China’s finance minister has said the country is not planning any new stimulus measures and it is up to the United States to drive the global economy.
Lou Jiwei said leaders are satisfied with the country’s economic performance so far this year and in the first five months China has created up to six million jobs, 60% of this year’s target.
Analysts said the ruling party appears willing to accept economic growth below its 7.5% target this year as long as the rate of job creation stays high enough to avoid political tensions.
Mr Lou said China, the world’s second-largest economy after the US, is emphasising structural reforms to spur economic growth and is unlikely to repeat the massive economic stimulus used in the wake of the 2008 global financial crisis.
“Therefore, the global economic recovery depends on the situation in the United States,” he said during an annual US-China strategic and economic dialogue in Beijing attended by US treasury secretary Jacob Lew.
Mr Lou pointed out that the US economy shrank at a 2.9% annual rate from January to March – largely because of a brutal winter – and said China hopes the US “can take measures to ensure the momentum of growth”.
He also said China hopes the US can rebalance its economy by encouraging Americans to save more.
The finance minister said that during the talks, US officials had asked whether China still had to intervene in the foreign exchange rate – a long-standing issue between the two.
The US says Beijing’s controls on the yuan give Chinese exporters an unfair price advantage and hurt foreign competitors.
Mr Lou said that as China’s economy was not in full health and capital flows were not yet normal, “it is very difficult for us to refrain” from foreign market intervention.
Domestically, he said that industries that have suffered from a high-profile anti-corruption campaign spearheaded by President Xi Jinping, such as high-end hotels, tobacco and luxury liquors, have adapted to the conditions.
“Some of the luxury hotels and restaurants have started to sell takeout food,” he added.