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Vice Premier Says China to Expand Domestic Demand

Chinese Vice Premier Li Keqiang said on Monday China would strive to expand domestic demand to keep steady and relatively fast economic growth.

Li made the remark in his speech at a forum of the Ninth Western China International Economy and Trade Fair held in Chengdu, capital of southwest China's Sichuan Province.

Facing the current international financial situation, China would strive to increase domestic demand and boost development of the western region and accelerate reconstruction in quake-hit areas, said the vice premier.

With a population of more than 1.3 billion, China is in the process of industrialization and urbanization, which promises a huge potential of consumption and investment, he told the forum.

After years of economic development, China has the ability to overcome impact of the international financial crisis and keep steady and relatively fast economic growth in a long-term, Li said.

The vice premier said that as the largest developing country in the world, China maintains a sound economic growth momentum itself constitutes a great contribution to the world economy.

He said China would actively cooperate with other countries and regions to maintain financial and economic stability of the world.

Although China's western part has acquired better fundamental facilities for development, the gap between the east and west is still wide.

Li said that such kind of gap would be narrowed gradually and the Chinese Government would firmly push forward development of the western regions.

"Reconstruction in the quake-hit zones would become another major potential of domestic demand," Li said.

He said the Chinese government has raised about one trillion yuan (about US$142.8 billion) to finance the reconstruction.

Holding the fair in the quake-affected area demonstrates the resolve of the quake-affected people to rebuild their homeland, the determination of the Chinese people as a whole to maintain economic development and march forward, he said.

It also embodies mutual support and going through hardships together of the international community, he added.

The economy and trade fair is co-sponsored by departments of the central authorities and 12 western provinces, autonomous regions, municipalities. Business delegations from more than 50 countries and regions are at the fair.

(Xinhua News Agency October 28, 2008)

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