not see a hard landing." As long as there's sufficient employment, incomes expanding in tandem with economic output, China can accept such growth as seen in the first half, he said yesterday at the event while speaking with a group of entrepreneurs. His remarks echo People's Bank of China Governor Zhou Xiaochuan, who said over the weekend that the rout in Chinese equities is close to ending and that state intervention stopped a free-fall.

Mr Li's plan to keep growth at about 7 per cent this year is at risk after a stock market rout and sluggish global demand. Downward pressure on the economy has increased, with exports falling 5.5 per cent in August from a year earlier and the nation's official factory gauge falling to a three-year low.

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