Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said in a government statement Wednesday while global market fluctuations are affecting the country, China’s economy is in a reasonable range and the government can still use the proper tools to meet its economic targets, the South China Morning Post reported. Li also said the yuan no longer needs to be depreciated.
“Currently global economic conditions remain complicated and bewildering, with substantial market fluctuations, which [have] affected China’s economy,” Li said in the statement. “China can meet its annual economic development targets.”
The Shanghai Composite, China's main stock exchange, fell by 8.5 percent on what state media called China's "Black Monday" earlier this week. It was the worst drop since 2007 and caused sharp declines in markets in the U.S. and Europe.
The People’s Bank of China Tuesday lowered the amount banks have to keep in their reserves and reduced interest rates to help calm stock markets, the BBC reported. China then directed 140 billion yuan ($21.8 billion) into its economy Wednesday, but Chinese stocks closed before the decision was announced, with the Shanghai Composite index falling 1.3 percent. In early August, China’s central bank devalued its tightly controlled currency, signaling the government’s growing concern about slow growth.
One target China is trying to hit this year is a 7 percent annual growth rate. But some Communist Party leaders are now questioning whether Li will take the blame for China’s economic woes. According to some with close ties to Chinese economic matters, Li and Ma Kai, one of China’s vice premiers, tried to save the stock market in July by implementing measures such as banning the short selling of stock, the Financial Times reported.
Is Li Keqiang in danger of being ousted rather than just sidelined? Always my concern, egged on a bit now by this http://t.co/Tfwh99GkiI
— George Magnus (@georgemagnus1) August 25, 2015
“Premier Li’s position has certainly become more precarious as a result of the current crisis,” Willy Lam, an expert on Chinese politics at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, told the Financial Times. “If the situation worsens and if there comes a point where [President Xi Jinping] really needs a scapegoat, then Li fits the bill.”