Rapid price rises in China have affected social stability, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said on Sunday, adding that controlling inflation is a top government priority.

Rapid price rises have affected the public and even social stability, Wen said in an online forum.

Wen said China has ample grain stocks and abundant foreign exchange reserves.

Chinese inflation was lower than forecast in January at 4.9 percent, but price pressures remain strong enough to demand deeper tightening.

China raised interest rates on February 8, the third rate increase since China began a monetary tightening cycle in earnest in October. It announced the last rate rise on December 25.

Beijing has also imposed a slew of measures to target property prices that have stayed stubbornly high. The country's leaders, aware of public anger over unaffordable housing, have said they would not tolerate property inflation and speculation.

(Reporting by Chris Buckley; Editing by Ken Wills)