Chinese economy at critical juncture: premier 03-14-2004 18:11

The Chinese government is now facing a test no less severe than that posed by the SARS epidemic last year, said Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao at a press conference in Beijing Sunday.

The Chinese economy developed rapidly and demonstrated " more dynamism" last year. But some deep-seated problems in the country's economic structure remained unsolved while new problems such as excessive investment scale, decreasing grain output and an "obvious trend of rising prices" kept cropping up, said the premier.

These problems exposed the Chinese government to a test "no less severe" than that posed by last year's SARS epidemic and put China's economy at a "critical juncture", commented Wen.

If the problems are properly handled, the "big ship of the Chinese economy" will move forward smoothly or "setbacks" will be "inevitable", said Wen.

Editor:Xiao  Source:Xinhua News Agency

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