|Chinese Vice Premier Li Keqiang (L, front) visits a hospital in Hong'an County, central China's Hubei Province, July 14, 2012. Li made an inspection tour in Hubei from July 13 to 14. (Xinhua/Liu Weibing)
WUHAN, July 14 (Xinhua) -- Chinese Vice Premier Li Keqiang said that China should stick to the principle of "seeking growth while ensuring stability" and put the economy onto the track of boosting domestic demand and balanced growth.
Li made the remarks during an inspection tour to central China's Hubei Province from Friday to Saturday.
"China should stick to the general principle of seeking growth while maintaining stability and strive to expand domestic consumption in order to stabilize economic growth," Li said.
Li said the country should accelerate economic restructuring, improve people's livelihood and put the economy on the path of boosting domestic demand and balanced growth, he said.
China's economy expanded 7.6 percent year on year in the second quarter of 2012, slowing from 8.1 percent in the first quarter, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said Friday.
The growth rate marked the sixth consecutive quarter of decline and was the slowest pace since the first quarter of 2009.
"As current economic situations at home and abroad are very complicated, Chinese companies should look for momentum for growth even out of the downward economic pressure," Li said at a meeting held in Wuhan, capital of Hubei.
China should expand consumption and restructure the economy by earnestly carrying out policies of structural tax reductions, stimulating consumption and encouraging and guiding private investment, he said.
The country should also nurture emerging industries and transform outdated production capacities to those of better quality, Li said.
China pared its gross domestic product growth target for 2012 to 7.5 percent from 8 percent in March, in the face of a persistent slump in the United States and spreading debt woes in the European Union.
To buoy the economy, China has adopted a string of pro-growth measures, including lowering banks' reserve ratio to boost lending, subsidizing energy-saving household electrical appliances and speeding up approval for major construction projects.
In its latest move, the central bank cut the benchmark interest rate for the second time in a month to inject liquidity into the market.