China's vice premier Li Keqiang said on Monday the country's economic recovery has firmed up and was "better than expected", after data showed that third quarter growth accelerated to 8.9 per cent.
"Currently the momentum of China's economic recovery has been consolidated and economic development was better than expected at the beginning of the year," Li said at an international tax conference in Beijing.
"China has the confidence, conditions and ability to achieve the full year goal of social and economic development," Li said, referring to Beijing's target of eight per cent growth for 2009. The world's third largest economy had expanded by 7.9 per cent in the second quarter and 6.1 per cent in the first three months of the year -- the slowest rate in more than a decade due to the impact of the global financial crisis.
Li said the government would maintain an active fiscal policy and moderately loose monetary policy while increasing the "flexibility and sustainability of the policies". He did not elaborate on what "flexibility" would entail.
However he warned that the foundation for a global economic recovery was not yet firm as many uncertainties remained, ranging from shrinking international trade to high unemployment rates worldwide. Li also called on the international community to oppose trade protectionism, which he said "hinders recovery".