Thu, Feb 03, 2011 - Page 6 News List

China’s Wen vows to take on inflation, property speculators

Reuters and Bloomberg, BEIJING

China will fight to control inflation and crack down on property speculators in the year ahead, state media yesterday quoted Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao (溫家寶) as saying, as the country readied to welcome the Year of the Rabbit.

In a speech marking the Lunar New Year and carried in major newspapers, Wen said the government would try to keep overall consumer prices stable, but cautioned China would have to deal with thorny problems this year.

“Our way ahead will still face many difficulties and problems,” Chinese Communist Party mouthpiece the People’s Daily quoted him as saying. “We must ... resolve the problems that the people most care about ... We must resolutely prevent prices from rising too fast ... and unswervingly do a good job of controlling the property market.”

The government has vowed repeatedly to tame inflation, a source of social unrest in the past and a major concern for the Chinese Communist Party, which prizes stability above all else.

Though inflation eased in December to an annual pace of 4.6 percent, economists warn price pressure will continue to mount.

The Chinese government last week raised second-home down payments, told local governments to set price targets on new properties and introduced taxes for residential properties in Shanghai and Chongqing. The curbs followed two interest rate increases in the past four months and a ban on third mortgages.

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