November 29, 2018 / 12:22 PM / 17 days ago

China to step up support for provinces facing sharper growth slowdown

A container ship waits to be unloaded at the port of Zhoushan in Ningbo province, China November 14, 2018. Picture taken November 14, 2018. REUTERS/Stringer ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. CHINA OUT.

BEIJING (Reuters) - China will step up policy support for provinces facing sharp economic slowdowns and will take steps to ward off regional financial risks, the Xinhua news agency quoted the cabinet as saying on Thursday.

China is facing its weakest economic growth since the global financial crisis and policymakers are fast-tracking road and rail projects, pushing banks to increase lending, and cutting taxes to ease strains on businesses.

Targeted policy steps will be taken to help “regions where economic growth slows down due to objective reasons” to ensure their economic operation is within a reasonable range, Xinhua cited the cabinet as saying.

“We should strengthen monitoring and early warning in areas with high leverage ratios, strengthen cooperation in local financial supervision and risk prevention, and more effectively prevent and resolve systemic regional financial risks,” it said.

The cabinet called for increased coordination between fiscal, monetary and investment polices to support inter-regional projects in transport, water conservancy and environment projection.

China faces problems of big regional economic disparities, disordered and imbalanced regional development and vicious competition among regions, the cabinet said.

Authorities aim to establish a new mechanism for coordinated regional development that is compatible with building a well-off society by 2020 and a new regional development mechanism that is compatible with its basic modernization by 2035, it said.

Reporting by Kevin Yao

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